My 4-day detox to calm monkey mind on a southwest adventure.
After a long weekend wedding, last June (while in the throes of- do I leave my husband or stay), a group of us drove to Keepers of the Wild (I’ll write about that another time) and trekked out to the Hoover Dam for a long-day-cation before ending our night in Sin City (dizzying eye-roll at the irony).
It was breathtaking (and I learned so much about conservation efforts). But I won’t lie, I was worried that four days away from chaos and dysfunction wasn’t enough to calm monkey mind.
Don’t get me wrong — every damn day I’d wake up in relief at how free, happy, clear, and safe I felt. But I’m not Meatloaf. I’d do anything for “love”- including shitcanning my boundaries and self-identity if he told me anything with just a smidge of believability.
There’s a lot to unpack here, but not now.
The trip itself was semi-spontaneous, but our days were pretty busy. Downtime was spent at the pool, exploring the desert, visiting museums, a safari.
I was never alone
…except on the late evening drive from Vegas and Kingman, Arizona when Liam fell asleep.
Nor did I discuss the reality of my life with anyone.
Hence, the 4 days away potentially not being enough.
Spoiler alert… It was.
This reminds me of one of the best analogies you often hear in yoga.
Buddha described people’s minds as having monkeys- screaming, shrieking, swinging from one thought to the next.
Our “monkey mind” is restless and relentless, instead of being chill and present.
In his book, Quantum Healing, Deepak Chopra shares- the average person has about 65,000 thoughts per day– per fucking DAY! And that 95% of these thoughts are the same shit you were thinking about the day before.
… 🙋🏽♀️ uh huh. Who else?
These thoughts are often over-analyzed hypotheticals based on hopes, fears, and life’s daily stressors. Things that haven’t happened and might not even happen are traipsing through our minds. Mind monkeys going ape shit.
It’s not an easy feat- to calm monkey mind. But I can tell you from experience, there’s a lot of compassion, wisdom, wellness, and peace in learning to do so.
In the hotbox heat of the desert, despite being “busy,” I was aware and present. I was wholly with myself, my son, my family, my environment (even my thoughts and feelings).
I talked my mind monkeys down from their branches and within my reach. With deep breaths, I repeated my mantra- live intentionally seeking less overwhelm and more enrichment. With compassion, I held space for myself affirming- how I feel is not who I am.
Much of how I thought and felt were projections of someone else’s self-worth and shame. This 4-day detox and monkey training exercise was what I needed. I returned home resilient AF and accepting of what came next.
So next time you find your mind monkeys going ape shit, just breathe.
Who knows- it may end up being a sliding door moment that changes the trajectory of your life.
A few things-
- Check out my yoga site TheraPlaYoga.com. I’m writing there too. I’d love to know your thoughts.
- Leave me a comment here- What are your experiences with mind monkeys?
- Show this post some love by clicking the heart below and share if you feel moved to do so.
Thanks m’dear. Until next time.
Fun fact: I named my car Lizzo (it’s a Kia Soul- do you get it?)
More pics just for fun!