Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monkey mind chatter

Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right. Igor Stravinsky
Yesterday, while in a meeting, I settled into silence to avoid speaking up. Challenge is, when I am silent to avoid speaking up, my mind is anything but silent. The chatter of my 'monkey mind' is incessant. It chirps and cheeps, squeaks and squawks, constantly talking about what I am not talking about.

When the monkey mind is at play, I am ill at ease.

In those instances, truth is silenced, tyranny prevails and I fall into the trap of believing everything I think. In my belief that I am right to be silent, I inhibit the possibility of turning up and creating value. In undermine my value by internallizing the conversation, keeping myself stuck in justification of why it's best not to say what I believe needs to be said.

In my silence I create an endless circle of self-defeating games.

When I was married to my daughters' father, our relationship was filled with silence of the dulling, numbing kind. My fear of speaking up, kept me from being truthful and honest in our embrace. My fear of his response to what was true for me, kept me from opening up into intimacy. In my silence, my agile mind had plenty of time to weave and warp its way through every conversation, twisting and turning every comment, every glance to drain it of its last ounce of meaning all of which left the truth silent somewhere within me, far from the playing field of our relationship. The scripts I wrote in my head were convoluted tales of woe where I was the victim of his misunderstanding. In my silence, the distance between us widened as I moved myself further and further away with every word unsaid.

In my silence, the golden moment is lost. In my silence, anger builds as I stuff back the words I leave unspoken. In my silence, I devalue myself and those around me.

I am learning to speak up. Learning to lovingly share my truth without fear that I will be hurt, or that in my words blame, shame, and condemnation will drive someone else into silence too.

In my morning ritual, silence is the well-spring of my inspiration. As I meditate, I let myself sink into the beauty of that silent space within me where all is aligned, all is at peace.

In my awakening, to retain that balance within, to silence the monkey chatter, I must speak up, speak out. I must give voice to the words within me that are aching to be released.

Silence can be my friend or foe. It is up to me to drive through my fear by drawing my words out with courage.

The question is: Is silence your friend or foe? Are you stilling your mouth while giving reign to the monkey mind chatter within? Where is your truth?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Good to quote Stravinsky (today is his birthday!) . . but, long dead, he is silent.

You write of silence (or feeling silenced) as a bad thing. True. Sometimes.

I've too often spoken my mind or had that knee-jerk reaction to something someone said or did that, once I've blurted it out, should have never been uttered. But, putting it back where it came from is impossible.

Silence, the act of listening more and speaking not at all for a while, is something I am getting better at .. and one day I hope I can be silent for an hour... or maybe even half a day; for now I can only do it for a few minutes at a time which, sometimes, is the only thing that keeps me out of trouble!

Have a good day . .

and spare yourself trouble with a few minutes of silence.