Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Catching Monkeys

When hunters in Africa want to catch a monkey, they carve a small hole in something stationary, like a gourd secured with a rope. They put food in the hole, stand back, and wait. The monkey will reach into the hole and grab a handful, but with a fist full of food the monkey can’t get its hand back out. Even as the hunter approaches, the monkey will frantically pull and scream, but it won’t let go. It is caught.

All the monkey has to do is let go. If it releases what it grasps so tightly in its fist, it will be free.

I can relate. Sometimes I find myself trapped by my own attachment to a belief or judgment or desire or emotion. Perhaps I am holding onto resentment over something that happened years ago. Or I am judging a person or a situation in a way that isolates me or causes me fear. The word “conviction” is interesting. Conviction can mean that I have been declared guilty of a crime. It can also mean a firmly held belief. Do my beliefs in some way imprison me?

Whatever I am holding onto, is it of more value to me than my freedom? What am I willing to let go of to release myself from self-imposed bondage?

Consider what you might be grasping in your fist that keeps you trapped. What would it take to just open your hand and be free?

Freedom…is the act of releasing ourselves from the bondage of that which keeps us from living the life we were meant to live.  ~Kelli Wilson

6 thoughts on “Catching Monkeys”

  1. I know that I have a few things that I need to let go of and become more free. It's a repentance process; a willingness to change. I enjoyed the finally quote and will ponder upon it as I try to release myself from things that bind me.
    Blessings and hugs!

  2. We all do, LeAnn! I like what you said about a willingness to change. If we are willing to just be aware of our judgments, then our grasp on them begins to loosen. If I see my judgments as trapping me, I am more willing to question them and let them go.

  3. Me too, Martha. When I saw this video clip of the hunter catching the monkey, I recognized myself trapping myself by holding onto things I could just let go of. For me, I can see that sometimes I hold onto a particular judgement or assessment of a person or a situation that locks me into a set dynamic. If I can just soften that judgment, I feel much freer to deal with things in a more positive way.

  4. I haven't read the monkey story before but it is such an perfect example of what we tend to do. Part of the solution is being mindful of the present moment, isn't it? Instead of simply reacting, if we think about what we are doing there may be a different outcome.

  5. Isn't that a great story? You can see a clip of it on YouTube. I agree–being mindful of the present moment, without judgment or storytelling, will keep us free from all our thinking traps. Thanks for commenting, Bob.

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