Clearing Out the Clutter

Most writers are goal setters. We have to be to get to The End. One vital goal should be added to every list: Clear away the clutter. I don’t mean the  type of clutter sitting haphazardly in the top of your closet created where you toss your sweaters, T-shirts, and random belts. Or the books, paperwork, and notes you pile under your bed…oops, that’s me I’m talking about. The clutter I refer to is housed in the same small space for all of us: the six or so incredible inches between our ears.

When our garbage cans are full, we empty them. When our puppies need to learn proper manners, we train them. So why not do the same with our minds? It’s a bit more difficult because we can’t physically view the content of our minds as we do the overflowing rubbish and the doggy poop deposited beneath the kitchen table.

When I pay attention to my thoughts, I’m sometimes appalled by the trivial content. Why was I thinking about how I longed to yell at the bagger at the neighborhood grocery store after she placed my crisp tortilla chips at the bottom of the shopping bag followed by the egg carton and a large glass bottle of juice, thereby crushing the chips to smithereens? Such negative thinking makes me irritated, which wastes valuable time. I should have focused on how grateful I am to have such a valuable little market close to my home and vowed to patiently assist the misbegotten bagger, or taken over the bagging responsibilities myself. That would have replaced the unattractive scowl dimming my face with the beauty that only contentment can bring.

Excess clutter leaves little space for the “how wonderfuls!” to exist. When trivial thoughts clutter the mind, it’s important to take note and switch gears to replace mind-clutter with thoughts that bring happiness. I imagine myself, my loved ones, my home, my sociopathic Australian Shepherd, all as I’d like them to be, sketching in the little details and providing plenty of adjectives to describe my feelings.

Clutter prevents progress. Imagine trying to walk across a room stacked with piles of chairs, cardboard boxes, and spare tires. You’ll be in a sweat and sporting a few bruises before you make it through. So it is with the messy mind. But it doesn’t have to be when we take control.

We can’t keep two opposing thoughts in the mind at once. One set drives the other out. For instance, if your mind is completely occupied with an unselfish desire to help another, you can’t harbor worry at the same time. It takes a bit of practice to unclutter the mind, but think of all the space you’ll have to arrange and fill with excellent thoughts.

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VICKY
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I ALWAYS ENJOY READING YOUR BLOG TREMENDOUSLY. WRITE PLEASE MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH.