Spring Cleaning for the Mind

Winter is ending and new life is springing up everywhere. It’s time to do some spring cleaning and just like we clean our house from the built up layers of winter, we should also clean ourselves body, mind and soul.

Cultivating a harmonious mind is a lot like cultivating a harmonious home. Just like keeping our floors swept, regular clearing of thought-waste is an essential for those seeking a sound mind.

We occupy our minds in much the same way that we occupy our homes. In fact, your mind is your home, experientially speaking. From there you sit and watch the world play out around you. You take in everything you see and feel and decide how to react all from your little control tower you call your mind.

It has been said that your current state of mind is the sum of your thoughts up to now. We are inundated with thoughts all day every day, so we must come up with ways to let go of thoughts that no longer serve us. All thoughts, especially hostile ones, leave behind little bits of themselves that collect over time in dark corners and need to be lovingly cleared out and let go.

Here is a simple meditation/visualization that can be done quickly or with great detail when it’s time for your mental spring cleaning.

With a soft gaze forward take a few deep breaths, and settle the mind as you would starting any meditation. When you feel settled and present, close your eyes and bring to your visual mind the room that you are sitting in, exactly how it is.

Declutter and clean the room in your mind. Don’t let this become another to-do list, just give yourself a few moments to feel what this clean new space would look like.

Light an imaginary incense or candle and feel the cleansing smoke wash through the air, (some actual smudging beforehand will help too).

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Beginning directly in front of you, take your mind around the room, section by section. In these sections, remove anything doesn’t bring joy and replace it with something that does. A plant, a painting, a window letting in beautiful natural sunlight, or any other element that brings pleasant, fresh chi will do.

Work all the way around the room from where you are sitting until you come back to where you started. The amount of detail is entirely up to you and how much time you are able to put in. In a few minutes you can give it a quick once over, or you can take your time and really work it out.

Spend some time mentally in this place you’ve just created, not thinking about changing the physical room into something else, just enjoying this peaceful place.

Before leaving the room, express gratitude for the time you’ve spent there and any pleasant feelings you’ve experienced. Exit and open the eyes when you feel ready.

Not only will you feel more at home as you continue your day, but you will be building a safe space in your mind that you can access any time. With continued practice, you can ‘build’ even more elaborate rooms that your mind will recognize when summoned later. By utilizing your knowledge of feng shui and applying it with a healthy dose of imagination, you can create mental spaces conducive to a healthy, harmonious, state of mind.