When you sit down to write in your journal, meditate or write morning pages, what happens? Does peace flood into your mind, stillness settle in, and the sun rises just over the horizon of your deep inner peace? Liar. It does not.
Your head fills with yakking. Monkey mind starts right up with a to-do list, “Right after this I need to go shopping, but before that I need to stop at the ATM and get some money, but before I do that I have to balance the checkbook to make sure I have enough money to take
out. Where is that checkbook? It was in my desk drawer yesterday, and now it’s not. That desk drawer jams, maybe it’s the checkbook. Or maybe I need to wax the runners. . .” On and on goes monkey mind, hopping from topic to topic while you are seeking quiet.
More likely, negative self talk cranks up. The critic or the judge, one in a red velvet jacket and one in a powdered wig show up and start in on what isn’t right, what hasn’t been right, and why you don’t have talent, dedication or time. If they are really active, they will ask how you will ever make enough money to support yourself as an artist.
So now you are poised over your journal page, frozen. You try to push monkey mind and negative self-talk from your mind, but they persist. Of course they do. Instead of pushing them from your mind, sit down and listen to them. What, exactly do they have to say after the first sentence? You will probably find that there isn’t an original though there. Monkey mind and negative self-talk aren’t original, they are simply persistent.
On your journal page, draw the slide bar you use to turn the sound up and down on your computer. Take your pencil, drag it down to where it’s silent and draw the bar right there. It’s a lot quieter in your head now.
Start writing. . . what is it that you don’t remember but wish you could?