Your “Monkey Mind” is Your Human Mind – Cultivating a Language of Respect
Weird stuff starts happening when we start practicing a compassionate plant-based lifestyle. Making that internal shift of heart, mind, and spirit affects every aspect of our lives. Suddenly we realize that not only do we want to change most of what we eat, but also most everything we buy, and even much of what we do for entertainment. At some point, we look at our lives and may find them unrecognizable compared with who we were before. What we thought was just going to be a change in diet has become a complete life transformation!
On this never-ending path, we learn to bring awareness to how each of our thoughts, words, and actions relates to our intention of contributing to peace for all living beings. Likening our words to seeds, we may begin to ask, “If I sow this seed, what will I reap?” Then, we may carefully select only those words that will blossom beautifully.
Many of our common clichés and phrases have their roots in violence, disconnect, degradation, and speciesism. You have likely heard or said words like:
- Monkey mind
- Bat shit crazy/crazy like a fox
- Chicken/chickenshit/scaredy cat
- Running around like a chicken with its head cut off
- Eat like a pig/fat cow
- So hungry I could eat a horse
- Mad as a wet hen
- You’re a dog/bitch
- Something’s fishy
- Fishing for something
- You got me hook, line, and sinker
- Take the bull by the horns/take the reins
- What’s your beef?
- Working like a dog
- You can be my guinea pig/lab rat
- Under the gun
- Take stock of the situation
- Tie up loose ends
- Eat humble pie
- Give the cold shoulder
- Go cold turkey
- Kick the bucket
- No spring chicken
You may wish to take a moment to reflect upon the meaning behind each of these and many other commonly-used words, and come up with your own ways of making the same point using your unique and peaceful voice.
With practice, we may weed out words that grow into hatred, violence, and misunderstanding. We may increasingly choose to plant only those words whose meanings are rooted in peace. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “When my mouth is fragrant with right speech, a flower blooms in the garden of my heart.”
Allyse Sonnega is a dedicated yogini, educator, mother, vegan, and overall uplifting human being that provides great service to the world through her peaceful thoughts, words, and actions.