As we moved recently, I have been witness to the incredible amount of junk and clutter we can accumulate without noticing. These unused items take place, are magnets for dust, and make our living space smaller and cumbered. It’s fascinating to see how much more comfortable I feel when I enter a yoga studio where there are only a few objects, or how free and clear my mind seems to be after having cleaned up my desk. Of course, it’s easy to see how a clear space can help create a clear mind, but how can we keep a clear mind?
Many things can make my mind feel foggy, negative, in a rut, dusty or disorganized. I feel like it’s my responsibility to take care of my mind, just like I would take care of clearing up my desk, bedroom or living space. However, it’s not always simple to know how to do so. I wanted to share my few bits on that today. Here are a few principles that I apply to make sure I don’t feel like there’s too much going on between my two ears too often.
- Your mind is like Hermione’s purse: The amount of information that our brains can contain and remember is incredible! I like to imagine that my brain is like the famous magical purse: you can pretty much put everything and anything in it, and it will stay there. The great thing about this is that you can choose what you want to put inside of your mind-purse most of the time. For example, you can decide to watch a heartbreaking documentary on Indian orphans or the documentary on the amazingly inspiring doctor who works with these kids. You can decide to look at pictures of tortured animals, or focus on the wonderful initiatives that exist all over the world to help animals. I strongly believe that no one needs to consume negative images, texts or films in order to be informed. It’s not denying any situation, it’s simply making sure that you take in positive information that will nourish your creativity and motivation. This is particularly important when you consider point #2.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat: According to many studies, 90% of our thoughts are repetitive. Wow! This is impressive. We think all day, every minute of every day, and yet we are almost devoid of originality when it comes to these thoughts. We repeat, mull over, come back, and look again over and over and over again. The way I understand this combined with point #1 is that if I subject my mind to negative images, for example, these images will come back to me again and again, influencing me even days after I saw the original images. I might as well nourish my mind with positive information.
- Unplug: I love the internet. You can find anything on the internet. But you can also find many of these same things in the real world. Libraries are still there, the sky is still there, people are still there. As a kid, before the internet took over the world, I used to spend entire afternoons curled up in a corner of my local library exploring books in different languages, discovering new possible hobbies and cultures and challenging my librarian to find the next book that I would bring home. Unlike the internet, my library was peaceful and commercial free. I didn’t have to like everything I saw, and I could be alone with my thoughts without sharing them with the world. This time alone gave me the chance to settle down and relax from days spent surrounded by noise and people. It gave my mind a chance to move at its own pace. So, I like to unplug completely regularly to force myself to go out and explore the real world.
These three points don’t seem like much, but they have helped me incredibly to choose what information to consume and what to do with my free time. As a vegan especially, I feel like it’s easy to be overwhelmed with information about animal welfare that is little more than horror stories and gruesome pictures. However, this type of information don’t help me become a better person, they don’t motivate me, they just make me feel unhappy and uncomfortable. Same goes with all the rest of the media. Anyways, I could talk about this for hours, so let me know what you think!