#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Monkey Mind and Other Stuff

Monkey mind, of course, is a term meditators (and others) use to describe the way one’s thoughts tend to leap, screeching, from limb to limb and tree to tree whenever one is attempting to concentrate on the subject at hand.  As an ADDer, I have first-hand knowledge of the condition.  :)  Meditation helps enormously, but this morning, as I sat in my favorite seat, which I refer to as my Uncle Harry chair because it reminds me of him, my brain was all over the place.  You might say it went ape-s*&t–(sorry, can’t resist the occasional pun).  I just kept going back to my very complicated and intellectual mantra: thinking ‘in’ on the inhale and ‘out’ on the exhale, and guess what?  The meditation was a good one anyhow. 

I meant to blog on Monday, but I got to writing on the new story and before I knew it, the day got completely away from me.

Yesterday, I was downstairs in my art room and I suddenly went into a sort of cleaning frenzy (you’d call this a good thing, if you could see my art room, which I am ever so glad you can’t); I sorted and tossed and rearranged until I wore myself out.

Today would have been set aside for acupuncture/errands/etc., but since I blew yesterday’s writing quota, I rescheduled the appointment and will be working away in my lovely office with its view of the pasture.  Yorkie-Bernice usually snoozes beside me in her little dog-bed, bless her heart.  Dog lives, like our own, pass quickly; instead of worrying that she’s old (13) and spending my precious time with her looking for symptoms, I try to be mindful, to stay in the present moment.  As in: she’s here NOW, and so am I, so let’s make the most of it.

What I’m reading/listening to:

I’m reading Laurie Colwin’s classic, “More Home Cooking”, a book of essays, which was among the treasures I found on a recent jaunt to the famed Powell’s Book Store in Portland, OR, while visiting Sister Sally.  That place is heaven.  When I have the time, I love to cook.  But perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I love to experiment, just as I do with my art.  I’m a lot more interested in the process, it seems, than in the final product.  :)

I’m listening to “Ava’s Man”, by Rick Bragg, author of “All Over But the Shoutin'”, a book I’ve mentioned on the blog before.  I LOVED that book and when I came across the author on iTunes, I downloaded three more.  “Ava’s Man” lives up to Bragg’s reputation–he is a Pulizter prizewinner, I believe for his reporting on the Oklahoma City bombing.  I get insights into my own life by reading memoirs, and this one is no exception.  I’ve always dropped my ‘g’s, like the country folks Bragg writes about, and wondered why, since I grew up out west.  Well, of course, it was mainly because the people around me usually ended a verb with ‘in’ instead of ‘ing’–but that’s not all of it.  Now I know–it’s because we’re Southerners on the Lael side–my grandfather came from North Carolina.  Insight #2: I was darned lucky to have the father and grandfather I did, because there were a lot of hard men around back in the day, embittered by the depression and the big war, but our menfolks, though tough as boiled owl, and poor by a lot of peoples’ standards, weren’t mean.  They worked hard and knew how to persist in the face of adversity, and I always felt safe when Dad was around, because I knew anybody or anything out to hurt us would have to get by him first–and that would be darned near impossible.  I suspect Dad felt the same about Grampa, when he was young.

Well, now, we’ve been all over the conversational map today, haven’t we? 

Talk about monkey mind!

14 comments to “Monkey Mind and Other Stuff”

  1. kathy copeland
      · July 31st, 2013 at 11:49 am · Link

    Love your Post. Have a Wonderful day!!!

  2. Hilda
      · July 31st, 2013 at 12:00 pm · Link

    I feel the same way about my Dad – even at 91 he still tries to take are of me! What a blessing to have wonderful parents, people we look up to and cherish. I truly feel sorry for those who don’t have that. My maternal grandfather was a scoundrel and an embarassment to my mother’s family. My mother knew to look for a husband the exact opposite of her father!

    Wonderful blog today (well, every day really), and I keep thinking maybe little Yorkie B needs a little sister or brother??? Just a thought!

    Happy writing, Linda! God bless you with good stories!

    • Hilda
        · July 31st, 2013 at 12:00 pm · Link

      Sorry – that should have been “…take Care ….”

