Theresa Reed: Monkey Mind

    —
February 28, 2020

They say that animals often come to resemble their owners. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I am not sure where that statement came from, but I would probably say there is a nugget of truth to it. Perhaps we do become more like our critters, or more likely, we simply learn from them. 

A decade ago, my husband and I adopted a little black cat from the local shelter. As soon as they plopped him in our hands, he began to purr like a motor. We bundled him up, took him home, and named him Monkey.

This name seemed to fit him much better than his original moniker, Phantom. Monkey wasn’t a cat who liked to hide away, and he wasn’t very stealthy either. Instead, he was restless, animated, and liked to play rough. Always in movement, he could barely sit still long enough for a picture. He’s got a true “monkey mind.”

I hate to admit this, but in a way we’re a lot alike.

Like Monkey, I am easily distracted. I blame this on my Gemini ways, but the truth is that’s not an excuse for having too many projects running at the same time with all the technology in the world clamoring for my attention. The blips and dings that alert me that I’ve got mail or texts or other such things keep me in a state of high alert. “What’s happening? What’s going on?” Or, more accurately, “What did I miss?”

Like a pinball whizzing around the flippers and bumpers, my brain is in constant motion. Sometimes I’ve found myself amazed that I was able to get anything done at all.  

My writing sessions were punctuated by petting sessions, and cooking a meal required one hand on the spatula while another held a laser pointer to keep Monkey from biting my heels. Disruption via feline was a way of life around my house, so, as you can imagine, it wasn’t easy for a focus-challenged person like myself to remain present much of the time.

One day, I was tapping away on the computer when I noticed Monkey staring down a bug. He was poised to pounce, eyes wide, and completely still. The bug wasn’t moving. Neither was Monkey. This was a total showdown between cat and bug—and neither was going to move until the time was right.

Fascinated, I stopped what I was doing to watch this duel unfold.

The stare-down continued for a few minutes. This cat wasn’t going to flinch until he witnessed a glimmer of activity. Finally, I saw a flicker of movement as the bug slowly lifted his leg. Monkey’s eyes widened as he wriggled his bottom. Suddenly he pounced on the hapless bug, and in an instant, it was over. The bug was lying face up, with no sign of life. Monkey sniffed around it for a second, then sauntered away. The job was done and now it was time for a nap in the sun.

I found myself pondering this long after the deed was over.

How could this cat, who detests the house rules and who seems to be in constant squirm motion, remain so deeply engrossed? How is it that Monkey was able to deftly finish his work while I sat at my desk, still stuck on finding the first opening sentence for my latest project?  

The truth was staring me in the face as the little familiar beep that alerted me to an incoming text pulled me away from my work.

I had created a maelstrom of technology and distraction around me. This was preventing me from effectively “killing the bug.” If I was going to be prolific, effective, and calm in both my work and my spiritual practice, I needed to set myself up for success. It was time to commit to making my world distraction-free so I could tame my own monkey mind.  

This is an excerpt from a story written by Theresa Reed and featured in The Karma of Cats: Spiritual Wisdom from Our Feline Friends, a compilation of original stories by Kelly McGonigal, Alice Walker, Andrew Harvey, and many more!

Theresa Reed has been a professional, full-time tarot reader for more than 25 years. A recognized expert in the field, she has been a keynote presenter at the Readers Studio, the world’s biggest tarot conference, and coaches tarot entrepreneurs via numerous online courses and her popular podcast, Talking Shop. Theresa lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more, see thetarotlady.com.

Theresa Reed

Theresa Reed (aka The Tarot Lady) has been a professional tarot reader for over 30 years. She is the author of many books about tarot and astrology and the host of Tarot Bytes, an educational podcast with bite-sized tarot lessons. Theresa also runs a popular website and blog, thetarotlady.com, where she dishes out advice, inspiration, and tips for tarot lovers of all experience levels. For Theresa, tarot is a tool for self-empowerment, reminding you that you are always in charge of your decision-making and your destiny. The cards tell a story—but you write the ending.

Author photo © Terry-Reed-2015

Also By Author

Theresa Reed: Monkey Mind

They say that animals often come to resemble their owners. Or maybe it’s the other way around. I am not sure where that statement came from, but I would probably say there is a nugget of truth to it. Perhaps we do become more like our critters, or more likely, we simply learn from them. 

A decade ago, my husband and I adopted a little black cat from the local shelter. As soon as they plopped him in our hands, he began to purr like a motor. We bundled him up, took him home, and named him Monkey.

This name seemed to fit him much better than his original moniker, Phantom. Monkey wasn’t a cat who liked to hide away, and he wasn’t very stealthy either. Instead, he was restless, animated, and liked to play rough. Always in movement, he could barely sit still long enough for a picture. He’s got a true “monkey mind.”

I hate to admit this, but in a way we’re a lot alike.

Like Monkey, I am easily distracted. I blame this on my Gemini ways, but the truth is that’s not an excuse for having too many projects running at the same time with all the technology in the world clamoring for my attention. The blips and dings that alert me that I’ve got mail or texts or other such things keep me in a state of high alert. “What’s happening? What’s going on?” Or, more accurately, “What did I miss?”

Like a pinball whizzing around the flippers and bumpers, my brain is in constant motion. Sometimes I’ve found myself amazed that I was able to get anything done at all.  

