Are You Mistreating Your Monkey?
Top 10 Ways to avoid being present.
“The meeting of two eternities, the past and future…is precisely the present moment.” – Henry David Thoreau
Today you hear a lot about “being present” and how good it is for you. What the heck does that really mean?
Well, it can mean different things to different people. For example, being present is the ultimate goal of most forms of meditation. That is, no thought at all. To silence the “chattering monkey,” as the Buddhists say. (By the way—that chattering monkey? It’s that voice in your head.) Being present means being with your self, right now, and being okay.
Most people do everything they possibly can to “fill the silence” or the gap of “busyness” in their day. Anything, that is, to keep from being by themselves, to listen to those thoughts echoing around in their noggins. So, don’t know what to do with your monkey? I bet you do. I bet you do it all the time. You find clever ways to out-chatter him. Poor little monkey.
Top Ten Distractions to Being Present:
1. Television – there is an inverse relationship between amount of TV watched per day and happiness. It’ll also ruin your sex life if you put it in the bedroom.
2. Music – It’s extremely important to put that radio on if you’re in the car alone or if you’re not alone but everyone stopped talking. And of course, it’s important to have that rockin’ mix when your work out.
3. Internet – It’s easy to waste lots of time. Just do the most important things like read my blog, tell everyone on Facebook how bad the traffic was today, and then turn off the computer. The e-mails, most of the time, can wait.
4. Going Out – You have to get out sometimes, it’s part of being human and enjoying your relationships, but the Tuesday night happy hour? C’mon. Everything in moderation.
5. Gaming – Whether you are a boss in Mafia Wars or glued to your iPhone between meetings, gaming can seriously get in the way of the important things in life. Will you regret not getting to the final level of Doodle Jump on your death bed?
6. Keeping Busy – “If I don’t keep busy, I’ll go crazy.” Yeah, if you’ve never confronted that voice in your head or learned how to turn the volume down, you probably will go nuts.
7. Reading – Wait, isn’t reading good? If you read during every moment you are not doing the other 9 things on this list, you might be escaping from something.
8. Movies – Fantastic thing to do–especially on a first date. That way, you can avoid actually relating to each other, and there’s less of a chance you’ll say something stupid.
9. Shopping – That thing that you need that you can’t live without? You can. You’re doing it right now. Ask yourself if you really need that extra kitchen gadget or yet another pair of shoes.
10. Eating – if the voice in your head causes anxiety, what better way to soothe yourself than heating up a couple corndogs in the microwave?
What should be added to this list? What are your favorite ways to out-chatter your monkey?