The freedom and lightness I feel through continuously purging my superfluous things is a feeling I aspire to share with as many people as I can. A feeling I hope more and more people are experiencing in their journey towards their best selves (and I am sure that includes you! haha). However, way before I discovered the benefits of the physical de-cluttering process, I stumbled upon an unexpected and equally valuable tool (I could argue that it is more valuable). I learned to de-clutter my internal world.
“Not only is it important to de-clutter physical spaces, it is critical to de-clutter and free up our mental spaces in order to live a life with more meaning and purpose.”
De-cluttering my internal world helped me understand the importance of de-cluttering my external world (perhaps vice versa for others). In the same way that our physical possessions accumulate over time, so do our mental possessions i.e. belief systems and values. Human beings constantly change, so we need to ensure that we are letting go of old, stale ways of thinking. Being attached to old beliefs takes up mental space for new ideas, beliefs and values, and may direct your actions in ways you may not necessarily desire.
In my experience, taking a pen and paper and writing down what you value and believe will help you discover where you might be hanging on to mental baggage. This process will also highlight new ways of thinking that perhaps you are not acting in alignment with yet. Take action on what you believe and value now, and ditch the obsolete.
Without getting too complex, I want to stress the importance of understanding the nature of our thought patterns. Did you know that about 99% of the thoughts you have today, are the same as yesterday? And most of them are negative and self critical. When you observe your thoughts (perhaps in meditation), this fundamental nature of mind reveals itself. This should hopefully come as a relief to you, as nearly 100% of your thoughts are nonsense; they provide very little value, are not representative of reality, and do not require any action. Take them with a grain of salt! Additionally, if you practice focusing on the 1% of thoughts that are legitimately insightful (creative ideas for example), you can increase the frequency of your “insightful” thoughts, and reduce the anxiety those negative thought patterns can create.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” ~ Gandhi
Internal de-cluttering can seem like a fairly intangible practice, so I hope I have written it clearly enough. If you have any more ideas about this idea of internal de-cluttering/mental minimalism, comment below or on the Facebook page here 🙂 Be your best self!