“The single clenched fist lifted and ready, or the open hand held out and waiting.
Choose: For we meet by one or the other.”
There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about simplifying our lives. I love when things are simple. I recently saw “The Social Network,” and what struck me was the portrayal of lives filled to the brim with complexity.
It got me thinking about clutter – the internal kind. The worries, should’s, buried emotions, and repetitive stories that populate our minds and keep us caught in unhealthy patterns. Clutter is defined as “a disorderly heap” or “confused noise.” I don’t know about you, but I am aware of some clutter I could stand to lose.
A Decluttered Mind
The goal of reducing clutter is to eliminate the non-essentials and keep only what is needed. If you are cleaning out your closet, this means deciding which pile each thing belongs in. But when it comes to the contents of your mind, the choice is where you place your attention. What do you want to feed with your most precious resource – your attention?
Just imagine, for a moment, an uncluttered mind. Feel your way into it. It is still and pristine like a mountain lake on a windless day. Even if a ripple appears, the tranquility remains, undisturbed. Your actions are clean and efficient. In the spaciousness, you notice creative impulses, novel ideas, and boundless peace. You feel light, calm, and alive.
Inquiry for Thoughts and Feelings
Are you ready to declutter your mind? Experts suggest asking a series of questions to decide what to keep and what to let go of. Take each thought pattern, each emotion, any internal experience that holds you back and pose these questions:
- Do I need this? Is it essential or necessary?
- Does it serve me? Is it helpful or useful?
- Am I attached to it? Can I let it go?
The Process of Letting Go
Let’s be clear about what “let it go” means. It’s not exactly like throwing away those shoes you haven’t worn for five years – or is it?
Letting go might mean choosing to move your attention away from a non-essential thought or feeling every time it arises. Or, the process of asking these questions might automatically dispel a long-treasured, old, boring story.
I spent years holding resentments against my parents. One day, I realized that the one who was hurt most by them was me. It was an amazing revelation, and in that moment, the resentments were gone. For good. Almost miraculously, my relationship with my parents began to improve.
And sometimes the letting go is more of a process that happens over time.
Start by asking yourself the three questions, and see what you discover. Maybe you will be ready to let go of a mindset that doesn’t serve you. Or simply asking the questions may help the patterns loosen their grip.
As I was writing this post, I detected a subtle urge to cling to some non-essential thoughts and feelings I noticed. Was I ready to let them go? Did they comfort me in some way? I met the tendency to hold on with the sweetest acceptance, and everything melted once again.
Decluttering is not an order, or even a goal. With great wisdom and love, simply notice, inquire, receive, then watch what happens…effortlessly.
What is cluttering up your mind? Is it serving you? Is it time to let go? I’d love to hear…
Still wanting more? Click to learn about one-on-one sessions with me for personalized, insightful help.