|Speaking of monkeys…|
I can never decide if my urge to blog is similar to the restlessness athletes get if they don’t run, or just another way of procrastinating…
Today I felt the itch but wasn’t sure where to go. Another post about my yoga weekend (nah, really, who cares?), wondering why my nephew has a Scots accent yet my son doesn’t, or something funny about an imaginary bar where they bring you the drink you look like you need?
No. So I asked the good folk of Twitter in the spirit of Ready Steady Cook. Sheonad from Touch and Tickle replied with “acceptance” and possibly “lubrication”.
Acceptance is clearly not my strong suit – especially as I so obviously know better than most people, particularly those with whom I live. Mission impossible would be accepting nose picking, unpracticed guitars, hands in pants, dropped clothes, cheek and poor lavatory aim.
Instead, I’m going to try a new approach to dealing with my monkey mind. I’m not good at concentrating, never have been. My mother used to say I had a grasshopper mind. To which I’d reply: “Yeah, yeah, whate… what’s that over there? the shiny thing?”
For my line of work it’s idea. It means I can find out lots about one subject fairly quickly and then move on from it the moment it gets boring – usually about eight minutes later.
But even I’m getting fed up with being unable to get the thing to sit still for a while. Worse than a toddler on Irn Bru. I’m always hopping from Facebook, to the news, to Twitter, to the work I’m actually supposed to be doing, to Twitter, to Outlook, to the middle distance, to Twitter and so on. I get so distracted it’s hard to remember what I opened Google for or what I went upstairs for (yes, yes, I know..).
I had long convinced myself that this was a Good Thing and a sign of mental agility and versatility. Although I was beginning to have my doubts, I didn’t concentrate on them long enough to arrive at a conclusion.
But during last weekend’s yoga immersion I learnt that Ms Monkey really isn’t a very welcome guest. Focus, instead, was what it’s about. You can’t balance or meditate properly if your mind is swinging from branch to branch miles away. And, indeed, that focus is one of the harder things. Harder than having your leg over your shoulder, almost.
However, as with all things yogi and most things in life, you can’t achieve that much by simply shoving as hard as possible. Or you can, but it’s exhausting. Understanding, cunning, patience and creativity will yield – in my experience – a better result. However, it’s much harder to get going with these things than it is with a mindless display of brute force (even the mental kind).
So, I’m not going to banish the monkey, I’m going to welcome it, lob it a banana, laugh at its antics, rub its sore head better and hope it might learn to be a good monkey and sit quietly for a while so I can do something productive.