Sitting down at my computer, I tried to focus on the article. Two hours passed and the contents were rolling around in my head without direction or course. It was difficult to concentrate. My mind was running a marathon. Playing up mind videos over and over again. Bring up a few incidents from the past and some fresh incidents that happened not so long ago. Then, the media fiasco playing up in a country beyond the seven seas, that just had such a political upheaval, that it is still been compared to a dream come true or a nightmare by various fragments of their society, catches my imagination. So I log on to You Tube and listen to a few political pundits. Some ‘weigh in ‘on the subject without much weight. I definitely had a cluttered mind. So I look out the window and think, focus, concentrate, analyze. Finally, there’s some silver streak shinning out the darkness of unfocused thinking. So I write.
James Allen’s book on “As a man thinks” (continuation being “so is he”), sheds some light on the state of our mind, which plays a pivotal role in our everyday life. When compounded, it also spells out the quality of a life lived or un-lived – not dead. For the past two hours, I un-lived and that two hours will never come back – just like unthinking words that hurt our dear ones, closest to us.
How do we unclutter our mind?
One – be comfortable with who you are. It took Sarah a long time to understand that she does not need to stand in her brother’s shadow. An over achiever by nature, her brother excelled in studies and sailed to the top of any batch, that he was in academically. Sarah looked up to her brother – no issue there. By and by, she lost her own identity as she tried to please her outstanding brother by living up to his ideals than what she is called to do. Fortunately, she wised up, looked life in the face and is successful in her own business, having raised two high achieving children herself. Had she got submerged in the identity of her over achieving brother, she may still be a stunted mushroom in his shadow, without much to her credit.
What has this got to do with an uncluttered mind? Frankly, a great deal.
Our minds are uniquely created. Quite contrary to the popular belief, no two persons are of the same mind. They, however, can hold the same ideal or the same thinking pattern and agree on certain things which have a mutual benefit. Being comfortable with who you are, gives you a unique position of strength, to see the world with your own unique mind. This is a huge win, when you need to negotiate the world through life.
Two – tackle the past. “I resolved not to let twelve years of abuse destroy my mind and my life. I resolved not to let injustice flourish on this earth and instead to stand up and do something about it. I decided to make something out of my brokenness”, says Christine Caine, Founder of the A21 Campaign – author of Undaunted. She resolved. She made a choice. She exercised her mind to take control of her past and move beyond the issues. Corrie ten Boom survived the inhuman conditions of the Auschwitz death camp, as she refused to given into the atrocities of the nazi regime. Deeply rooted in her faith, as a young Austrian woman, Corrie survived her time in the death camp and went on to share her experience with a global audience, without a shred of bitterness towards her tormentors. One, a modern day woman and another, living through hell, made a choice, to tackle their past and move beyond them.
So, what’s this got to do with an uncluttered mind?
All of us do have some baggage from the past. Hurts, painful experiences, lost opportunities and results from bad choices. When we make that conscious choice to tackle it, deal with it, and move past it, our mind does get decluttered. It’s like emptying a room at a time, in our minds.
Three – think about what you are thinking about. What do you think about all day, besides the business or the profession you are engaged in? Most of us spend a good load of the day at our desks at work or out of desk at some form of work. In between and during non-working hours, what occupies the mind? What signals do you entertain in your mind? “These signals come from two sources “, says Dr Caroline Leaf, a Communication Pathologist, who has worked in Cognitive Neuroscience since 1985. “ One, the external environment that comes in through the five senses, electro magnetic and quantum signals and Two, the thoughts deep in the nonconscious metacognitive part of your mind ( your memories). You have to develop discipline thought lives and part of that is increasing your awareness of what you are allowing into your mind”, she writes. (Switch on your Brain)
What is it that you want to do in life? Be a great parent, a fantastic husband/wife, a sought after professional, a talented artist, athlete or even run your own bakery! Unless and until we get our thought life into a disciplined stream and organize our mind, none of it is going to materialize – successfully, in a sustained manner. Flash in the pan, is never a success denominator. Often, disciplining our minds is the most difficult thing to do – but the rewards are great and is a good starting point to cultivate that uncluttered/decluttered mind.
Four – practically, organize. Your day, your bedroom, the kitchen, the desk at work and for ladies, even the wardrobe. Books, documents, pens, pencils, sticky pads and last but not the least – ladies, the hand bag! I’ve been in homes, where I wanted to get out as swiftly as possible and in some others, where I thought I just could linger on and on. One, was a loaded mess of books, bags, keys, artifacts, photographs and various other nicknacks, whereas the other, was a serene organized bliss with what the family needed to live quietly.