Day 2

Asilomar. Destuckification Retreat.

So far we’ve mapped patterns, done Shiva Nata, and talked about talking to monsters.

My Inner Committee is having a grand time:

  • my roommate smells weird (not really, but I can’t think of any other valid reason to not want to be her roommate)
  • the food is very mediocre
  • all the water tastes like coffee—I hate coffee
  • the teacher is a big faker … which is totally awesome and is now what I want to learn about
  • I’m secretly mean and prissy to all of the strange and geeky characters at the retreat, none of whom pluck their eyebrows (see, mean and prissy)

Today I learned that when I say something mean (especially if it’s something mean about me) it’s probably My Monster talking, not the “real” me, my True Essence. “If it’s mean, it isn’t me.”

So apparently my Inner Committee is a committee of monsters. Here’s what they had to say about me this morning:

You’re mean. You don’t get it. You’re a loner. You don’t make friends easily. You don’t do well out of your comfort zone. You should have just stayed home. No one here likes you anyway. You’re prissy and high maintenance. The lemons, honey, specific diet = HM. You’re a pain in the ass and everyone thinks so. Plus you are selfish because you didn’t bring enough for everyone. You’re a poor sport not wanting to do Shiva Nata, not playing along. You must not be very smart, either.

Well then. Nice to meet you, too.

Havi suggested we approach Monster Talk in the following ways:

  1. Ask, “Who said that?” Like was it your mother? A teacher? An old boyfriend? Who’s voice is that … because surely it’s not yours.
  2. Use the BFF approach – would you talk that way to someone you love? (Ajahn Amaro uses this technique too… be you own best friend)
  3. If the monster is overpowering, ask what other (monster) staff there is … a superhero? a translator?
  4. Can you change the monster’s job description?
  5. Can you give it a corner office?
  6. Can you send him to sensitivity training?
  7. Can you give him an apron, a hat, a funny mustache… anything to change his demeanor?
  8. Ask the monster, “Since I’m having trouble understanding you with the language you’re using, can you phrase this differently?”
  9. Let the monster go to town, have a total tantrum, and write it all down in a notebook (which is what I did above). Then look for clues, commonly used words, things you KNOW aren’t true. Then you know what to look for next time. You know how to distinguish Guidance and Wisdom from Monster Talk.
  10. And finally, acknowledge your monster — ok monster, I hear your fear. You seem to want to be supported/valued/loved/etc. And the big question, How can you get those needs met?

After my Monster Mash, I acknowledged that something in me wants to be accepted, loved, and to feel safe being who I am.

I asked how I might (or my monster might? still having trouble talking about “myself” in 3rd person) get those needs met.

No answer came. But that was ok. I felt strangely peaceful after letting my monster rant and asking what it wants.

This afternoon is more Monster interaction… maybe we’ll have happy hour. I’ll let you know.

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11 Responses to “Day 2”


  1. 1 journey4yogis January 26, 2010 at 2:36 am

    This is awesome Michelle! The first read-through- hilarious. I know, maybe not funny to you? (We all think that kind of crap, though – so don’t be too hard on yourself! You recognize it, you see it, you acknowledge, and maybe you let it go and laugh at yourself later.)

    For me: New place + a bunch of strangers you’re forced to be around + can’t leave + none of YOUR people = identity crisis and hyper sensitivity.

    Not a fun place to be, maybe – but a great place to learn?

    I’m inspired. I think I might do a little ‘monster’ exercise.

    Much love and keep up the good work!
    E

  2. 2 blogasana January 26, 2010 at 3:09 am

    WHEW! hugely reassuring, erin. i’ve been nail biting since i pressed ‘publish’… like maybe it was just too mean! (that’s both a pattern AND a monster… see all the good material i have to work with!?)

    thanks for the sweet understanding and support… i feel hugged all the way from here. thank you 8-)

  3. 3 Leili January 26, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Michelle, thank you for sharing this. Your Inner Committee sounds a whole lot like mine! Love the approach to all the Monster Talk.

  4. 5 Denice January 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Let’s send them on a Committee Monsters Cruise. Put them all on a big boat with too much alcohol and send them into the sunset to the fading strains of “you’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good…baby you’re no goooood.”

    Ahhhh…feel the peace!?!

  5. 7 Jessica January 27, 2010 at 1:05 am

    A friend of mine used to say, “Acknowlege the committee by saying, ‘thank you for sharing now shut the f— up!'”
    Sometimes I have to do that. A lot. Like every two minutes. If it helps, I picture your monster as big, and fuzzy, and blue.

  6. 9 Tami January 27, 2010 at 4:13 am

    kiss the monsters! love the monsters! celebrate the monsters!

    let’s all take our shallow asses on a vacation!


  1. 1 Explaining Topsy Turviness « Ccyogini's Blog Trackback on January 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm
  2. 2 Urgency, my morning pattern and a bear « Blogasana's Blog Trackback on January 26, 2010 at 10:51 pm

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