If you have had even a little experience with meditation, you will know something about “monkey brain”. That expression refers to the jumble of busy thoughts that sometimes intrudes into the stillness when you seek to quiet your thoughts in meditation. Here is the disturbing part: “monkey brain” is likely going on much of the time, mostly unnoticed. You might only notice it when you focus in meditation; but too often it prattles on as part of the “auto-pilot” that is always running in the background.
A determination to move beyond the noisy chatter that one’s brain generates was a central focus of the bestselling book The Surrender Experiment, authored by Michael A. Singer. In this essay, I will call that chatter “jibber-jabber”.
If I could give one piece of advice to my younger self – of whatever age – it would be this: Just assume everything will work out. Because, as Michael A. Singer concluded in The Surrender Experiment, “Life knows what it is doing.” And yet, despite all manner of reassurances, I still occasionally freak out like my dog in a thunderstorm. (I explain to my dog, in the most reassuring and soothing voice I can muster, that she is entirely safe and that everything will be fine. And still she trembles and cowers until the worst of the storm has passed – even though her ordinary state is joyful and entirely unafraid.)
We tend to live our lives a bit like a dog in a thunderstorm. Except that in our lives the (metaphorical) thunderstorm is almost always rumbling out there. The jibber-jabber carries on relentlessly with the same themes: we might not get what we want; things we don’t want might happen to us; there might not be enough; others might cause us harm. And, the sensitivity only grows. For example, if outrage based on an assumed powerlessness is a favorite avenue for jibber-jabber, then perceived micro-aggressions can be everywhere. Or, if fear of a particular failure is a common point of entry for your personal jibber-jabber, it will seep into and pollute the desire, imagination, and expectation that are the building blocks of any manifested success.
Nor is jibber-jabber eliminated by having grasped the truth that it is one’s frequency, one’s vibration, in relation to any particular thing that will generate what will be precipitating into one’s reality. An awareness of the negative effects of prolonged thoughts of fear or anger or lack brings with it an awareness that the presence of jibber-jabber is a legitimate cause for concern. Which only feeds the jibber-jabber; you can find yourself worrying because you are worrying.
So how to deal effectively with jibber-jabber, i.e., make it go away?
We mostly get it wrong. We tend to think that the way to quiet the jibber-jabber is to get rid of everything that causes it to pop up. That is a tall order. For instance, it could require piling up so much wealth that one could never ever run out of money. (Sorry, such a strategy is premised on scarcity-thinking, which inevitably sows the seeds of its own destruction.) Or achieving so perfect a relationship with a significant other (presumably, a “Soulmate”) that nothing could ever cause any doubt or misgiving or discontent to creep into one’s interactions with said perfect mate. (Soulmates, of course, don’t work that way at all.) Or assiduously avoiding absolutely everything that could be a risk to health or safety. (Good luck with that, and a recipe for no fun at all.) Or, worse yet, fixing the world and everyone in it so that everyone in the world behaves exactly the way we want them to and thus present no threat at all to us. (I did say “tall order”.)
The notion in all of the above is that first we fix everything (and everyone) and then we can relax because the jibber-jabber will finally go quiet. Which will never ever happen.
So, what other options do we have for dealing with jibber-jabber?
As with so many things here in “Earth Game”, the winning direction is exactly the opposite of our knee-jerk, illusion-based first reaction. Instead of focusing our precious attention on doing battle with the jibber-jabber, how about if we starve it of attention? What might that look like?
We do sometimes tune out the jibber-jabber. We do it rarely, but we’ve all been there. Perhaps it happens on vacation at an all-inclusive resort where, with your wallet tucked away in your room safe, you relax into the sensuous beauty of nature, and the only decision you have to make is beach first or pool first. Or perhaps it happens on a lengthy hike on a mountain trail or when sailing on the open sea. Or it can even happen in a peak performance experience while engaged in a sporting event. In any such scenario, time slows down, and the endless now of the present moment unfolds with grace and a calmness and peace that can’t help but inspire joy and is rich in beauty.
So, how to live every day like that?
We can’t live our lives entirely in blissful external environments. Even assuming that we manage to purposefully build more and more bliss into our day-to-day living, there will still be intrusions. Freeway traffic, the noise of sirens, the vagaries of weather, mosquitoes, times of less-than-perfect health, or less-than-perfect interactions with some humans – these are all going to happen at least some of the time. How to keep those from firing up the jibber-jabber?
Because I want less jibber-jabber in my life, I have compiled a few strategies to experiment with. I share those here in the hope that they may be of benefit both to me and to others.
Turn the dial down:
Jibber-jabber will knock on your door; but you do not have to invite it in. Just say no. You are master of your own attention. If you assiduously develop a habit of dwelling on thoughts that feel good and dispatching thoughts that don’t feel good (as discussed in Earth Game: The Evolution of Consciousness), this one is easy: jibber-jabber thoughts do not feel at all good.
When jibber-jabber thoughts present themselves, imagine a large dial labeled “jibber-jabber”. See the setting at perhaps five out of ten. In your mind’s eye, reach out and turn that dial all the way to the left, i.e., to the zero setting.
