I had a lot of junk in my head: knee-jerk reactions, stereotypes, judgements, labels, assumptions, knowledge, ideas, things I’d accepted as fact without confirming, “common” sense, interpretations, life lessons, teachings… lots of crap in there. I started to look – with help from many sources, not always pleasant – at all this crap. Analyze it. Chew it up, think it over. And I finally began to realize that I was looking at my reality – my world – through all this stuff. And I couldn’t see very well.  

I wasn’t in touch with my emotions; I hurt the people I loved but didn’t understand why or how; I made poor choices; I was stubborn, lived in my head a lot, and was a bit of a control freak; I was afraid; I was attached. Of course, I didn’t realize all this until much later, after things began to unwind and could see more clearly.

When I turned 30, I decided to deal with a potentially bad medical issue. “Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it before it deals with you”, I said to myself. That small decision started me down a path that will probably take me lifetimes to fully navigate. At the time, I had no idea that I was on a path, or even needed a path. Now I see how that one small decision led to more opportunities, better choices, and “discriminative discernment”,  as my teacher called it.

I’ll be 40 next year and I’m a completely different person. I don’t know who I would be if I hadn’t started making these small changes, but I don’t think I’d like her.  And I know I’ll be totally different when I’m 50, and I can’t wait to meet her.

When I started getting rid of all the crap in my head, my vision improved immensely. My Monkey Mind is still there – I don’t see perfectly clearly yet, and maybe I never will. But my Monkey is wearing glasses now, and I can definitely see better than before!