Ask Maddisen: How to Clear Your Mind of Clutter

05/24/2010 05:54pm ET | Updated November 17, 2011
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Dear Maddisen,
Lately, I've had a lot going on in my life. I'm pretty good at managing all of it, but I'd like to know if there's a simple and natural way for me to clear my mind of thoughts that feel non-supportive, non-productive, and just like clutter. As part of my spring cleaning, can you recommend an easy process that I can do on my own?
Thanks, JRW

Dear JRW,
Thanks for your question. It's wonderful that you want to include this in your spring cleaning program! I often suggest the practice of Free Form Writing in answer to my readers' and clients' requests for ways to quiet or clear their minds of unwanted clutter. This highly effective technique for unplugging and recharging can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time, and with the simplest of tools -- a writing utensil and several sheets of paper.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or confused by non-productive thoughts and emotions --and you have the strong desire to release them, regain clarity and energy, and even experience more inner peace -- try this:

Free Form Writing
Step 1
Get a pad of paper and pen or pencil, and sit in a place where you will have privacy and no interruptions. Light a candle, and have a box of tissues handy.

Step 2
Close your eyes, take three deep breaths, open your eyes, and begin to write in a stream-of-consciousness manner. This means, do not plan what you will write, just let your pen move on the page and write whatever comes forward.

Do not reread, edit, correct, or plan what you are writing, just let it go. Your writing does not need to make sense, be legible, neat, spaced correctly, etc. It may be all over the page, giant, unreadable, etc. Use as many sheets of paper as needed. Emotions may come up and that's natural. I often speak out loud while I free form write! This is why you want privacy for this exercise!

Do this for at least 30 minutes. If you're on a roll and want to go longer, go for 60 minutes. At any time in the process, you may notice feeling a 'release' or an 'aha moment' of clarity.

Step 3
Once your free form writing session is complete, follow these guidelines:

  1. Do not read what you wrote.
  2. Shred/destroy all of the pages and discard them.
  3. Optional: Imagine yourself being filled and surrounded with loving divine Light in service to your highest good and the highest good of all.

Try free form writing once a day for the next few days.

The 30 Day Challenge
If you are intent on releasing repetitive and non-productive mental patterns, and/or you simply want an ongoing experience of the increased energy and clarity that can result from free form writing, dedicate yourself to a consecutive 30 day program of free form writing.

After that, use free form writing daily or as needed. I practice it on a regular basis, especially to clear non-productive mental clutter or chatter that's disturbing my peace. And if ever I feel a bit of resistance to actually sitting down and doing the free form writing, I remember the benefits (the 'aha' moments of clarity, increased energy, and peace of mind), make the time, gather my pen and paper, and just do it!

In summary JRW, free form writing is an active and immediate method for releasing and clearing, and I hope you find it useful for spring cleaning and for all seasons. If you have the interest, you may also want to look into meditation as another practice for centering, calming, and clearing the mind and for moving into a deeper state of awareness.

Your Coach, Maddisen

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