The Madness of Monkey Brain

Dear Ones-

How are you feeling?  Right now in this moment?

There is an awareness mediation practice where we are asked to notice things from our senses in this moment.

Tune in to one thing you hear right now.

Tune into one thing you feel right now.

Tune in to what you taste in this moment.

Tune into one thing you see in this moment.

For me that is: wind rustling the new leaves in the trees and a dove cooing, sunshine on my arms, the Oreo that I snuck from the pantry on the way outside, and the first new rose on my rose bush this season.

I was gonna lie about the Oreo…. but honesty and transparency, right?

I’ve had a nice morning with visits over video and I can’t help but be grateful for not only having the clients I have walk in my door, but now also to be able to connect with them in THEIR homes.  With their people to help support them. As they support me.

Cause support is a reciprocal.  It took me some time to learn that.

And no, it isn’t the “same” as coming into my treatment room.  But it is real.  Right now. And maybe even into the future.

I spend a lot of time in rush hour listening to podcasts.  That has slowed a bit with no commute, but I have made sure to check out Brene Brown’s new Podcast called “Unlocking Us”.  I highly recommend it.  In her first episode she talks about The FFT’s. “The F#$^*)& First Times.”  I loved it.  

There are a lot of firsts going on right now.  And I think by naming and normalizing the feelings of “I have no idea what I am doing because I have never done this before so I have no frame of reference or history for this” that it actually makes things a little better.

I rolled out a new email system this week.  It did not go perfectly.  And because it wasn’t perfect, I had all kinds of judgement about myself.  Mind you, this was nothing that was going to make or break the world here- I am a small therapy clinic during the Corona Virus.  People aren’t paying THAT close of attention.

But I noticed my reaction to it.  

The desire for Perfection.

My oooooooollllllllllllllllldddddddddd friend.

That sweet little piece that tries to make everything ok when everything doesn’t feel ok inside.

I really hate that I know that.

I mean I REALLY hate that I know that.

Because that means that I have to sit with the feeling that I am trying desperately to avoid.

The feeling of trying to do right by my patients and fellow healthcare workers by social distancing and closing my practice to decrease the spread of this virus.

The feeling of judgement I feel towards those not doing those things.  (FYI- judgement is right up there with perfection in those annoying feeing that I have that I know I need to unpack.  Damnit.)  

Cause underneath THOSE feelings are more of the REAL feelings.

The feeling of “holy crap how long is this thing gonna last.”

The feeling of “if this thing lasts for a long time am I gonna have enough money?”

The feeling of “is my family going to be ok?”

The feeling of “if this thing is ever over am I gonna have to rebuild my practice?”

The feeling of “if I have to rebuild my practice what does that say about me?”

The feeling of “what does it say about me if I am tying my worth to my work?”

Which is why I am coming back to that meditation up top.  What can I feel in THIS moment.  Cause all that other stuff is just my brain coming up with things that I don’t really want it to come up with.  It’s noise.  These things aren’t who I am as a person.  Or who I am in relationship with my people.  I am just me.  Sitting in the sunshine.  And I am almost missing it cause I am worried about next month.  

Damnit.

I used to think there was a “right way” to meditate. That those monks in Tibet in the room with their red and gold gowns in absolute silence was really the only “good” way to do it. (See also: perfection need from an early age).  

Luckily, I have had some better teachers along the way.

The PRACTICE of meditation is not the stillness.  I mean it is kinda the stillness.  But even more important is the awareness of when our minds LEAVE that stillness.  And the ABILITY to bring our monkey brain BACK to a bit of stillness.  This may happen 13 billions times a second.  I am only partially exaggerating.  But keep bringing it back to RIGHT HERE.  RIGHT NOW.

Because those monkey brain questions I had a few paragraphs ago… Are QUESTIONS.  I realized that upon re-read and felt the need to hi-light it.  Monkey brain is where we have questions.  Stillness is where we allow ourselves to RECEIVE the answers.  It’s like the software downloads we get on our phones in the middle of the night when we aren’t so busy checking our email and social media.

Meditation may be a first for you.  Listen to Brene (and me) and know that it won’t be perfect.  I mean like train wreck not perfect.  And laugh and try it anyway.

You can do it all my yourself but there are plenty of Platforms and Apps (Insight Timer, Calm, HeadSpace, etc) that can help you along the way.

I believe in you.  And am right there in the feels along side of you.

Hugs 

Erin

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