We’re getting closer to spring cleaning time, so let’s begin the process with some mental housekeeping.
Living in a noisy world, our minds are jammed with stuff—carryovers from old hurts, harmful assumptions, unexamined convictions, newsfeeds and half-stories, guilt about the past and anxiety about the future—and we need to pack up all the unnecessary junk and toss it out. The beauty of this downsizing is the creation of a now-open mind that is full of space for clear thinking and calm breaths.
Here are two of many approaches for mind-cleansing, put to good use by my harried students, readers, and me. In combination these tactics work powerfully:
1) Be still. Gaze with concentration at nature, whether a cherry blossom or an arching tree—either sitting inside and looking outward, or comfortably leaning back outside for a close-up of tree or blossom. Stay with it, devoting time to stillness. Let aggravation pass when your focus wavers. Go easy on you. The longer you stay your concentration on the branch or the petal, the more easily the clutter disappears. Let it go—it wasn’t important. The regret, the fear, the resentment were heavy burdens, spreading throughout your mind, taking up much-too-much space. Whew. What color, that blossom. What intricacy, that leaf. Promise yourself this still time every day. Confusion is no match for stillness. Count on it. Use stillness.