Yesterday morning I had a visitation of the mind monkeys.  You know the ones I mean: they drop in unannounced, stomp on all of your shiny new ideas, tear things up and leave slimy banana peels all over your outlook for the day. The fact that they showed up is not surprising.  They used to live here.

I didn’t realize, until they burst on the scene yesterday morning, that they’d actually been out wreaking havoc elsewhere.  In my writer brain over the last week or so there has been mostly contentment, pleasure in the work at hand, inspiration, excitement, and enthusiasm.  Rather than sulking in corners, my muse has been throwing flowers and candy my way.  Mind you, her aim is bad and she often bops me in the nose with something hard or prickly, but she’s been forthcoming and almost cooperative.

When the mind monkeys reappeared, it was immediately clear that absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.  I prefer to write without them.  It’s nice to venture through the door to work with plot ideas simmering or the brain running searches for that perfect but elusive word.  Too much energy gets tied up in trying to mitigate the mind monkey damage.

Check this out:

“ Our minds–made up of our thoughts, beliefs, and self-talk–are always “on.” According to scientists, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s one thought per second during every waking hour. No wonder we’re so tired at the end of the day!
And what’s even more startling is that of those 60,000 thoughts, 95 percent are the same thoughts you had yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Your mind is like a record player playing the same record over and over again… Talk about being stuck in a rut…
Still, that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the next statistic: for the average person, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts arenegative. That means that every day most people have more than 45,000 negative thoughts… Dr. Daniel Amen, a world-renowned psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, calls them automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs.” ~ Marci Shimoff from Happy for No Reason

My goal for this weekend?  Keep out the mind monkeys.  Oh, sure – they can be entertaining – but the writing goes so much better without them.  Somebody, I think it was Joseph Campbell, said “never complete a negative thought.”  I’m trying to create an awareness – catching those thoughts as they are going through my brain and changing them to positive. Optimism and consistent effort, those are the tools for me.

Yes, I’m bound to relapse.  I’m sure I’ll be seen here before too long, whining about this or that rejection, or how the writing isn’t working out.  You have permission to throw banana peels at me.

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