I have been practicing my Thought Management Strategy for years now. Before that I studied every religion, method and teacher in an effort to be more present. I thought the goal was to slay the monkeys and only be filled with joy and good thoughts. I wore myself out trying to stop them until I completely surrendered to the idea they might be with me for life. This came after realizing I had the goal wrong. I didn’t need to stop them. I just didn’t need them to have any bearing on how I felt or what I did. And neither do you.
There are times they get fired up and it is more difficult to remain focused. In my mind I visualize a massive party being held by drunken monkeys. Sometimes there are only a few and at others it is a full on rager. When this happens I know some deep preference I have held is being triggered. Being single the last 5 years has opened a door I believe all women have. We crave deep love and to know a man (or woman) is captivating to us. So if a potential suitor comes along the monkeys see it as an invitation to disrupt my peaceful existence.
I stand up against them and try to stick to my boundaries and standards. I stopped drinking more than 2 drinks years ago because I found my Big Voice lost all its power if I was intoxicated. I would then have to pay for my Little Voices mistakes after.
We always have two choices: grow through it or avoid it. There have been intriguing people I’ve met that really fire up the monkeys. They want to analyze every conversation and hypothesize about the future. It was exhausting to push past but was worth it. I have had two beautiful relationships post-divorce that I have no regrets over. I learned so much more about myself together, than I would have alone. I grew through those relationships.
The other option is to avoid. You completely avoid all contact with a potential suitor to avoid this area of disturbance. I have also tried this and it does quiet the monkeys but then I see different monkeys appear. These are the ones that focused on the loneliness I was feeling.
So if you are beating yourself for thinking things you don’t want to: STOP! You have to feed yourself new thoughts through finding a Big Voice mindset so you can easily recognize the monkeys as imposters or joy killers. Any thought that creates fear, worry, shame, guilt or makes you insecure is not from God.
We can all see the areas of our lives the monkeys are more active in. For some it may be relationships, others body-image or aging, and other their kids. It doesn’t matter… accept you have done nothing wrong. You will never be without these dis-empowering thoughts. They just won’t have any power over you anymore.
I love listing metaphors to describe them. Pick something like an animal, people who annoy you, or anything else you can recognize as an imposter. That way when these thoughts are fired up it is easier to see them as separate from you.
If this is an area you feel powerless in and you feel your thoughts are stealing your joy, it is time to start cultivating self-love and acceptance. Your Big Voice would never allow you to treat yourself this way. Over time you will learn the tools necessary to keep your monkeys in check.