In the last post, I shared with you how to clear physical clutter with 8 questions. In this post we will cover how to clear mental clutter from your mind.
This picture shows a very cluttered room. It can also illustrate our minds, but instead of furniture and stuff, think of these items as thoughts that cram into our brains. The thoughts include our to-do lists, worries, doubts, fears, work tasks, family commitments, preoccupation with appearance, age, abilities – you get the picture. It’s stated that we have upwards of 60,000 thoughts a day and we’re bombarded with 5,000 advertising messages a day. That makes for one cluttered mind. So how do you get your mind organized? You clear some of that clutter out. How? Through meditation or simply catching your breath.
You’ve heard the expression, “I haven’t had time to catch my breath!” It’s an accurate statement, because when we do stop to catch our breath and focus on our breathing, we start to clear out some of the mind clutter that is going on.
Our world moves at such a fast pace that most people are unconscious. Every day starts with the sound of the alarm clock and it’s off to the races – to work, school, taking care of family, shopping, making meals, getting ready for bed, sleeping then getting up and doing life’s routine over and over again.
When we don’t clear clutter from our minds we create stress. Positive, loving, peaceful thoughts can get squeezed out of the space and can be overtaken by negative thoughts of insecurity, worry, and doubt. We may have a lack of tolerance or patience. We may find ourselves snapping at loved ones and co-workers.
When these cluttered thoughts become too overwhelming, consider these verses: God is not the God of disorder but of peace. I Corinthians 14:33 Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. Isaiah 26:3 Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10. (The meaning of be still will surprise you.)
By being still and taking time to breathe or meditate, this will clear the clutter from the mind and allow thoughts of peace and non-judgment to take their place. But just like clutter seems to come back, cluttered thoughts will come back without forming a discipline of meditation and silence.
Try to start your day with ten minutes of silence. Read a devotional guide entry and sit with the message for a few minutes, sit quietly and listen to the sound of your breath, purchase a meditation CD and do a formal practice, write in a journal the thoughts that you have. It doesn’t matter the form that you choose. What’s important is that you carve out some quiet time every day to clear the clutter from your mind to live your life in the present moment.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness will be hard in the beginning. But everything that is hard becomes easy over time when you practice. The reward will be more clarity and more joy in your life as a result.
Here are some resources for you:
A Devotional: God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement
Guided Meditations: Be Still, Let it Go, Trust in CD or MP3 download form
Contemplative Writing: What it Is – How to Do It