“Minimalism isn’t about removing the things you love. It’s about removing the things that distract you from the things you love.”
– Joshua Becker
It was the weekend, and there was nothing very exciting happening that evening. Shivani was bored and could not think of anything to busy herself. Suddenly she got an idea to rearrange her room. Though doing it all alone was tricky, yet she started. From the time she shifted to this apartment which was almost a decade not much was done in the room. But from the last few days, she was realizing that the room looked overstuffed, and finding anything was becoming a chore. Though she tried her best in keeping things in place, yet the room looked messy. Probably it required deep cleaning which Shivani was avoiding for a long. Cleaning it was appearing scary to her and from where a next challenge. But today she was determined to make it. It was her space, and no one can clear the mess that was around. Surely it was affecting her peace of mind.
Finally, she opened the almirah and felt jittery when a mountain of clothes started tumbling down on her head. Though it was nothing new as for quite a long time it was happening. She had been shutting her eyes like a small child. It was annoying and upsetting her yet ignoring it probably due to lack of motivation and time. Shutting the doors hard was her escape. But today like a spectator she watched clothes plunging down, wondering how much it had. It was an eye-opener and a realization “what a binge shopper she was”. That heap contained many things and clothes that were rarely worn or used. All of these were mingled with things/clothes that were important or favorite. On whole, it was messy and in fact making her feel heavy not in her almirah but also in her heart and mind.
For the last few months managing the mismanagement was a chore and creating chaos in her routine consuming a lot of energy and time in finding the missing. Literally, it was like a treasure hunt. On that very evening after clearing the mess she took a pledge to follow the principle of minimal and regular cleaning of her belongings. It was an aghast experience for her. All unused and scrap that was taken out made her feel lighter and happy.
It is not about an almirah symbolically if we think the same goes with our mind as well. The mind is also like storage that stores all our thoughts, worries, insecurities, anxieties, fears, experiences, memories, desires, doubts, etc. and the list is endless. We keep on accumulating positive and negative thoughts in our minds daily. The storage capacity of it is mostly occupied with the ones that are unproductive or negative. Very little space is kept for good memories, achievements, gratitude, positive thoughts, and learnings. They factually get a miss among all the negative or demotivating thoughts. The icing on the cake is that our overthinking and negative thoughts shadow the brighter side of things. Just like Shivani use to hunt for her favorite pair, we also struggle to find the good thoughts or right perspectives between crowd of thoughts in mind.
In fact, on the humor side, I feel our overthinking is synonymous with binge shopping. The way many of us keep on buying things/clothes and stuff them in the wardrobe and seldom discarding the older ones, the same is with our thoughts. We keep them in our minds and over a period dwell on them. Rarely we “Filter Out” or “Let Go” them. They keep on piling in the corner of the mind that gradually creates a web of negative or sad thoughts. Within no time they start overpowering and distracting our positive side and we may face issues like confusion, lack of confidence, lack of clarity, poor concentration, dissatisfaction, depression, etc.
Cleaning the room and removing the unused or old stuff gave a fresh and tranquil feeling to Shivani, similarly, decluttering our negative or unproductive thoughts can bring in a meditative, contended, and happy feeling to our souls. Instead of brooding or stacking them on the shelves of the mind, it is better to recycle and yield something new out of it. It means to introspect and learn what those negative thoughts/ experiences are trying to tell us. Let us redirect ourselves and discover the hidden pointers and new paths in the pool of unwanted or unproductive thoughts and it will be a sure surprise that was beyond our conscious mind. Unfold those new dimensions that gets lost in the middle of those clustered thoughts.
Try to be the observer of thoughts that are undesirable. Follow the principle of keeping minimal, it is just like doing window shopping and yet shopping wisely. It will not only make our wardrobe look more organized and sorted also will save time and energy. Similarly, we can window shop our thoughts and buying/ selecting the ones that are important or valuable and discarding the rest. Do not let them make a space or overshadow useful or productive thoughts. Expressing Gratitude and making it a part of our day-to-day life also helps to broom out the detrimental or undesirable thoughts thereby enhancing the process of making craftier choices in opting new beliefs. The lesser the space for unproductive thoughts the more serene and beautiful our life will be. Practice, Patience, and Persistence can help to transform those thoughts into learnings and adopting an optimist approach towards life. Practicing meditation and mindfulness also helps in uncluttering and structuring the thoughts thereby fostering peace and harmony within mind and body. With time the patience will come, and we will not be fiddling with those thoughts, and with persistence or diligence, it can be achieved.
So, let us start Reframing and give a new makeover to our old perceptions and beliefs and transfiguring them into the ones that are more expedient and nurturing.
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