      · July 31st, 2013 at 12:55 pm · Link

    This is an excerpt from a newsletter from a person in my international meditation group which I found very meaningful. I hope it lifts and inspires you, too. FAY, WHO IS MY SISTER. SERENDIPITY, JA? :)

    “The only place you will ever be is here, the only time it will ever be is now, and the only thing you will ever have to do is this. Even if this is just putting the kettle on. Step by step. Baby steps. Holding to our trust in God and doing what comes next. Using our will to lift ourselves from the emotional level to the mental level, think clearly and open ourselves to the intuitional – which is understanding at soul level and which banishes our fears.”

  4. Diana E
      · July 31st, 2013 at 2:13 pm · Link

    Interesting blog today, really enjoyed it. Give Bernice a little hug for me, I miss my KC so much. Take care, Linda. Blessings

  5. Ruby Norwood
      · July 31st, 2013 at 2:15 pm · Link

    Wonderful blog today Linda. I missed you Monday and Tuesday was so glad to hear from you today and know that you were ok.

  6. Juanita Rice
      · July 31st, 2013 at 2:17 pm · Link

    “…and I always felt safe when Dad was around, because I knew anybody or anything out to hurt us would have to get by him first”

    Isn’t it wonderful to have those kinds of memories of our dads? :)

  7. Sherry Wallace
      · July 31st, 2013 at 2:25 pm · Link

    Haha, monkey mind is a good analogy, but I hadn’t heard of it. I’m am so that, too, a lot of the time, but not always. Yes, girl, you definitely have Southern roots

  8. Andrea Lammly
      · July 31st, 2013 at 3:21 pm · Link

    Quite interesting blog Linda!

    Our animals mean so much to us; they keep us calm I know that and our cat Landry is 13 like Bernice, so you kind of keep a close eye on them when they get up in years. Give her a scratch for us Linda.

    Phyllis; thanks for sharing that quote. Very moving and I’m going to share with a friend who is having some depression issues.

    Happy day Linda! Happy day to all!

  9. Norma Stanforth
      · July 31st, 2013 at 4:40 pm · Link

    My dad wasn’t around much when i was in grade school. He was around when my kid were young and if someone hurt them they would have to pay. I guess dad’s and grandpa are like that. God bless you all.
    As always your friend,

  10. Sharon S.
      · July 31st, 2013 at 5:11 pm · Link

    Linda, aren’t we lucky we have our little fur-families. I can’t do without mine. That’s why I love your books so much. The animal always comes out on top and I am guaranteed of that. So I never fear for the animals.

    I just finished listening to The Bridegroom. I had read it when it first came out but there was so much I didn’t remember. Of course I knew “Snippet” would be okay.

    What I’d like to know is when will you tell us about the twin Yarbro brothers. I know one of the other brothers died of consumption, but that could be a ruse to get the law off his back. :-o I loved all the Stone Creek books and that time period so much more than contemporary books.

    I’m ready to go back in history any time you are! May God bless you with more good stories, Linda. I thank you for those already out there.

  11. Lois Rotella
      · July 31st, 2013 at 6:37 pm · Link

    I like the monkey reference. It does seem like we run from one thing for the next and not complete one thing. Are animals are there for us no matter what. I miss the cat I had she used to meet me at the door when I came home everyday.
    My Dad was there for us but sadly the one grandpa I knew died when I was 9 and the other one passed away before I was born.

    Take care and hopefully your days will go smoother for you. :-D

  12. kathryn s. walkowicz
      · August 1st, 2013 at 12:55 pm · Link

    I am the ape-woman mind wise so I loved hearing that the monkeys visit you too! And that we bot use meditation to help it! You are inspiring as always.

  13. Bonnie Pruett
      · August 19th, 2013 at 8:50 am · Link

    Dear Linda, That’s an interesting dream. It sure gave me a chuckle. Since I enjoy your blog so much, I wouldn’t want to miss a one. I have applied for your blog again under my new email address. The one you have been sending them to has been hacked several times lately and I’m tired of dealing with the foolishness I have to go through to get into MY OWN ACCOUNT after some joker hacked it again for their amusement. I, howver,am NOT amused with it so, I changed my email address to Gmail. I hope to continuereceiving your awesome blog notes.

    Sincerely Your Fan,

    Bonnie Pruett

    Have a wonderful week. :lol:

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