Head monsters come in many shapes and sizes, they lurk in the shadows of your mind and they creep up on you when you are not paying attention. It’s so important to be mindful and aware!
It’s so important because being mindful and aware and learning how to watch the monsters, is the key to your escape. You need to observe their tricks and their sneaky ways or the monsters will get you for sure.
Let me describe some of these head monsters so that you’ll know what to watch out for. Head monsters don’t like being watched, you see, when you are mindful and watch them, it takes away their power, so they rely on you not seeing. Be awake, be mindful and watch out for head monsters.
Over the next few weeks I will help reveal some of them to you, so you can watch them and take away their power.
The Worry Monster
The most common of all is the worry monster, have you seen it? This one likes to scare you. It scares you with “could happens”, “what, if’s” and “maybe’s” and worst of all the “then what’s”. This terrifying beast preys in the future. The worry monster runs nightmare scenarios, plays out imaginary problems, has imaginary arguments, imaginary wars, suffers imaginary losses and even goes to imaginary funerals.
The worry monster paralyses its victims, stuck to the spot with fear and it possesses your mind and causes you to panic and react, making more food for the monster. If you see this happening remember the first rule of head monsters – don’t feed the monsters!
The worry monster is a nasty one alright; it sucks the life out of you, takes the gloss off life, it can make you ill and even kill you! Realise now that thinking about that is just more food for the worry monster, so be aware. Don’t feed the monsters!
Be very aware because the worry monster feeds off your fear. You can’t run from the worry monster, because running from the monster strengthens it with the fear from your flight. You can’t hide from the worry monster; it will smell the delicious smell of your fear and find you and feast on you. It will feast on your anxious reaction and the reactions that you create in others.
Don’t even think about fighting the monster, you’ll always lose. (The second rule of monsters is don’t fight the monster, I’ll explain rule 2 in more detail when we examine the Angry Monster.)
Don’t worry; there is one place where you are always safe from the worry monster, one place where it can never get you.
That place is the here and now, the present moment. The present moment is home and the worry monster can’t get you when you’re home. You must be mindful and reside as much as possible in the present moment, giving your best attention to what is here and now and staying away as best you can from the future. The worry monster hunts in the future remember! It can’t feed off you in the now.
This is how you defeat all of the head monsters, you starve them. You defeat the worry monster by not giving attention to the future; you stay as best you can in the here and now. It will try to drag you away to the future, problems, issues plans, and more plans, it will tell you that you must worry, and that your worry serves a purpose. It will pull you hard and when that doesn’t work it will try to reason with you and seduce you into the future. Observe you compulsion to go with it, see your addiction to the monster see how part of you loves the monster and doesn’t want to be parted from it.
Don’t go with the monster, no matter how seductive. It will pull you so hard that you’ll need to anchor yourself in the here and now, throw down an anchor, grab onto to something, the feeling of your breath, a sound, a taste, anything that is here and now. Give where you are and what you are doing “right now” your full attention and use what is here as your anchor to now, your anchor to home.
When you withdraw your attention from the monster by giving your attention to what’s real here and now, you create a space in your mind and you’ll see the monster and give it no attention. You’ll watch and return to now. It may resist for a while and it will use all its power to drag you into worry thoughts but if you keep your attention in the now, you’ll be giving it no food and the monster will eventually fade with hunger. And in the space that is left in the here and now you’ll see that the monster is just a dream. You’ll see that it is you who creates the monster, you create it in your mind you create it by living in the future and you create it with the attention that you give it. You create it with your thinking. Be present, practice mindfulness, learn how to quieten your mind and let the monster dissolve and the space of awareness that grows.
Who’s up for some monster hunting?