Have you ever heard the term “Monkey Mind” and laughed with the visual of a bunch of monkeys jumping around being crazy and wild? And can you relate to a feeling of having those little monkeys running around in your head causing your thoughts to bounce from one thing to the next and making it difficult to concentrate on what you’re doing or get anything done?
We are bombarded with millions of bits of information every second of the day. Our brain has to sort, dump, and store based on relevance and importance for our survival and to insure that we enjoy pleasure and avoid pain. In today’s society – television programs, commercials, and even YouTube have us eager to input micro-blasts of information and entertainment – rapid fire commando style. We look for instant gratification, expect to point-click, and get what we want. The faster you can get results –the better, and if it takes more than a few minutes you don’t feel like you have time to wait.
Does this lifestyle make sense to you? Are you happy having to check your cell phone and text messages every couple of minutes? Do you ever reach a feeling of overwhelm? Wonder why you can’t get it all done? Have you ever gotten completely frustrated with your progress? Or just wish you could have a moment to think!
I love the benefits of technology….but wonder where all the humans went? We used to leave for work and had a peaceful drive– no distractions we could pay attention to the road. If someone needed to call us it was at work or home…If you weren’t in one of these two places – your time was your own AND your mind was your own! Now we’re running to check email, voicemail, the in-box, out-box, text messages, snail mail, face book, twitter, blogs….and the list goes on! Used to be if you planned a workout – you’d commune with nature on a bike or run. Stay inside for a workout and there wasn’t a TV in front of every treadmill to distract you from paying attention to what your body was doing and how it’s feeling. And now we’re a society that’s getting bigger & bigger because it’s ”faster” and more convenient (or so we think..) to eat out than to shop, chop, and cook a healthy meal at home. It seems like everything we’re doing is to try and juggle the frantic flurry of information. There are so many things we have to do right now! We are constantly being bombarded with so many things that rarely do we take a moment to “stop and smell the roses,” or tune in and quiet the pace.
I know that one of my least favorite and most beneficial activities is no activity at all!
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing? AND all the little monkeys in your mind were Quiet!
What do you imagine when you think of a “Peaceful Mind?” Calm waters, a clear blue sky, the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean, laughing children at play, or perhaps gazing at the stars and realizing the vastness of the universe?
A peaceful mind is an empty mind – clear of thoughts, present in the now, and enjoying what it’s like to just BE.
There are disciplines and exercises that can help you develop the skills to achieve a Peaceful Mind. And in society today these are definitely skills that need to be developed! Breathing techniques, Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, and even Pilates can help to improve focus and attention. Our ability to pay attention to the body, mind, spirit, or the nothingness and oneness that we all are to just be a part of, and apart of life on planet Earth will go a long way towards sending those monkeys to a quiet place for awhile. Being able to take a break from the frantic pace that we’ve chosen to live with can help shine light on new perspectives and allow the opportunity to make new choices for a healthier mindset and lifestyle!
Designate a distraction-free time of day to turn on the phone, computer, and TV. Put the pets out, turn the radio off, ask your kids and spouse to give you an un-interrupted 5-15 minutes or longer to enjoy your favorite Peaceful mind activity (or indulge in the activity of doing absolutely nothing!)
Enjoy even a few minutes of a peaceful state of mind to rejuvenate, and re-energize yourself. In no time at all, you’ll start to notice the shift in your consciousness as your worries decrease, your laughter increases, and you will gain the ability to clear your mind. Gaining control of your thoughts and actions through the state of a Peaceful Mind is a powerful place to create a healthier lifestyle, and can help you manage and enjoy both the peace and pace of your life.
Aliesa George is a PMA Gold-Certified Pilates Teacher, Pilates Teacher-Trainer, and Pilates Official Guide Expert for Selfgrowth.com. She has been teaching movement techniques for over twenty-five years. Aliesa has a BFA in Dance and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer/Group Exercise Instructor. Author of Fantastic Feet! Exercises to Strengthen the Ankles, Arches and Toes, and many other Pilates & wellness education resources, she is committed to helping clients & teachers develop their belief in unlimited potential and positive change through the mind-body connection. For details on workshops, resources, & products, and to contact Aliesa, please visit Centerworks.com.