A few years ago I went minimalist.
I spent a week off from work going through every room and drawer eliminating anything we weren’t using (much to my husband’s dismay... ).
I packed my car to the gills with garbage bags full of stuff, squeezed awkward lamps and baskets in every nook and cranny, and tucked my baby into his now cramped car seat to drive back and forth 1000 times to our local donation spot.
It felt so good.
Exhilarating, in fact.
There was something so relieving about shedding the excess.
I got a little rush each time I found another item to toss in the donation pile.
With each item discarded I felt a little lighter and freer.
After my final trip to donate I returned home to my decluttered house expecting to find inner peace waiting for me on my clear countertops, as promised by all of the minimalist authors I’d been reading.
I was disappointed to find that old, familiar, restless anxiety instead.
So I scoured every shelf and closet, looking for more to get rid of… there must be more!
Taking action on my physical space wasn’t enough.
I had to take action on my mental space, as well.
Just like Marie Kondo recommends holding each object you own in your hands and asking yourself if it “sparks joy”, I had to hold each thought I owned in my hands and ask myself if it sparks joy, or rather, if it was serving me.
I have degrees from UC Berkeley and Stanford, but the most important lesson I’ve learned in my life is that we choose our thoughts-- something I never learned in school.
Just like we choose the clothes in our closets, the dishes in our cabinets, and the towels in our bathrooms-- we choose the thoughts in our heads.
And if the clothes in our closets no longer fit or are not serving their purpose of keeping us warm and feeling good, why keep them? Why not trade them in, or toss them and get new ones?
The same holds true for our thoughts.
They can be selectively chosen, on purpose, and dismissed all the same.
How to declutter your Mind
We can declutter our minds just like we can declutter our homes.
And just like keeping our homes decluttered, keeping our minds clean and clear is an intentional daily practice as well.
It is a practice that elevates every single aspect of our lives.
And who doesn't want that?
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.