Spring clean your mind
Five powerful prompts to help you to declutter your mind and get some lovely headspace
When was the last time you felt a crystal clear sense of headspace and clarity? Can you even remember what that feels like?
Whether in your business or your life in general, it’s not impossible but it is blinking hard not to get clogged up in the mind department from time to time. Competing with the noise of the world is like trying to not think about a pink elephant when someone says, “don’t think about a pink elephant.” Great habits and stellar self-care may give you the space you need, but if you’re not super-human, you’ll get caught out now and then in the overwhelm of your busy life and all that comes with it.
So I’m going to give you some writing prompts that will help you to take a pause from the noise and declutter your mind. You could even do these exercises with your team. Don’t worry, no-one needs to be good at writing, you’ll just be using writing as a way to do a little digging. Think of it just as a tool. No pressure, no expectations.
First you’ll imagine what it’s like to have a settled and clear mind, I know, imagine! Then you’ll take a look at what’s there, and tackle one of the elephants in your room. Elephants, whether small or large, pink or green, can zap your energy without you even realising it. Lingering issues and old beefs, niggling worries and endless to do lists all take up precious space.
After writing and reflecting for as little as half an hour, you’ll almost certainly be left with a wonderful sense of headspace and clarity so you can focus on the things you want. Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
If you’d like to do this by writing on your own, there are some prompts for you below.
If you’d like to join me and other lovely souls in exploring and clearing out, we’ll be using some of these prompts and more at a Write for your Life - creative group journaling special. Spring clean your life, taking place on Saturday, March 19th. Creative group journaling gives you a safe, encouraging and fun space to write and share - it really deepens the writing and connects you to others, and most importantly, to yourself. What’s not to love? If you'd like me to run a session for you and your team/s, give me a shout - details below.
Going it alone - Instructions
So, if you’re going it alone, engage free-writing rules for all these exercises: Keep the pen moving, don’t correct or edit, and allow the writing to go where it goes. Even if it’s off topic; whatever you write about is calling your attention and is useful for you. If you get stuck, repeat the prompt, or write about being stuck, or whatever else is on your mind. Finally, time yourself - give yourself five minutes for each of these, setting a time allows you to let go into the writing. You can always carry on if you feel compelled but having an end time really helps. Here are the prompts:
1. A clear mind
We’re going to start by imagining what it would be like to have a lovely, clear mind. Take a moment to sit quietly and imagine it. How does it feel, what does it give you, what’s it like? You may need to think back to a time when you felt this way. If you have never felt this way, now’s the time to imagine how lovely it could be. Or maybe it’s not lovely… Let’s see:
Prompt: When my mind is clear…
2. Brain dump
Now you’re going to list everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - that comes to mind. What’s currently taking up space? You can use a mind map for this or a good old fashioned list, or a straight free-write, whatever works for you. If you feel compelled to continue with something that comes up, do that. Then, take a moment to circle the things you actually want to be taking up space. You may not be able to get rid of everything else, but it’s useful to remind yourself what you’d like in your life. Is there anything you’re not currently doing/are occupied with?
Prompt: On my mind is…
3. Where’s the biggest elephant?
Did you write about the biggest elephant in your room, or did you neglect to mention it now you look back at what you wrote? This often happens because we’re so used to trying to shove it in a cupboard. So take the thing that’s taking up the most space, or is the one that comes to mind most quickly and write about what’s happening; who is involved, when does it happen, how, after or before what? Get right into the weeds with this one.
Prompt: The details are this…
4. What do you want to happen?
It often doesn’t occur to us to stop and think about what we’d actually like to happen in difficult situations. Have you ever been asked that question? I thought so. So now, go ahead and write about what you’d like to happen in an ideal world in this area.
Prompt: I’d like…
5. What would Oprah tell you?
Thinking about the last exercise and what you’d like to happen, you’re now going to imagine what a good friend - or a fantasy friend such as Oprah - would tell you. If you go with a fantasy friend, they can be alive, dead, known, unknown, as long as you have a sense of who they are, they’re in. Now, imagine what they’d tell you.
Prompt: Dear ‘your name’...
Now you can take a moment to reflect on how you feel having done these exercises and make a note of any actions you may want to take.
Tackling the biggest elephant is often the way to clear the most space. We can feel overwhelmed by quantity but it’s often the quality of one thing that can open up space and give us the chance to breathe properly once again. Now you can re-focus on the things from your list that you want to be putting your energy into and get back on track.
If you can do these exercises with someone else, it’s always better, trust me. You could even do it with your team. But if you’re going to do it alone, don’t be afraid to read out what you’ve written so you can hear yourself and what you’ve written, you may just be surprised at how you hear something that didn’t occur to you when you wrote it.
Good luck and if you'd like share how you got on, I'm always happy to hear about your experiences.
For more details/to book the upcoming workshop, click here. To find out how I could help you to build-teams, support well-being, generate ideas and more, do give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to: https://cpsdayoff.wixsite.com/writethinking
Photo by: Elmarie van Rooyen on Unsplash