Monkey Mind

I read recently about the Chimp Paradox. We have a human mind (where we think logically and rationally), a far more powerful Chimp mind (in essence our intuition and instincts, emotions, etc) and a computer that takes information from both the monkey mind and human mind. 

If you can rationalise with the Chimp mind, you can then deal with a situation calmly, using the human. When I look back now at some arguments I’ve had with my other half, I can see how we would both argue with our irrational, emotional Chimp minds. 

And another book I read, how we over think and dwell on stuff. That instead of over thinking, to acknowledge the thoughts and let them go without judging. That if we are in a sad mood and we can let our thoughts go and simply quieten our minds we can get ourselves back into a happy place without trying.

This makes me think of all the times when I might be feeling a little off and my husband would persistently ask if I was in a mood and make me feel even grumpier! And I would do the same to him. Firstly, he’d be all sulky and I’d take it personally and get defensive. And the more I’m getting wound up, the more we are both annoying each other. Suddenly we’re both over thinking and with our Chimp minds can’t possibly pull ourselves out of our moods.

So don’t get pulled into someone elses bad mood. Give them the chance to pull themselves out of it. Give them space. And if you feel it’s you getting into a mood, observe it without judgement, let whatever thoughts that are troubling you go, and allow your mind the chance to lift itself. 

No chimps were harmed in the writing of this blog…

Baking



Part of my being mindful plan involves baking. There’s something so enjoyable being mindful while weighing out ingredients and following the instructions from a cook book.

Today I baked blueberry muffins (again) and scones. I’ve attempted cheese scones before but sweet scones are a first.

I think maybe my favourite bakes are baps, bread and baguettes. I really get into the power of now while I spend 10 minutes kneading. I find myself concentrating on the kneading rather than worrying over something irrelevant.

Baguettes…

Pitta bread…

Bread…

Baps…

Crumpets…

Thoughts…

Thoughts can be a dangerous thing. They can shape you, make you or break you. It’s how you handle them that’s the key.

I’ve suffered self esteem issues a lot of my life, through learned behaviour. My parents were both shy and never socialised. My dad stressed over everything. He was angry with the world. My uncle would visit about twice a year. I have a memory where I was about 3 years old and I was excited as my uncle was at our house. I was trying to chat to him and my father became extremely angry with me. He was from a generation where children were seen and not heard. I think that was the defining day that started my extreme shyness.

I also stressed a lot. Early childhood memories include a holiday where we went via train. Dad is frantically looking at the timetable for our train and moaning and stressing. That in turn is stressing mom. I feel like I am dying inside. Then there is another holiday when dad had forgotten to return the chalet keys. He is in a mood and we are all stressing on the coach waiting for him. I have no memories of those holidays at all, other than those stressful moments. 

I spent my childhood being painfully shy. My thoughts were that everyone was better than me, I didn’t deserve my own opinions, always wondering if I was making a fool of myself. In all likelihood every​ child in my class were no doubt lost in their own thoughts and didn’t give a damn about the strange shy kid.

Thoughts can be dangerous things. Everyone’s thoughts shape their own reality of the world. But to be able to recognise they are just thoughts and to not let them hold you to ransom, well that my friends, is the key. Even now, after writing about my past, I feel a bit of anger, of resentment. You can analyse your past all you like and feel a victim, but it’s happened and you can’t​ do a damn thing about it. So recognise that this is just your thoughts, nobody elses. Let go. Let go. Let go. They are just clouds in the sky. Watch them drift away in the wind, like I just have.

Mindfulness

With a little practice I’m beginning to get quite good at this mindfulness malarky. It helps that I don’t drive so I walk everywhere, and I walk my two Jack Russells twice a day too. I’m up at 6am each morning and my walk consist of attempting to be as mindful and in the present as possible. So if I begin daydreaming or thinking about something I need to do, I recognise it, dismiss it, and focus again on the present. I don’t tell myself off for losing myself in thought. That would be pointless and self defeating. I just think “thinking!” or “here I go again!” or something on that vein. To stay in the present I focus on my breathing, or I may count my footsteps, or even concentrate on sounds, IE birdsong or the odd traffic going past. It gets easier the more you do it – I am becoming aware faster that I am losing myself on thoughts and regain focus.

First blog post

Ok so this is me. I’m a forty-something year young housewife and carer. Lately I’ve been reading a lot (and practicing) about mindfulness. So I’m using this blog to journal my mindfulness, in particular to attempt to recognise my thoughts (especially the negative ones), and to dismiss them so that I can be calmer and happier.