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You probably already know that your mind is busy.  Some of you might even admit it is pure chaos up there. (Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?)  But this is not new news to you.  No, the news headline should read:

BUSY MIND CREATES MORE STRESS THEN WHAT REALLY EXISTS

or

CLEAR MIND RELIEVES STRESS AND BRINGS ABUNDANT PEACE

But you likely won't see those in today's news.

Your desire for a clear and calm mind might be hampered by not knowing the steps that will guide you there.  Is it time for you to clean house upstairs but you're unsure where to begin?  Read on for the rest of the real story.

The mind is so cluttered with thousands of thoughts a day; it's hard to know where to start.  An obstacle is a strong attachment to your thinking.  Imagine entering a hoarder's home.  Nothing seems of any value to you, but the hoarder can't imagine giving anything up.  Similarly, you can't imagine life without your thinking mind, if even for a few minutes.  Living in a still mind feels like fantasy.  You have not needed it to survive, and yet deep down you crave peace.   So you know it's your external world that needs a little adjustment; it's your inner world that requires the cleaning services.

Stepping inward in the meditation process can feel like walking into in the chaos of the hoarder's den.  If internal change is your calling, then it makes sense that you have to come to terms with the wild, untamed mind?  Even harder yet, is the ability to sit still and be a witness to the chaos in your mind. (That doesn't sound like fun. Check, please!)

But the practice of moving inward (meditation) is about being comfortable in discomfort.  Reflect for a moment: what is your current relationship with discomfort?  Is that pesky fly making you crazy?  Does just the thought of a cold shower make your cranky?  Well, that's nothing compared to what the thinking mind can make you feel.  The process of moving inward invites discomfort, so only the strong-willed have the most potential to clear out the cluttered mind.  Are you strong enough?  Let's just say yes, to keep the flow going.

So you commit to the practice of meditation and eventually, you accept the chaos.  (Eventually = many months of consistent practice.  I'm sorta skipping ahead!)  This acceptance is a big deal in the inward journey because it means you start to experience thinking without becoming attached to the thoughts.  Object-focused meditations are perfect for cultivating this because each time the mind wanders, you become aware of thinking AND gain the strength to return to your object.  If you want to declutter the internal den of the mind, you'll have to endeavor on this voyage.  Returning to the object begins the reorganization.  You discard useless thoughts and file away ones that have a purpose.  

You have to return to object a lot, (it can be slightly annoying) but each time you do, you have a possibility "to clean house."  Consistent practice of this mental exercise wakes you up to see that life is more than a bundle of thoughts.  Getting lighter inside means you see the value of the moment with less thinking and more embodiment of presence.  Eventually, you don't need thinking to bolster the experiences of living. (Eventually = many months of consistent practice. I'm sorta skipping ahead again!)  Letting go of thinking and resting in a state of being is what creates a state of happiness, contentment, and peace.   Is that something you desire?  Are you willing to work for it?

So what kind of commitment are you willing to make to get closer to owning the inner peace you seek?  Why not make a promise to yourself that you won't ignore your inner world?  Be willing to spend time with your inner world so you can build a long-term, positive relationship with it and it will be apart of your daily decision making.  There simply is no better teacher than what already resides inside of you.

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