Thursday, August 13, 2009

Luuucy, you got some splainin' to do!

What the eff IS a 'Monkey Mind'? About a year ago, a sister mailed me a book that would change my life.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a biography of sorts for any woman searching for something. Elizabeth is an Author by trade and a Thinker by blood that found herself stuck in the all-too-common Marriage Vacuum being pressured to pro-create with someone she couldn't imagine spending Happily Ever After with. In the wake of a terrible divorce and depression, she succeeded in having her publisher fund a one year "sabbatical" for her to travel around the world to find truth and happiness in exchange for a novel that chronicled the journey. She spent 4 months in Italy finding Pleasure (eating up delicious food and Italian men) ... 4 months in India finding her Spirituality (in silence at an ashram, scrubbing floors and praying day and night) ... and 4 months in Indonesia finding the beautiful balance between Pleasure and Prayer (and consequently, the love of her life). Ohhh how I strongly recommend this book!


Many many things resonated with me about this woman's story, but the one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was her explanation of her tendency to overthink things... one of my greatest faults. She writes, "I have been cursed with a 'monkey mind' - the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. This in itself isn't necessarily a problem; the problem is the emotional attachment that goes along with the thinking. Happy thoughts make me happy, but -whoop!- how quickly I swing again into obsessive worry, blowing the mood...You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions."

And THAT, is a Monkey Mind.

The book will forever be etched in my memory, what with the 7 or 8 times I've read it, but also because of the vacation that quickly followed the inaugural read...

My bffffl and I both read it last summer and after a few cocktails and conversation about the wonder of Gilbert's journey, we charged our Mastercard with 2 flights to Bali. . . . . . . then planned the trip. Both Type-A planners to a fault, it was like a small orgasm to operate outside our comfort zone like that. Completely illogical. Yet delicious. We met up with another bfffl that lives in Thailand and skipped around the island living adventure after adventure, meeting the same medicine man and traditional Balinese healer that Gilbert herself spent 4 months with, climbing volcanoes at sunrise, rafting down rivers/the local bath and riding elephants!
The trip was in October and it was a m a z i n g. The best vacation of my life. I often wonder how I'll top this one, but I really don't have to worry about that right now ... my bank account tells me so.


Janelle said...

I am beyond delighted that I get to be the one leaving you comments. I'm so excited about this---and love your writing. Your blogs will take the place of the wonderful emails that used to fill my inbox (and my heart) when I had constant access to a computer (not to mention when we didn't have 1000 hours between us.)So, my dearest Hussy in Houston, keep them coming. I love and miss you terribly!!!

Anonymous said...

Our biggest epiphany was we didn't need an epiphany. "Go back to Bed Liz"