Few things feel as annoying as just thinking about… cleaning the garage. The very thought hurts. And yet, once I begin the process the actual act is not so bad (almost enjoyable) and it’s hugely rewarding to toss out junk and have fresh new space. You know what I mean: just looking at a clean garage is refreshing, renewing even.
Well, our minds are exactly the same. My man Marcus Aurelius says this in Meditations: “You can discard most of the junk that clutters your mind—things that exist only there—and clear out space for yourself.”
YOU Control Your Own Mind
Marcus issues a reminder that YOU are in control of your mind—thoughts and feelings; fears and anticipations; thoughts that annoy or shame or frustrate. Many good thoughts for sure, but many are also “junk that clutters.”
I know you feel it. The bombardment of “should do’s” is literally overwhelming. And then you are stuck on thoughts of what others say or think about you when the best answer most of the time is “who cares what other people think?” Sure, constructive observations by others can be helpful, and to those it is good to pay heed. But naysayers and “advice givers” will certainly drive you mad.
Permission to Be You
I’ve recently completed the recording of seven new podcasts with my friend Terry Hershey. The title of our podcast is “Permission to Be You.” It’s a podcast that will help you forget about seeking permission from others. Why do you need someone to validate you and tell you that you’re okay when the only true evaluator of your life is you?
Don’t Think About It — “Experience It!”
Instead of thinking so much about what others want you to do, perhaps you are better off “just experiencing life.” Like right now Terry is in northern Italy on a wine tasting tour with friends in the Piedmont area, dancing with Borolo and Barbaresca wines. Do you think he is thinking much about the clutter that normally haunts his brilliant little noodle? No way! He’s simply savoring the present. The gorgeous landscapes, his friends, and oh yeah, amazing wines!
The truth is, you don’t have to be in Italy to experience life. You don’t have to run away from it all to get rid of it all. Once again, it is a matter of choice. You can choose to allow discomforting thoughts to run rampant in your brilliant mind or you can practice Marcus’ advice and “choose to discard” all the “junk that clutters.”
It took almost a year of meditation before I began to feel the long-lasting impacts from the discipline. But now I am learning to simply “notice” the clutter in my mind and let it pass on through (like a cloud in the sky) until I once again return to the never-ending “present.”
That is, after all, the objective of being human: to just “be.” Taste and experience the now. Drink it in like a fine wine. You will enjoy yourself life SO much more.
Well, What Now?
Now is the time I habitually offer 3-5 suggestions on how you might achieve this. But for this post, it would only add more junk to clutter your mind, therefore defeating the purpose.
Discard the Junk that Clutters Your Mind
Fully Enjoy Your Life Now
Photo courtesy of Jodi Jacobson at istockphoto