Monkey Mind. It's a term I first heard in yoga class to describe all the thoughts that run around in our brains just willy-nilly and unguarded, from front to back and vine to vine. Here, no there, no wait here I am again, whoo hoo!!! Part of the benefits, goals, what-have-you of yoga is to cage the monkeys for a while, to sedate them if we can, so that when we return to the real world off the mat, the swinging is a little more orderly.
I've had an experience in the last few weeks that no matter what, the monkeys overtook the zoo. They didn't just swing to and fro and from vine to vine, but the monkeys decided to fling poo whenever, wherever, and however often they could. To say I've had a rough time has been an understatement. And now it has caught up with me. I have been told by no less than 3 medical professionals to rest more.
My body is paying the price - literally. As I type, I am recuperating from shingles. Over the last three weeks of stress, a long-dormant virus from a childhood case of chicken pox reared its ugly head and said, "OH! So you don't know how to rest? So you think this stress puppy business has no consequences? Think that little meltdown in the shower that left you crying at Mass was nothing? Fine. I'll show you....." And I developed a case of shingles. It's like an adult version of chicken pox only worse. There's pain involved that I don't recall at age 6. Pain that doesn't let me sit at my desk and do actual work. I can work from home right now, but I can go a short time (2-3 hours) before I have to stop for pain meds. The pain meds allow me to work about another hour or so, but then OUT. I still have to sit on an ice pack at my back and one on my side where the nerves tingle and jangle.
The monkey mind has slowed down. Right now, I have two things on which I focus: my work when I can do it, and simply resting and vegging the rest of the time. Everything else, just doesn't matter. At least the worst of the stressors at the time has resolved itself, but all the other minor annoyances just aren't nearly as important as they seem to be.
An important lesson there -- are the minor annoyances really all that important anyway? Are they worth pain pills, missed time at work (albeit with sick time), and knowing I've done this to myself with worry? I have literally made myself sick with worry. How sad...... how very, very sad.
Take a lesson from me. It doesn't matter if you ever had chicken pox and may or may not develop shingles. The bigger lesson is don't make yourself sick with worry and stress. Stop letting monkey mind rule your head and your life.
Stop letting your life be overrun by damn dirty apes..... cage the monkey mind!