Monkey Mind Symptom #9

  1. Either/Or Thinking: Monkey really gets creative with this one. “Either I can save money OR I can pay off my debt. I can’t possibly do both!” “Either I can get a good night’s sleep OR I can exercise in the morning.” Sound familiar? This symptom limits possibilities and stymies our creative process. The shift here is to both/and thinking. In the presence of either/or, we ask ourselves: How? How can I do both? How can I contribute to my savings/retirement account AND pay off my unsecured credit card debt? How can I get a good night’s sleep AND wake up in time to get in a productive workout? What plan can I come up with, what support am I willing to let in? We can enroll a small, sweet step partner to set the arena with us every morning and support us in keeping our promises. When we observe that we’re slipping into either/or thinking, we can also ask ourselves: What if? What if both options were possible? We become curious and willing to explore options previously not seen. If this sounds like look, see, tell the truth and take an authentic action, it is. Practicing the coaching model helps us to make the shift from the constricted, limited energy of either/or to the open, receptive, curious energy of both/and. This is a wonderful example of monkey being seen and experienced as “the loyal opposition,” of giving us the opportunity to practice our principles and cross the border with a renewed sense of optimism and clarity.

 

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