free the pen, a blog for writers

January 5, 2012

EMPTY YOURSELF

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:41 pm

Any mental health professional will tell you stories about their clients who went on a rampage cleaning closets and organizing drawers only to report that they felt lighter and more relaxed afterwards. I’ve heard my clients claim that they were able to think better after such activities. I too have sorted clothes, and organized drawers to feel lighter and more at peace.  It also adds a sense of beauty and control to the unseen places in our homes when we clean and organize closets and drawers. Why is that?

There is no doubt that our psychological well-being is connected to everything in our environment. So cleaning and organizing is a good thing to do at the beginning of a new year when everyone is making new resolutions and want to be rid of the old ways. John Paul Sartre speaks to the aesthetic value of space and in many ways that is what we are creating when we clean and organize. Doesn’t everyone love it when we open a drawer or door and our things appear more beautifully laid out?

When we simplify our environment we enhance the energy in which we live. That new-found clean energy has a remarkable ability to help us breathe a little deeper, experience lightness, and put a smile on our faces.

Most of us know this, right? Oprah must have done a trillion shows on organizing closets and how good you feel afterwards so I know I’m not announcing anything new. But I would like to add to the concept of cleaning out the old. Have you thought of cleaning out your old thoughts? Have you thought of emptying yourself of those thoughts, feelings, ideas, old dreams, or whatever else lurks in your mind that may be clogging your mental energy?

Our minds have a great deal of power in them. We visualize in order to manifest, we pray to a higher God to get prayers answered, and yes we might even plan a long or short term goal for months or years before we take action. Our minds are full of things we need and some we don’t.

Pick up your pen, free it from censorship, and write the thoughts you want to build on and those you no longer need and get your mind cleaned and organized. For instance, I know someone who has been trying to quit smoking. But he hasn’t been able to succeed because his mind is too cluttered about not smoking. He says: “I’m going to stop smoking once 2012 is here.” But that isn’t all he says. He also says: “How am I going to do that when I am addicted?” and “What will I do in my free time?” and “This is going to be hard.” His other thoughts clog up his mind so that his goal is obscured and overcome. So write them all down writing the thoughts you want in one column and the thoughts you don’t want in another. Then allow your mind to stay on the thoughts you want.Writing in columns is a good way to organize the thoughts in your mind. How many of us pay attention to what lives in our minds? Writing is a wonderful way to do that.

Minds have a mind of their own, right? So when someone says don’t think of balloons what do you think of? Then the mind needs to be redirected. Redirecting the mind is not the same as stopping your mind because the only way to stop your mind is to die. Be patient with yourself and become aware. Know that when the mind goes to a thought that clogs your direction you can redirect it. Pretend it is a child in a toy store reaching out for everything except you have its hand so it isn’t going to go off somewhere without you and you can redirect it to go down the aisle you want to travel.

Let your pen help you with this. Remember: the pen is a mighty tool. Take at least one minute each day to read your list of thoughts you want your mind to stay on. Tape it to your bathroom mirror and read it while you are brushing your teeth. This isn’t rocket science and your choice to pay attention is one of the thoughts you can put on your list.

I would wish you good luck but luck has nothing to do with it. Let’s live with deliberate attention.

A happy and successful 2012 to each of you.

Until next time,

keep the pen moving and free,

Jan

 

 

 

 

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