Forget about the clothes closet. For now at least. No doubt there is beauty in the arrangement of things. There is a wonderful exhale that comes when things have their proper place and there is space. We aren’t reluctant to open a door because we know we will find what we need and crave. We have made that closet a well-cultivated source of warmth, color, and texture. Let’s do the same for our minds and have them become our own best companions and lead us to be great neighbors. By engaging the mind’s delicious gifts and shedding its clumsier, sabotaging qualities, we will radiate and invite such liberating love, joy, and peace, it won’t matter what hangs in the closet.
Are you ready to empower your mind and boost your happiness? Here is what you need:
Below are the steps, which can be done in stages—have fun!
One: Open the doors. Recall times when your mind shined. Identify the gems. These would be the items of clothing you would not toss, even if they rarely get worn, or are torn from over-wear. Plus the yummy accessories. Perhaps it’s your ability to envision, to listen empathetically, to find humor or the right word. Whatever prompts you to pause, unfold it. Explore its genius. Inhale its magnificence and exhale a longer thank you. Continue to ponder and appreciate, including underutilized gems.
Make a list of what you discover.
Two: Grasp what remains for what they are—foes of the mind. You know them when you try them on. You don’t feel good–you want to contract instead of expand. They dampen. Muddle. Dreams and greatness scare these mind-foes because change freaks them out. As servants of small you, they want everything to stay the same, and that means you. So, they disrupt, hinder, and exhaust. They steal your joy.
You can also recognize mind-foes, by their words—you aren’t—good enough, capable, ready, or can’t take the chance…. the list goes on. Notice the negative. These are the grungy sweats in your closet that bring you down, but you wear because they are comfortable, familiar. You know they need to go.
Beware of the “positive” too; mind-foes disguise themselves as irresistible Diors. They alter themselves to stay appealing; you tire with Dior, they shift to Prada (remember, the devil wears Prada). They coax you to watch yet another episode with “You deserve it,” preventing you from doing the thing that genuinely honors your well-being. They beckon superpowers into over-drive, orchestrating confusion and inertia, “Wait—you need to learn more before asking for the promotion.” These foes want you to wear them–-everyday—so they pretend to know what is best, pretend to care. Having witnessed the challenging landscapes you have inhabited and your pain, they strive to protect, but thwart instead.
Three: Know the yuck that gets you stuck. Ponder postponed dreams, unfulfilled aspirations, unspoken conversations, unclaimed opportunities, unfelt emotions. Journal what you observe. As you write, contemplate the limiting beliefs and patterns that have stood in your way, holding your potential and happiness prisoner. List them.
Four: Psychologically distance yourself from your mind-foes. Disentangling them from true you takes away their power.
- Name them befittingly
- Give them appropriate voices
- Visualize what they look like
The more you are aware and choose to separate (which interacting with them as detached entities does), the more your decluttering skills develop. You will have ample practice; unlike the old sweat pants, you can’t pass off your mind-foes or toss them in the trash. They become noisier with attempts at banishment—–what we resist persists.
Five: Managing mind-foes is simple once you are aware they exist. One of these normally suffice in keeping a mind-foe from taking over.
- Acknowledge it with a nod and carry on
- Use humor as you witness their attempts
- Identify and release the real feeling that triggered the mind-foe’s entrance (hurt vs. angry at the offense; scared vs. incapable around the challenge)
- Bypass it—check-in and interact with wise, true you
- Vent—a good rant might be necessary, but keep it short—vents are mind-foe filled, no need to invite them to stay
- Journal—about what is going on and take a look from 30,000 feet up
- Recover—if the mind-foe succeeds in staying, accept yourself as a gorgeous messy human, notice who you are in conversation with, choose to separate, and return to true self
Six: Celebrate. Your mind-foes would like you to think there is nothing to celebrate since according to them we don’t do enough, are never finished. Yes, we are in the process of becoming, but that’s glorious. Here are some reasons to celebrate decluttering:
- Mind’s superpowers are free to do their thing
- Improved connection between mind, emotions, body, and spirit
- Increased clarity about needs and dreams
- Restored calm
- Greater energy and focus
- Generation of positive neural pathways
When we declutter debris and deception, peace and joy show up. We stop postponing our rightful dance with them. We positively create an alive life now, no matter what that now looks like, and develop a practice that exponentially cultivates happiness. Our future selves will be forever grateful. If you still itch to clean your closet go ahead. With a tidy mind, you will easily discern what suits you.
If you would like to edit what isn’t working and design and live a life that is happily yours, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website www.agoodlife.coach or instagram @agoodlife.coach.