By Jennifer Griffiths | October 30, 2010
Did you ever hear of the old African way to catch a monkey?
First you dig a hole in the ground and put a banana in it.
Then you cover the hole leaving only a very narrow gap.
The monkey squeezes his hand into the hole to grab the banana
but as soon as he makes a fist his hand no longer fits through
The only way to free his hand is to let go of the banana.
But….. he can’t!
His brain is wired: food = survival = don’t let go of the
So when his captors come, he screams his head off and desperately
tries to get his hand out with the banana still in it.
Does this sound familiar?
Unlike monkeys, we humans can rewire our brains for freedom but
there’s a complication. The downside of a big brain.
Thinking too much instead of acting.
One example of this is called “false hope”.
This is when we dream about future possibilites that make us feel
better about now instead of acting right now.
So in this instance (can’t let go of banana) do you:
a. freak out
b. curl up in a ball.
c. blame another monkey friend
d. say, maybe this is my destiny. I guess God/the universe has
big plans for me as a captured monkey! (false hope)
e. or do you get present enough to hear the voice in your heart
that says “Open your hand. Let go now!”
Richard Moss in his “Mandala of Being” explains that a,b,c and d
above are the result of not being in the moment. He says we need to
check in and ask ourselves:
“If I am not present right now where am I?”
Just the labeling helps.
We’re either focused on ourselves (depressive me or grandious me)
or on the other (it’s all your fault)
or we’re focused on the past (nostalgia or regret)
or the future (anxiety or false hope)
He says emotions caused by thinking (anxiety, depression, regret,
false hope) rather than feeling are a direct measure of our
distance away from ourselves and being alive to the present
moment. (Hearing intuition/ acting now.)
So what about visualising a future that currrently seems
Holding a clear vision for the future is different to false hope.
This is like the monkey seeing himself free in the jungle with
his loved ones and then as a result of this clear vision being
able to act on the inner guidance that says let go of the banana
But how can I get to where I want to go?
It’s not your job to ask how.
It is your job to hold a clear vision of what you really want.
(In this case, to be free in the jungle.)
This is the first step.
The next step is to listen to the clear voice within and then act
on this in the immediate moment.
Take immediate and massive action.
In this case, let go of the banana.
What has this to do with your hands?
Sometimes we can’t hear our own inner voice for a number of
Lack of self esteem is the main cause.
Another cause is called desire pollution:
when we tune into what everyone else wants and then can’t tell
the difference between our own wants and someone else’s. This is
an extreme hand marker indicating poor boundaries.
We’ll be discussing this and other markers next week on the next call with Richard Unger, the genius
behind modern hand analysis. The topic is “Can’t say no.”
To see if you have desire pollution visit my hand analysis blog:
Use the search button to find posts on “desire pollution” or find whatever you’re looking for.
Holding a clear vision for the future while staying real:
How to do this is explained really well by Tom Kenyon in