It’s happened to me. It’s happened to you. Chances are that it’s happened to most people you know. There were times when you may have been the cause of it happening. Every hour of every day, someone will slap a saddle on a monkey and ride it onto someone else’s back. Figuratively speaking, of course! These “monkeys” will quickly shift positions, as though by magic, from the mind and soul of one human being to another. How does that happen and what can be done about it?
Control What You Can Control
The phrase “monkey on one’s back” dates back to ancient Egypt, where monkeys and apes were revered. Apparently, it was considered a good thing to carry a primate around a person’s neck in the land of the pyramids. In the modern day world, the “monkey” stands for any undue personal stress that manifests and the personal battle that follows. These “monkeys” take the shape of worries, regrets, anger, tasks, problems or any general nuisance that cannot be processed, controlled, solved or otherwise “fed.” Have you heard the phrase, “thinking too much?” We humans process more than 50,000 thoughts daily, making our minds a breeding ground for these imaginary animals. Even the most positive people will eventually think about negative things. We may imagine things we wouldn’t want to happen or think about how we would deal with something if it were to happen. Oddly, we start to set self-imposed limitations when we think this way. We then fail to think clearly and positively, which causes a lack of confidence. This eventually keeps us from experiencing the inner peace we so richly deserve.
Take a Breath!
The short answer to keeping “monkeys” at bay is proper management of one’s life. Chances are rather slim in never experiencing a “monkey” within a lifetime. The better plan would be to minimize “visitations” and learn to be a better “animal handler.” Here are some thoughts:
- Develop a personal and/or family plan and schedule and follow it. This doesn’t mean to not be flexible, but rather to develop a starting point. Remember, anything short of a plan is just a wish!
- Don’t overschedule. If your life is booked from sunrise to sunset, you have zero flex time and are well on the road to heavy stress. Allow time to decompress or to do something spontaneous now and then.
- Try not to be so willing to solve the world’s problems single-handedly. It’s admirable to be helpful, however, be cognizant of your own schedule. Over-burdening yourself to give another person relief may not be the best answer for either person.
- Consider yoga, meditation and/or exercise to refresh and invigorate one’s self. Spend quality time with friends to share good conversation. Social time stimulates the mind and helps to reduce negative influences.
- Limit your email. Email is constantly the worst catalyst of “monkey generation.” Consider that communication through email is impersonal and unemotional. Parties cannot be seen and messages can be misunderstood. Emails should be read before sending and thought given to the interpretation of the recipient. Never email while emotional, as some messages cannot be retrieved after striking the “send” button. Finally, try not to stay “tuned-in” 24/7 and decide on a time cutoff for sending emails. Some organizations stop electronic communication at 5 p.m. daily with a weekend moratorium.
The real message here involves physics. Sir Isaac Newton said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In the metaphysical, the realities that can be created in our minds are affected by our emotional reactions to situations. Uncomfortable or even negative energy does not have to be perpetuated. In other words, all of life’s actions will call upon some type of reaction. What you choose to do at that point is totally up to you.
Control what you can control.
With that, friends, I’ll leave you with this;
You’ve got to SEE positive to BE positive!
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