“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo DaVinci. 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, and then watch what happens…effortlessly.