If you’ve ever undertaken a move to a new home, you know how overwhelming it can be — where to start, what to pack, what to toss, the transition itself. In many ways, our thought patterns are the same way, especially when it comes to clinging to old thoughts like possessions, and trying to do too much at once.
Whenever I notice myself feeling that mind-created agitation that results from trying to think about too much at a time, I envision myself literally dropping all of my thoughts as if I’m dropping an overflowing armful of packages. I immediately feel the burden I’ve created begin to fall away. It’s like trying to accomplish too many things at a time, when in reality, nothing gets done and you’re frustrated. Stop multi-thinking.
Like the packer who doesn’t want to part with anything, or the mover who would risk dropping a an armful of boxes rather than make a second trip, we can become quite gluttonous with our thoughts. Unconsciously, we pile on one more ‘thought packages’ as if we could solve a multitude of problems by thinking about them all at once. Often, we fear letting go of thought. “If I don’t continuously think about my problem, how will I solve it?” The truth is, most of the time thought is problematic in and of itself, the solution is to become aware of the over-thinking, and let it go — drop the extra package. We are, in fact, thought hoarders.
Here are some tips for how to get ready for the ‘big move’ to freedom from problematic thought, and stop being a thought hoarder:
- Sort through the contents of your mind to weed out what you don’t want or need, and donate those thought items to your nearest meditation center.
- Start slowly so you don’t get caught up in a cycle of thought about thought
- Handle a thought only once. Curb the tendency to put it aside ‘for now’, if it doesn’t serve you it doesn’t serve you. I promise, if there comes a time when you need to solve that problem, you will.
- If it helps to go through the actual motions of packing, and getting rid of thoughts, do it. Write down the thoughts that tend to creep into your head time and time again, and literally pack them away or destroy them. Have an eco-friendly thought-b-cue. Mmmm roasted rationalization, my favorite.
- Be choosy about what you allow in your head next time.
- Downsize how much energy you allow yourself to thought
Most importantly, if something is broken or not working properly, throw it out immediately. Never keep things that have absolutely no potential use — that goes for the over abundant mind activity that disrupts your sleep, happiness and peace. Feel yourself get lighter each time you unburden yourself of those ‘belongings’ that are just creating clutter in your head. Make space.
“Pay attention to inhaling and exhaling without adding any theory or thought.” – Michael Stone
– Your Charmed Yogi
- Thoughts are like chipmunks in the woods
- Don’t think with your brain full
- Drain the dirty bathwater with meditation
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