Is your mind messy?
I like to binge watch Netflix Shows, like every person I know who has a TV. I like magicians, which is all about a group of people who get invited to a secret magic school that teaches them how to use magic, there is a character on the show that spends a lot of time meditating, and due to his talents can hear thoughts. He is constantly getting on his roommates case about his 'messy mind' and 'can you please clean up your thoughts'?
It makes me laugh every time because so many of us have 'messy minds'. If you had a transcriber writing out all your thoughts throughout the day, first of all you'd have a book, secondly, you'd never want anyone else to read them. #amiright?
I had a 1:1 meeting last week and I'm trying to help this person put together a plan for their own development. We only have about 30 minutes. So I start out listening, like I always do. The struggle is finding time and value, but also this, and also this, and I can't concentrate, and then it's this, and possibly this, and then there's this problem. And in just 30 minutes, I feel tired. Wow, I most certainly didn't read this persons thoughts but I can tell you this is a classic messy mind. So then what's the big deal really, shouldn't a person be allowed to think? Or work through things in your mind?
Well let's just start with baby steps here. First off, your mind if left to it's own devices will take you for a ride every day if you let it. Any of you who are parents should relate that you most certainly wouldn't let a 2 year old just determine all their meals, when they should sleep or if they can go outside on their own or not. So consider that your mind needs structure and exercise, or it will turn into a messy 2 year old that will eat candy for dinner.
Here are 4 tips I have if after reading this you are now realizing you have a messy mind:
1). Accept it. The first thing your mind might go to is, oh man, I do have a messy mind, what do I do about that? I already don't have time for all the other stuff I do, and now I'm going to have to do something different with my mind that I already can't get to stop, because I can't stop thinking, I have lists, I have obligations, I have stuff to do man. Whew. Ok, got that out? Just accept. It's ok, we all have a messy mind at times. Already passed step one, now onto step two.
2) If your mind is use to constantly spinning, do not ask it to just be quiet. It will be the equivalent of pulling that sucker out of your two year olds mouth and putting peas on the plate instead. Won't work. Your mind is already use to motion and moving, first step is to create a focussed activity. Something that requires physical movement, and a single focus for your mind. This will start that training session. Walking meditations are great, if that's too hard, count when you do it, so you focus on one thing. Any physical activity that can exert some energy and help your mind connect back to your body is great, Yoga is wonderful for this.
3) Right away in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Release your thoughts. Just know they will come in, but imagine some thought containing bucket you can mentally put your thoughts into and connect yourself back to your physical body. One great way is focussing on breathe, another way would be focussing on your heart beating. Either one creates a steady rhythm you can concentrate on. This will also help you feel refreshed throughout the day.
4) Connect back with your body. If you find yourself especially messy, and the above three haven't worked think about any part of your body. Whatever comes to mind. Close your eyes, and imagine that organ, cell, foot, whatever it is, in your minds eye. Now just pay attention to it. Does it move while you watch? Does it move in a pattern? Just notice. And sit there as long as you'd like. This pulls you back into your physical here and now, and generally dissolves any loops you have going.
Still struggling? I'd love to help you strengthen your mind muscle. If you feel drawn to, I'd love to work with you 1:1. I conduct sessions over the phone 1:1 and in person in the Sioux Falls area.