Keep your eye on the ball:
Now, fill the space. Take your focus back to what you want to unfold. Or, better yet, the way you want to feel. Imagine yourself with the success (or relief) that you desire; picture it, but also feel the good emotions that flood in with that outcome or imagery. Come back to the raw materials you want to build your life out of: joy, fun, love, abundance, beauty, fulfillment, etc.
Keep your brain occupied:
Your brain functions best when it is focused on what it is designed to do. Which is to be the observer within Earth Game. Which means, put another way, to pay attention to what is happening now. See, hear, feel, taste, smell. Find something in the physical environment, anything, to appreciate. Or, if none of those is helpful in the moment, just instruct your brain to focus on your breathing.
In the context of the duality of physical brain and non-physical consciousness that is you, it is always the brain that is the source of jibber-jabber. To the extent that you are functioning from the higher end of that duality – from consciousness /mind / Self / connectedness / quantum / multi-dimensional – no jibber-jabber will be generated from that. Rather, jibber-jabber gets triggered when your earthbound, four-dimensional brain, being the computer it is, starts running scenarios of what might happen and/or replaying scenarios of what has happened in the past. Of course, if your brain would stick to its primary function of paying attention to what your body’s physical senses are inputting, you could leave the navigating and decision-making to the infinitely-wiser non-physical you. But, until you achieve mastery of all that, keeping your brain occupied will help to turn down the jibber-jabber.
Focus on the now:
Jibber-jabber is rarely about the now; if the thought that pops in is that the grunting noise you are presently hearing sounds like a grizzly bear, that is not jibber-jabber. No, jibber-jabber is almost always about the past or the future. Or, a combination of the two: oh no, that horrible thing in the past could happen again. In the present moment, rarely is there a clear and present danger. Come back to the now, focus upon the now. The above point – keep your brain occupied – will help with this; if your brain is focusing on what the physical senses are registering now, that pushes the traumatic past and the frightening future out of the picture (or at least to the periphery). Here again, if in doubt, take at least three deep breaths.
Assume that life knows what it is doing:
If you will assume (as Michael A. Singer learned to) that your life is unfolding with an intelligence and an elegance, then trust it. As per the above advice I would offer to my younger self, just assume that everything will work out. Develop the habit of assuming that things that happen in your life – which so often are the trigger for jibber-jabber – are happening not to you, but for you.
The one “systems check” you can usefully run is to ask yourself this question: Am I following the path that is revealing itself to me? Or, conversely: Am I taking the “chicken trail”? The former always finds a way to work out – even if in the present moment you absolutely cannot see the “how” of that. The latter always finds a way to give you a beating – even though you took the chicken trail specifically to avoid some sort of pain or defeat or failure. It feels to me almost binary: the question often comes down to whether you are saying “yes” to your life or “no” to it. If you are saying “yes”, then move forward with confidence, and tell the jibber-jabber you got this and to shut the heck up.
Dialogue with the shadow part of you:
Sometimes there is a part of you that just can’t go where you want to go. When that is the case, that part of you can be a relentless source of jibber-jabber. Perhaps it is your inner child, or your logical human self, or a past life (or lives). Find a place to invite them in, and hear them out. The intricacies of this kind of work I will leave for another day. Suffice it to say that you can always find a way forward – so as to reduce and perhaps even eliminate a prolific source of jibber-jabber.
Similarly, if you find yourself blocked by limiting beliefs that create a cacophony of jibber-jabber every time you take a step forward, you may have some work to do there. If you find you just can’t keep your eye on the ball (i.e., what you want) or focus on the now or trust what is unfolding, there are various ways to get at the programming that is generating the jibber-jabber. (One of many options is to check out the teachings of Dr. Joe Dispenza.) Just don’t get too enmeshed in “fixing” yourself; that can become a long-term distraction from moving in the direction of the life you want.
Come back to the big picture:
The “big picture” – as described in Earth Game: The Evolution of Consciousness – is a comforting one. Come back to the following precepts whenever jibber-jabber seems to be temporarily getting the better of you:
- Earth Game is a brilliantly designed adventure that you were eager to sign up for; “Theme Park Earth” was designed for you to experience and enjoy.
- Your life was designed and planned more than you imagine; the “you” that did that designing and planning knew what they were doing.
- You are by no means powerless within Earth Game; your ability to create and to manifest and to exercise your free will is beyond what you can presently imagine.
- Whatever your past and your programming may be, you can supersede it through the power of conscious choice wielded from a foundation of understanding the true nature of who you are, why you are here, and how this reality works.
- Whatever happens during your Earth Game adventure, you will not be judged or condemned or rejected when you wrap up your adventure here and cross over to the other side of “the veil”.
In conclusion, Jibber-jabber is a fun-wrecker. It takes your eye off the ball. As often as you need to remind yourself to do so, come back to the here and now in Theme Park Earth. And be the adventurer you intended to be when you signed on for your current round of Earth Game.