Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Embracing the Monkey

Several years ago while studying massage therapy, I decided to commit to a meditation practice. I guess you could say I dabbled in meditation, because my many attempts to tame what the instructor referred to as "Monkey Mind" were a complete failure. No matter how long I sat or how many times I "noticed my thoughts" or pretended the thought was just a leaf passing by in a stream, I'd end up wondering where that leaf was going and I'd follow it. I'd follow it over rapids and to the bank and then who or what might be on the bank and speaking of the bank, did I deposit my last check? Was I overdrawn? I'd open one eye to sneak a peek at the clock. Is the bank still open?

This, my friends, is what it's like to live with an untamed mind that simultaneously moves in multiple directions; a Dr. Seuss many-geared thingamabob with thisorthats and flufferbloots beeping and blooping around this pinball machine in my head. My teachers used to call people like me scatterbrained but my thoughts are anything but scattered. They're organized into unique slots on many levels, like a hi-rise condo with compartments for everything from household chores to driving to managing my massage business to storing ideas for the next blog post or novel. Where most people visit one resident of the condo at a time, it's like I have multiple versions of myself shaking hands with everyone concurrently. 

Meditation was not a complete failure because it gifted me with a fresh perspective on self-realization. Monkey Mind isn't a fault, it's an asset. (Just ask any successful multi-tasking waitress.) What I learned from observing my crazy thought process was to respect it rather than shame it. Thinking is a form of meditation. Walking and dancing are moving meditations. And for me, writing is a creative meditation where the zen-like flow of words enables me to become one with my most inspired self, allowing my thoughts to branch off in several directions like those "choose your own adventure" books my kids used to read.

Today, my young protagonist in THIS I KNOW would likely be diagnosed with ADHD. Grace Carter is a daydreamer with lots of questions not only about how the world works, but why it exists and her purpose in it. People close to Grace try to tame her wild mind. Curiosity often results in her getting into trouble. But her unrelenting inquisitiveness also results in discovering answers to some of her questions. And writing this book was a wonderful opportunity to follow that leaf with Grace to its many possible destinations.

My debut novel, THIS I KNOW, releases April 24, 2018. Follow me on Good Reads to be updated about future giveaways and blog posts. You can also pre-order my book on Amazon or from you local bookstore.


  1. Oh my word - you've described how I talk. I sometimes get so off track b/c I let my brain go "with the flow" (ha! the leaf?) and end up at Point Z when I was talking about Point A. And sometimes I forget what Point is or was. My mother is worse - so I come by it honestly. Great post - and funny! I can see you peeking at the clock...

  2. Oh, I hear you. I am the queen of tangents! I bet we'd could meet for breakfast and close down a bar and still not complete our initial conversation. haha I think most writers suffer from a form of ADD, with or without the H. SQUIRREL!

  3. Yes, what the putative experts call ADD is an asset, not a malady. Best to allow that mind to create. Nurture the gift.

    1. I think many, if not most writers would be considered ADD today. I was a kinesthetic learner.

      Also, "putative" is my new word for the day. Thank you. ;)