Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monsters and Mind Explosions

When it stops

I was talking yesterday about what it’s like to have a mind explosion.

And then sometimes the mind explosion is suddenly gone. Yesterday morning I woke up with the beginnings of a cold. Yuck. I slept a lot all day. I skipped chorus practice. And I couldn’t think. I was telling myself that the thinking would come back when the cold calmed down. That these things come and go. I was sad.

Yesterday is also the day when I had just written my first blog post that is directly about my new Thing.

And I noticed that a monster had arrived. The Nobody Wants to Hear From You monster. Because I’ve been reading the wise and marvelous Havi Brooks, I knew how to how to talk to it.

So last night I felt sick, went to bed early...and wrote to the monster.

Me: I’m going to have a teaching business! I have a blog! I have so many ideas and people are going to love them!

Monster: No you’re not. No-one wants to listen to you. They’re saying, “Oh God, there goes Do Mi again. Why does she think we want to listen to her?”

Me: Okay, Monster, that feels really hurtful. Also, I know it’s not true because…

Monster: It’s true it’s true it’s true!!!!

Me: (deep breath) People are always telling me that they value my ideas and that what I do is an inspiration to them. Some people aren’t interested, and that’s okay. They’re just not my Right People.

Monster: But, but what if those people that hate you say mean things? You know there are people that hate you BECAUSE you have something to offer. Like that girl in high school.

Me: I know that that is their stuff. But right now, I need to talk to you. When you yell that at me and remind me of people like that, it makes me think about them instead of about my Right People.

Monster: I’m afraid you’ll forget about those mean people! Then you’ll be taken by surprise when they attack you. That’s happened too often. I don’t want you to be hurt.

Me: Okay, I get that you don’t want me to be hurt. But you’re hurting me yourself!

Monster: That’s better than those other people hurting you.

Me: ????

Me: I am able to protect myself much better now than when I was a child. I understand so much about people’s hurts and how society makes them feel bad about themselves. I don’t always manage, but I’m working hard on separating their stuff from me and not letting it get to me.

Monster: Grhmph.

Me: If I promise to make a safe way to explore—maybe a soft and comfy exploration bubble?—will you try letting me do it? So if the mean people attack me I won’t get hurt?

Monster: I guess.

Me (Havi says this sometimes works): Do you want a cookie?

Monster: Fig newton??

And then—remember I’ve gone to bed early feeling sick—whee! I couldn’t sleep. More blog posts, more teaching content, part of my song verse, and an insight about my partner’s school! The waterfall was rushing again!

These creative periods do come and go. My mind probably needs a rest in between. But I think often when I stop, am stopped, it’s because of monsters. I plan to keep talking with them.

Please join me in the comments! Do you get stopped by monsters?



  2. Maybe I should learn that conversation by heart :-)

  3. @dreamfalcon: Oh, do you have that monster too?

  4. I loved reading this post! Monsterization, Go!

    The world could only be a better place for having more monster conversation transcripts. Thank you for sharing one of yours :)

    Reba x

  5. I agree! More monster conversation transcripts. Mine aren't talkative. They just glower and say "You know." knowingly.

    I was commenting on yesterday's post and then my comment got eaten but then I saw this post and so I'm going to try again.

    Because you read Havi (and really, shouldn't she be REQUIRED reading. Yeah. She probably wouldn't like that though) and no doubt follow the adventures of Metaphor Mouse! have you even noticed how the visualization you use takes on a life of it's own, and totally begins to inform the process?

    I thought of this when you talked abotu being carried away on a rushing river of ideas, and how you had to tweak the metaphor so that it was more controlled.

    My own idea metaphor is that of a mine. Ideas are like gemstones, tumbling down from the walls. (Plus my internal space is a cave. A really cool, mysterious, but comfortable cave. Do you have an internal space? I'd like to hear about it.)Sometimes I have to dig a little bit, but that just means the idea is TOO BIG to just come out on its own.

    It also means that I don't have to worry about ideas washing away in the stream (help! lack-of-abundance-monster) but I do have to note hoarding tendencies. I have to remind myself that every idea doesn't need to be kept against the thought of future (idea) poverty. I own an IDEA MINE. I can give the stuff away (because I'm pretty sure the ideas are breeding down there. I'm just saying.)

    But yeah. Metaphors. They take on a life of their own, don't they? So it's probably a good idea to periodically examine the metaphor for ways it's not supporting you anymore. My cave got gardens because I needed more green space.

  6. Yes! I've been using visualization for a lot of years now, and the most powerful ones take on a life of their own. I will definitely be posting about that whole process!

    I love your cave metaphor!

  7. There are times when I feel like I've been kidnapped by monsters. It's a much better image for me than "I'm depressed." I like how Havi has such hard-to-wrap-up-in-an-elevator-speech skills and she's helped so many people with them.
    It's wonderful to see how you're using what she teaches and it's making it easier for you to teach.
    Now if I could just find the ransom note, maybe I could bargain my way out of here. . .


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