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Clear Your Mental Desk

To start writing we prefer a fresh page, to start cooking we prefer a clean vessel, to start working we prefer a clean desk. Same way at the start of this New Year let us clear our minds and thus make this New Year a wholesome experience

Thoughts! Thoughts!! Thoughts!!! A ceaseless flurry of thoughts constantly congests a human mind. Your mind entertains thousands of thoughts per day. Experts believe the number ranges anywhere between 20,000 to 80,000 per day.

At this very moment while you are reading, is your mind quiet or is it simultaneously engaged in other thoughts? Most people lack the unity of mind, body and speech. You may be saying one thing, thinking quite another and your body may be doing something entirely different without awareness. For instance, while driving are you only driving? Or are you planning, calculating, pondering, etc. along with driving? And this disharmony does not allow you to enjoy or gain satisfaction from anything that you do.

If you think back to a time when you were genuinely wowed by something, you will note that your mind, senses and body were all functioning in unison then. The first time you saw the Taj Mahal or that moment when the roller coaster turned you 360 degrees around at a very high speed. Why are these moments etched in your memory as moments of joy and worth repeating? It is simply due to your mental chatter coming to a standstill and you enjoying the present moment.

There is in fact only one thing that stops you from experiencing every act of your daily life as a wonderful event. And that is the mind – travelling at great speeds in different directions and keeping you from enjoying life in the now.

Once the choice is consciously made to live in the present then these tips will help you in mastering your mind:

1. Eliminate Comparisons: The mind thrives on comparisons. The moment you cognise anything outside, a mental comparison starts inside. ‘That is a better car than mine’ or ‘Her hairdo is not as good as mine’. This not only sets off a chain reaction of thoughts within you but also triggers a range of emotions varying from dejection and sulk to pride and ego. And before you realise you are entangled in a dense bush of completely unwanted thoughts – many negative, many wasteful. Sometimes the comparison is with your own past experience. You could be enjoying the perfect breeze in the balcony of your own apartment, but your mind will take you to some holiday spot you visited years back. That would lead to a spectrum of thoughts related to that holiday. As a result, you are disconnected from the present. For a quieter mind, you need to get comfortable living by your personal values and inner yardsticks of evaluation rather than unnecessary external comparisons. Healthy comparisons that motivate you need to be encouraged, but those that make you worry and sap away your energy and enthusiasm, need to be eliminated.

2. Be Grateful: Dissatisfaction or discontentment is the fuel for thoughts. Every notion of ‘I have less’ or ‘I deserve more’ harboured in your mind stimulates a plethora of thoughts. Instead if you be thankful for this beautiful gift of life, your mind will not have reason to complain, whine or compare. Be thankful for the daily gifts… that of everyday sunshine, being able to wake up healthy, relishing your cup of tea, having loving family members in life… they are more than plenty! Experiencing peace is a matter of being grateful for what you already have. The mind cannot interfere when you are happy. Having cleared the mind of the traffic of unwanted thoughts, you will find a deeper purpose of your existence. Make it your resolution and let this New Year be a journey towards realising it.

3. Realise Your Completeness: Your mind is that naysayer which is capable of finding faults in even the most perfect of things. It is the world’s worst critic. And its biggest victim is you yourself. It has convinced you that you are incomplete and you need a lot more to be happy. Realise the fact that you are a complete entity in yourself. Your joy, peace are all packaged within you. It is only the false sense of deficiency that makes you crave for more, in reality you need nothing. If you feel perfect and complete, nothing the mind says will matter to you and your peace will remain intact.

4. Trust the Universe: The sun has been rising and setting on its own ever, the rivers have flown to ultimately reach the sea, each bird has found its own shelter for the night. Trust the universe to be a great leveller. Believe that everything that happens around you happens for a reason and it is in its own path of evolution. This will help you let go of the urge to control everything around you. The feeling of acceptance of things as they are will slow down your mental processes a great deal and you will experience peace and harmony with what is.

5. Be Mindful: Be a vigilant monitor of your thoughts. Let not your thoughts take you for a ride. Be aware of what goes on in your mind. To know if a particular set of thoughts are worth entertaining, just put them to a conversational test. ‘How will you help me? Why have you come? Is there a purpose you serve?’ Then nurture only those which are useful and weed out the wasteful ones. This process will provide you with more clarity about yourself and become a shield to negative thoughts. It will help you avoid mood swings and will train you to maintain equanimity even in extreme situations.

Having cleared the mind of the traffic of unwanted thoughts, you will find a deeper purpose of your existence. Make it your resolution and let this New Year be a journey towards realising it.

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