Have you heard of Marie Kondo? She's a woman who began organizing dorm rooms when she was a 19 year old college student in Tokyo. Word spread quickly of her talents which led to a book deals, tv shows, and now a Netflix series. Her passion is helping people to declutter the things they no longer need and keeping only things that spark joy.
Watching her Netflix episodes feels like a lesson in minimalism and spirituality. She connects to the soul of the home before she begins. She empathizes with sentimental struggles. She has a calming demeanor as if she was made to do this work. As she helps a client consider if something should be donated, she helps them express gratitude for the use of the item and wishes it well as it goes into the donation pile.
Clients express a sense of freedom and peace in their newly organized spaces.
I think the inner peace we seek can be discovered in quieting our minds and our environments. Mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion are all modes of quieting our mind and decluttering our brains. But, just as decluttering our home brings up sentimental thoughts and a desire to hang onto things, sometimes we hang onto old patterns of thinking. It might be time to let some old thoughts fade away to make new space for creativity and peace.
Decluttering Your Thinking
1. Assess the mess.
On a blank piece of paper, jot down every thought that comes up for the next few minutes. It will likely look like this: meeting tomorrow, get dog food on way home, trash night, soccer uniform cleaned, no idea for dinner, bills due, shouldn't have said that thing I said at breakfast, need gas in car, tired, make doctor appointment, call friend, emails, did you respond to that text, didn't exercise today, check on parents, that thing you did five years ago, upcoming announcement at work, should have given kids more time today, school forms are due, don't forget dog food
2. Sorting through the clutter.
From that brain download, begin to make lists and prioritize what needs your attention. Organize the clutter rather than letting it run amuck and overwhelm you.
3. Consider if helpful or harmful.
As we evaluate the clutter in our brains, consider if a thought is helpful or harmful. Thinking about that thing from five years ago probably isn't helpful right now. Likely you are replaying old thinking that doesn't need to be replayed. Begin to notice which thoughts serve you well and which thoughts zap your energy. Keep thoughts that spark joy or move you forward.
4. Let it go.
Thoughts of self-pity, harsh criticism, and ruminating on the past are cluttering your brain and keeping you stuck in old patterns. Noticing these thoughts and releasing them frees up your mind to have space for creativity, clarity, and a vision of the future.
5. Enjoy the calm.
Notice the calm you have created. You removed clutter. You created open space into which optimism, hope, and love can grow. Now tap into your creativity and imagine the possibilities ahead.
My church is having a huge rummage sale right now that funds mission projects. If you live in the middle of the United States and want to donate or shop, you can learn more about ithere.
My family filled three trucks yesterday with items to donate. My sentimental heart finds it hard to part with items, but my soul loves the open space we have created. It invites calm into our home. Less stuff feels like freedom. It feels lighter.
I want my mind to feel lighter too. More free to create new ideas. More free to release the past and move forward. More free to love myself and others fully.
Let's all lighten the burden in our brain by decluttering our thinking so that we can imagine the possibilities ahead!
Sending you love,