By Cindy Yantis
Who Am I?
This is one of the big questions I pose every morning as part of my meditation and journaling ritual. Some days the question is the only thing I write down and the only query on which I meditate. It’s a lot to contemplate. Or not.
This week as I asked the question, my pen poised over the page, nothing came. It’s not that my mind was blank, it’s that my mind was racing, as happens most days when I start to meditate or gather my thoughts.
Can you relate? Mind chatter is non-stop. If it’s not about our to-do list, it’s about a conversation we had or want to have. If it’s not about the email we need to answer, it’s about how we’re judging ourselves. About everything. If it’s not about the ache in our back or knee or shoulder, it’s about the movie we watched last night and our commentary on it; or the birds chirping, or the lawn mower, or the cat sitting nearby, or what we’re having for breakfast, or how fat we feel, or how great we feel; or about the article we read on composting, the elections, angels, the stock market, the rise of consciousness, or the fall of gas prices. We’re thinking about everything except nothing, which is truly the goal when trying to clear the mind.
I realized when my thoughts were speeding like the Indy 500 that my mind is like a junk
drawer, where everything miscellaneous is stashed to possibly be categorized or dealt with later. Or someone's talking to me or calling so I need to store what's on my mind in the moment. Or I keep it in there just in case I might need it at some point, no matter how obscure the thought is, or seemingly useless the information is.
It got me thinking, clean out the junk drawer, clean out the mind!
I took a gander into the junk drawer and was kinda surprised (and not) at all that’s in there, besides the obvious stuff like pens, paper and tape. I also found: glue, flower food, loose change, a 2013 calendar, recipes, gum (no idea how old), keys (no idea what for), batteries (probably dead), picture hangers, lens cleaner, magnets, cat toy, old coupons, menus (to places I’ll never go), loose nails, loose paperclips, 3 lighters, a door stopper, etc.
What? All stuffed in there haphazardly with the idea that it’s day will come; each item holding a glimmer of hope that it will be taken out and used for what it was meant to be. Not a chance of that happening while mired in the recesses of a junk drawer!
The same can be said for our minds. There’s so much junk in there that the clarity gets buried alive, the brilliant ideas jumbled amidst the quagmire of waste. What junk are you stuffing in your mind that is not serving you and your highest good?
Clean out the junk drawer, clean out the mind. Oh my, what to do with all of that open space? Let's apply the analogy!
- Empty everything out at once – It’s best to start with a clean canvas or an “empty drawer.” Meditation, the practice of clearing the mind, is a great way to start. If this has proven a challenge for you, start with just a few minutes. When the chatter comes in focus on your breath. In, out. In, out. John Viscount in “Mind What Matters: A Pep Talk for Humanity” says the moments in a still mind are deeply healing and peaceful. He says, “In the silence between your thoughts, you will tap into the larger universal mind. This is where some of your greatest work on Earth will be accomplished and you won’t even know you’re doing it.”
- Examine the contents – Pay attention to each voice participating in the mind chatter. Only then can you determine which are dedicated to raising your consciousness and which are ego-driven to keep you stagnant or small or stuck. Michael Singer in the book “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” takes it a step further by saying “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind-you are the one who hears it…If you watch it objectively, you will come to see that much of what the voice says is meaningless…a waste of time and energy.”
- Give it a wipe down – Clean out the dust and cobwebs once it’s empty. Lose a bad habit; clean out your email, in other words delete almost everything and unsubscribe from almost all of them; let go of an unhealthy relationship that clouds your mind; or exercise to release negative and low vibrational energies.
- Let the space breathe – Go off the grid for a while. Disconnect your phone, put down your pen, no email, no television and no social media. Spend time with just yourself. Don’t busy your mind with more incoming junk. Stay in the space between your thoughts. Listen to your breath, feel the energy in your body.
- Be very selective about what you put in there – Now that you’re space is open and clear, you have complete choice about what you allow into your mind space. Only invite stimuli that will nurture your clarity. Monitor what your read, see and speak. Once you're mindful of this it becomes a way of life.
- Do away with the Junk Mind – You don’t need it anymore. At this point in organizing a junk drawer, this is where you would compartmentalize the items as you put them back in the drawer, in nice little neat compartments or dividers. But, with a clear mind you actually de-compartmentalize, doing away with the need for separation of thoughts and conflicting voices. With a clear mind, complete alignment with your oneness and universal purpose is not only possible, it’s unstoppable.
- Get into daily cleaning - It's an ongoing process. When you see the thoughts gathering to dump into the Junk Mind stop, breathe and assess. Go back to #1. Meditate and get clear!
And, the bonus? You get to know your Self like never before, stripped bare and clean, open to all possibilities. Choices made from that place? Happiness. Joy. Genius. Love. Peace.
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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com