My writing sessions were punctuated by petting sessions, and cooking a meal required one hand on the spatula while another held a laser pointer to keep Monkey from biting my heels. Disruption via feline was a way of life around my house, so, as you can imagine, it wasn’t easy for a focus-challenged person like myself to remain present much of the time.

One day, I was tapping away on the computer when I noticed Monkey staring down a bug. He was poised to pounce, eyes wide, and completely still. The bug wasn’t moving. Neither was Monkey. This was a total showdown between cat and bug—and neither was going to move until the time was right.

Fascinated, I stopped what I was doing to watch this duel unfold.

The stare-down continued for a few minutes. This cat wasn’t going to flinch until he witnessed a glimmer of activity. Finally, I saw a flicker of movement as the bug slowly lifted his leg. Monkey’s eyes widened as he wriggled his bottom. Suddenly he pounced on the hapless bug, and in an instant, it was over. The bug was lying face up, with no sign of life. Monkey sniffed around it for a second, then sauntered away. The job was done and now it was time for a nap in the sun.

I found myself pondering this long after the deed was over.

How could this cat, who detests the house rules and who seems to be in constant squirm motion, remain so deeply engrossed? How is it that Monkey was able to deftly finish his work while I sat at my desk, still stuck on finding the first opening sentence for my latest project?  

The truth was staring me in the face as the little familiar beep that alerted me to an incoming text pulled me away from my work.

I had created a maelstrom of technology and distraction around me. This was preventing me from effectively “killing the bug.” If I was going to be prolific, effective, and calm in both my work and my spiritual practice, I needed to set myself up for success. It was time to commit to making my world distraction-free so I could tame my own monkey mind.  

This is an excerpt from a story written by Theresa Reed and featured in The Karma of Cats: Spiritual Wisdom from Our Feline Friends, a compilation of original stories by Kelly McGonigal, Alice Walker, Andrew Harvey, and many more!

Theresa Reed has been a professional, full-time tarot reader for more than 25 years. A recognized expert in the field, she has been a keynote presenter at the Readers Studio, the world’s biggest tarot conference, and coaches tarot entrepreneurs via numerous online courses and her popular podcast, Talking Shop. Theresa lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more, see thetarotlady.com.

Theresa Reed: What the Tarot has to say about 2017

Theresa Reed is a recognized expert in the field of Tarot reading who writes, speaks, podcasts, and coaches on the subject. With Sounds True she has released The Tarot Coloring Book, a full-length reference to the imagery and importance of the classic Rider Waite deck that doubles as an engaging coloring experience. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Theresa discuss the heart of Tarot and how it’s not simply a passive tool. They speak on the concept of adult coloring books and whyThe Tarot Coloring Book reinforces learning with fun and imagination. Finally, Theresa performs two live readings and interprets their results in the light the current situation in our world. (52 minutes)

You Might Also Enjoy

Miranda Macpherson: The Transforming Power of Ego Rela...

Many of us struggle to truly live what we believe spiritually. What if closing that gap wasn’t about trying harder, but something quite the opposite? “Through the practice of ego relaxation,” teaches Miranda Macpherson, “we can stop trying to beat ourselves into spiritual shape and yield instead to an unshakable presence within.”

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Miranda about taking a more feminine approach to spiritual seeking and why that involves creating an atmosphere of unconditional love. Miranda explains ego relaxation, her unique process of letting go of all the qualities that maintain the illusion of being separate from the rest of existence. Considering the roles of trust and vulnerability on the spiritual path, Tami and Miranda discuss what it means to be a channeler of grace. Finally, Miranda leads us in a guided practice for discovering the mountainous presence already available in each moment.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg: Mending the World with a Proph...

Every spiritual tradition teaches that we are all interconnected. Yet when we are faced with the world’s many injustices, we often want to turn away and isolate ourselves rather than feel the full measure of our grief, anger, and fear. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg about how we can choose another path—one of openly encountering others with deep connection, accessing our prophetic voice to speak truth to power, and taking action while staying grounded in our spiritual selves. 

Give a listen to this moving conversation exploring connecting to “the still, small voice” within yourself; Rabbi Nachman’s practice of the inner scream; allowing our bodies and hearts to process what we see in the world; our obligations as bystanders of harm; leaving your “spiritual bubble” to engage in real activism; speaking uncomfortable truths; the five steps involved in the work of repentance and repair; why the best spiritual practice is done in community; the practice of rest as a social justice issue; prayer, the work of the heart; and much more.

Vanessa Loder: Listening to the Voice of Your Soul

Vanessa Loder was a successful VP at a private equity firm, swiftly making her way up the corporate ladder, when she had a striking realization: Everything on paper looked great, but inside there was this feeling that something was missing… In this paradigm-shifting podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Vanessa Loder about her new book, The Soul Solution, and the “star seeds of awakening” we are called to become at this time. Listen in as they discuss: past-life regression and the insights it can provide; the courage to listen to “the whispers of your soul”; following your “energetic breadcrumbs”—the inner impulses that will lead you to your most fulfilling life; the intersection of creativity, making money, and doing what you love; finding your role models; working with fear, anger, sadness, and other challenging emotions; unwinding the myths we tell ourselves; how to “break up with busyness”; the “power hour” practice; allowing ourselves leisure time and pleasure; visualizing your greatest future; and more.

>
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap