Tag: Mental Clutter

I get it. You’re busy.

Too busy for friends and family let alone meditation and yoga. Too busy for a proper meal let alone mindfulness training. Too busy for a shower let alone 8 hours of sleep.

You probably feel like you don’t have enough time for much nowadays.

You don’t even know who’s running your schedule, you or your clients. You or your colleagues. You or your spouse. You or your kids. You or [insert everyone else ever].

Meanwhile, you’re frazzled, scatterbrained, overwhelmed…but still determined to get it all done.

So tell me this, out of all the hours in a day, how many of them are spent nurturing your mind? How many are spent catering to the health of your mind? How many are spent appreciating the miracle that is your mind?

Don’t have time for that, you say?

You don’t have time to not have time for that.

I’m here to tell you that no amount of money, success, accolades or fame will do for you what a clear, strong mind can do.

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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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Even after listing all the benefits, the few who still cringe at the thought of meditation don’t realize the gift it is. They’re too caught up in thinking they can’t do it. Believing the myths and getting discouraged.

“Is it sitting around thinking about nothing? My mind never shuts up! Besides, I have too much to do to set aside 15 minutes to do nothing. That’s time wasted.”

But it isn’t time wasted. It’s so powerfully recharging and rejuvenating that once you experience the gift of meditation, you’ll happily make the time to do it because it will prove to be the best way to start the day.

Reconnecting with yourself in meditation, checking in and getting centered is how we stay cool, calm and collected. This work leads to clarity, insight and peace.

It leads to connected relationships. The time spent in meditation will equal how joyful and present you become with those you encounter at home, work and everywhere.

Once you decide that meditation is worth it, it will be. And you’ll see the gift of meditation manifest in your life immediately.

If you’re still wrestling with the idea, unconvinced of its benefits, let me offer you a crash course in meditation.

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You know those thoughts that you have about 100 times a day that you’re not good enough, you’ll never make it, you won’t ever get what you want, blah blah blah?

All that is clutter.

We are all mentally cluttered. We all have these types of thoughts flutter into our minds everyday, messing up the place.

From the moment we learn our first word and take our first piece of advice, we let in the clutter. We store ideas, cling to memories, form habits and collect beliefs.

Not all of it is negative, but anything that distracts you from the you behind the name, beneath the skin, before the accolades, is clutter.

All those beliefs you have of I can’t do it, I’m not enough, and I’m not lovable, is clutter.

Clutter clouds, corrodes and covers up. That’s what it does.

The good news is, we don’t have to stay buried underneath that junk. We don’t have to lay prey to its lies, limitation or lack. With clutter out of the way, we can live up to our highest potential and our purest truth.

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We’re on Step 4 and we’ve done some very introspective work so far. (Before you go on, be sure you’ve read and practiced Step 3 so you don’t miss out on the juicy look inside yourself.)

We’ve drilled in deep. Now, in this step, we’re ready to make some penetrating, inside-out changes.

Step 4: Space

Space is the distance between two things. In this case, it refers to the space between sense and thought, thought and story, story and behavior. Increasing the space from thought to behavior naturally delays our reactivity as if to make time to think of not reacting at all.

We use the space to lower our voices, to come off the ledge, to subdue our tempers. We use the space to tell different stories, to choose a different thought.

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Ready to dive into step 3 of the The Declutter Code? (Have you read and practiced step 2? If not, do that first. There’s a delicate order to the Code, especially if this is the first time you’re practicing it.)

At this point in the Code, we’ve slowed and stilled mind and body, and we’ve started incorporating meditation into our mornings. Now, we can go even deeper within.

Step 3: Silence

Silence is the absence of sound. It is the hushing of chatter and commotion, of song and speech. It’s the muting of noise. It’s the quieting of the mind.

Silence allows us to turn our focus inward. When we settle our surroundings, our bodies, then minds, our inner ears, aren’t as distracted. We can listen from within and hear our inner dialogue. Our thoughts don’t have to compete with much else to be heard.

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Now, we dive into step 2 of the The Declutter Code. At this point in the Code, we’ve slowed down in mind and body—the necessary step to prepare ourselves for self-inquiry and self-discovery. We’ve even scheduled in time to pause from the hustle and reflect on the here and now.

(If you haven’t read and practiced step 1, do that now. It’s an important step!)

Step 2: Still

To still is to calm through non-action. Like a lake calms after a ripple, stilling allows everything to settle and return home—that place of peace.

What is it for us to be still? It means we stop all activity—physically and mentally—and just sit with what is. Sit still with what is happening now. Sit still as the minutes tick by. Sit still with thoughts as they come and go. Sit still with the body as it twitches and itches. Sit still with the painful or pleasurable sensations. And do nothing. Make no effort to respond or react. Just let what is happening, happen. Let what is being, be.

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