"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." The goal of reducing clutter is to eliminate the non-essentials and keep only what is needed. If you are cleaning out your closet, this means deciding which pile each thing belongs in. But when it comes to the contents of your mind, the choice is where you place your attention. What do you want to feed with your most precious resource - your attention? We must however be aware that the beginning of any change and any new direction starts within. More accurately it starts with a thought. No matter what that new journey will be, no matter how far it will take us, that first step will quietly, occur within the realms of our own mind.
An uncluttered mind is still and pristine like a mountain lake on a windless day. Even if a ripple appears, the tranquility remains, undisturbed. Your actions are clean and efficient. In the spaciousness, you notice creative impulses, novel ideas, and boundless peace. You feel light, calm, and alive.
To a great extend, much of this can be classified as mental noise. We are forced to deal with it, blocking it out when we can, doing our best to filter out small pieces that are actually useful to us. We as humans were simply not designed to deal with this much information all at once. This noise keeps us at a disadvantage. It prevents us from focusing on our goals, focusing on what truly matters. It keeps us disconnected from the big picture and from each other.
Without the much needed mental clarity, no matter how many courses we may take, we are not prepared to recognize that which truly makes the difference in our lives, what brings us the lasting happiness that we seek.
Inquiry for Thoughts and Feelings
Are you ready to de-clutter your mind? Experts suggest asking a series of questions to decide what to keep and what to let go of. Take each thought pattern, each emotion, and any internal experience that holds you back and pose these questions:
Do I need this? Is it essential or necessary?
Does it serve me? Is it helpful or useful?
Am I attached to it? Can I let it go?
The Process of Letting Go
Let's be clear about what "letting go" means. It's not exactly like throwing away those clothes you haven't worn for five years - or is it?
Letting go might mean choosing to move your attention away from a non-essential thought or feeling every time it arises. Or, the process of asking these questions might automatically dispel a long-treasured, old, boring story.
And sometimes the letting go is more of a process that happens over time.
Start by asking yourself the three questions, and see what you discover. Maybe you will be ready to let go of a mindset that doesn't serve you. Or simply asking the questions may help the patterns loosen their grip.
De-cluttering is not an order, or even a goal. With great wisdom and love, simply notice, inquire, receive, then watch what happens...effortlessly.
Simple Breathing Meditation Technique
Here is a step by step guide to a simple breathing meditation technique that can be helpful for de-cluttering your minds.
Find a quiet dark area where you will not be disturbed for a duration of your session. Assume a comfortable position sitting down, without leaning back.
With your eyes closed, take a couple of deep breaths to help you relax. Now, breath normally. Gently bring your attention to the air moving in and out of your nose. Feel the cool air entering your nostrils, rising up through the nose passages on inhale. Don't hold your breath. Feel the warmer air moving through and out of your nose at exhale. You can keep your eyes focused at the point between your eyebrows if you like.
Continue with your attention on the breath. Never force your breathing but allow it to naturally flow in and out of your nose. Thoughts will come up in your mind. One by one acknowledge them and gently return your mind to the breath. Watch your breath, never forcing it, simply observing. The thoughts will come and go, but the breath will continue, calmly and peacefully. It may be helpful to mentally repeat "in" while breathing in and "out" when breathing out.
You may find that after a while, your breath will become shallower. This is normal and you should just go along with it. Don't force your breath. The key is simply to observe the air, become the air itself if you will. Let go of everything else, allow yourself to deeply merge with it. If your time is limited, you may want to set a gentle alarm in advance letting you know when the time is up. Slowly get out of the state of meditation but try to retain the calmness that you are experiencing. Bring this feeling of calmness with you when you're done.
This simple practice will train your mind to focus on just one thing - in this case, your breathing. The effectiveness of this method comes from having a permanent point of attention. You may practice it as long as you'd like. It is recommend to start for just 5 to 10 minutes per day and growing your practice from there. Eventually, this meditation practice may be performed sitting at your office during a break, on the bus, whenever you have some down time or need to focus yourself.
The benefits of de-cluttering your mind are felt almost immediately. You will become more focused and prone to less distraction in general. All of your ideas will evolve more naturally. Your decisions will become more intuitive. Any task that you approach will be more manageable and easier to achieve. You will be ready to handle the new journeys or to improve your current ones. The answers will naturally come to you, just listen. This practice may also make you feel more peaceful and attuned to everything and everyone around you. You will realize that we all have the same desire for love, peace and appreciation that connects us all.
To be in a position to create a brand new program we have to change the programming of the past. Clear the slate if you like. So let's get into how we can de-clutter our minds. It takes work, sacrifice and persistence.