What are monsters?
Monsters are part of you. They’re the part of you that tells you you’re stupid, ugly, and disgusting. Or that people hate you. Or that you’ll always fail. Or that YOU MUST NOT DO THIS THING OTHERWISE DOOM. Or why don’t you get out of bed you lazy slug now now now.
They’re the part of you that wants to know why you can’t just get on with it like every other human being on the planet.
And they’re the part of you that stops you getting on with it. Like every other human being on the planet. Monsters. We’ve all got them.
Monsters were discovered by a crazy genius named Havi Brooks. She’s been studying and teaching the art of talking to monsters for years, and thousands of people have found that it worked for them.
Why would I want to talk to my monsters?
Because when you talk to them, they reveal their true selves. Monsters are the opposite of what they seem. Deep down, all monsters are friendly. They scare because they care. Even the ones that have you sobbing on the kitchen floor. Or lying in bed at four in the afternoon hungry, thirsty and bursting for a wee and unable to summon up the will to move.
Your monsters love you. They worry about you all the time. They exist to protect you. They just think that the best way to do that is by terrifying you into total stuckness. And once you know that, you can show them different ways of helping you that actually, well,help. They can become your allies. Check out some of my own reformed monsters here.
How do I talk to monsters?
Quite simply, in your imagination. You imagine what your monster would say, and then imagine what you’d say back. Or you can write it down. It can feel silly at first, but when you get into it, it’s like dreaming with your eyes open. You don’t know what your monster is going to say next.
For a better idea of what I mean, you can read some of my talks with my own monsters here.
What if they’re mean?
It’s completely understandable to feel scared when you think of talking to your monsters. And I’m not going to lie: they can lay the scary on pretty thick. Some of mine like to open a conversation by just standing there and screaming. ‘Hi, monster!’ ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!’ ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘GRRRRRRAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!’ And the more articulate ones can be worse.
It helps to remember that monsters are the opposite of what they seem. The bigger, louder, and meaner a monster appears, the more terrified it is, and the more it loves you. And the more tearjerkingly beautiful the revelations will be when you find out what it’s really there for.
There are also things you can do to make yourself feel safer. I like to make sure that my inner child has a safe room to hide in while the scary stuff is going down. And when it gets really scary, I bring in a negotiator. I imagine a character who’ll talk to the monster for me, just like I do for my clients.
And there’s a way of communicating that makes it easier to get past the scare tactics and find out what your monster’s really feeling and needing. It’s called NVC (Nonviolent Communication.) NVC is THE BOMB. You can find a book on it here, and a website about it here. Or if you book a session with me, you can just watch and learn from how I talk to your monsters.
How can a negotiator help?
They can be calm when you’re scared, because they’re not personally involved. It’s not their monster.
They act as a buffer between you and the monster. Instead of telling you directly, ‘You suck!’ your monster can just complain to your negotiator.
They can stand up for you as wholeheartedly as you’d stand up for another person – so you can bypass any worries about sounding arrogant or selfish.
They make you feel safer just by being there.
They can come up with ideas and approaches that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to you. (Even the negotiators in your head can do this, because they’re not subject to your preconceptions about you and what you’re capable of.)
If I can do this in my head, why pay a professional monster-whisperer?
Short version: it’s like, ten times more powerful. Especially when you’re new to all this and not sure where to start. Or you’re really stuck, or really scared, or convinced you’re an awful person. Or you need big, fast changes in your life.
Though you might find out in your monster-whispering session that ‘you need big, fast changes now now now’ is a monster talking. In which case, you’ll probably come away with a new sense of acceptance and love for who you already are. (Which tends to lead to massive changes anyway!)
I’ve just been chatting to Sarah, who had her first session with me last week, and she described that very thing:
I’m just so much NICER to myself. AND firmer. This past week I have really integrated (as much as you can in a week) the quality of acceptance. It’s like a ripple effect on my whole self. My whole life.
I am actually all inspired to take care of my body and BE IN MY BODY and not just FORCE it to do stuff, which is an old, deep pattern. There is other stuff too, but I feel I will be sitting here all day telling you. I wanted to email you last week, but the realizations were hitting me so fast I couldn’t write them down. I was just being in the moment and going with the reality of each day.