A Room With One Window
how mindful meditative action can quickly clean up your life
Have you ever found yourself so overwhelmed by the chaotic anxieties of life, that you felt that the sky above had collapsed upon you, and now the floor below you was replaced with molten lava. No, well the few overthinking souls that have, will understand the importance of slowing your racing mind down. The way to not only slow time down, but make more time where there isn’t any, starts simply with stopping. Yes, stopping and reevaluating what is the major priority at the moment, and what can be pushed to the back burner. Back when I was in college, I wanted to function as a beehive whilst being one person; it didn’t end up so well. But yet it did, because it taught me that when one is trying to extinguish a fire, they must prioritize what is key, and then fan out the flames from there.
See anxiety tell us ‘everything is on fire, this is an impossible task,’ but the meditative mind says: if we slow down our thinking, and concentrate our efforts in one area at a time, we can come out of the fire with all of our limbs, and maybe even part of the building in tact. In a world that begs us to divide our attention, we must mimic the prodigies if we want to seamlessly reorganize our lives. And a neat life doesn’t look the same to everyone, but at least on the inside we know where we left our keys, and don’t have to fly out of the bed at night to see if we remembered to lock the door.
Prodigies concentrate the majority of their attention in one focus group, and that is how they achieve what most people call impossible. Natural talent is just the lighter striking the hours worth of work collecting the fire wood, and pouring the gasoline that’ll set the world ablaze. Yet all others see is the lighter striking. So in running into the burning building of our lives, we must understand how to wisely spend our time, and how to make more time (by wasting less of it).
Get out a scrap of paper, (or anything that you can physically write on) jot down the three things in the burning building that are causing the most panic. Just as the fire fighter wants to save your mother, your sibling, and your dog; or perhaps your cds, apple pie recipe, and your collector Sailor Moon cards. Just whatever comes to mind first, note that. Now expand on why it is that each of these areas is so important; what is agitating you the most, why are these anxieties being evoked. Take your time (remember, no rush), evaluate them all and choose which one would be the main concern you would wish to fix if a genie granted you one wish.
Now since we have to be our own genie we shall only face these issues one at a time, one day at a time. Think your way out of the issue, by first writing what you desire most out of this issue being resolved. Now be practical, and write three tools or methods you will use to achieve this remedy. Whether it be cleaning up your finances, getting rid of social anxieties caused by social media, or fixing up your home life so you can go to bed peacefully at night; there is a hack for anything. If you can’t find one, then invent one.
Meditation is a great way to decompress from the cares of life, and it helps you get refocused faster so you that you can have more time to enjoy life. That’s why we work so hard isn’t it; so we can enjoy life, right. And did I mention, it’s so much more affordable than counseling or retail therapy. Not discounting professional help; it’s just that sometimes we already have the best solution residing within us. We just need to learn how to fashion the key to unlock that internal door within us. Behind which is inner harmony and peace. No I am not telling you to say “ohm” for three hours with your legs crossed. There are a plethora of ways to practice it. I find for most beginners HeadSpace is a brilliant app, that contains plucky animations to talk even the toughest of us into laughter.
Now the first time I started using a mini planner, I actually didn’t lose it (firstly), and secondly I actually checked off everything on my list everyday. I limited myself to only writing the three most important things I had to tackle that day. And if I knew I could only achieve one thing, then I only wrote one thing. It’s such a calming feeling to physically swipe things off of my list, and see what I’ve accomplished with the time I was allotted. If you put too much on your list (more than you know you have time for), you will start to feel discouraged. So pack light, and you will be just fine.
Moving into financial matters; don’t you just HATE when you have an unexpected expense and your card declines because a major bill came out all in one scoop. No, still just me, okay. Well I have found that breaking up a big bill into a $20-$39 payment a week, is more realistic to pay than $170 at a time. Whatever the amount may be, I know that I can find $20 to make a payment by the end of the week, whereas anything over a hundred has me questioning am I going to have to sell my teeth in order to stay above water. Why chew a whole steak at one time, when you can enjoy it a bite at a time.
Now certainly I am not the only person who enjoys reinventing their look, however overtime I’ve learned that I don’t (and shouldn’t) have to throw out everything just to achieve a look that’s new. Up-cycling is a fashion-forward way to make rags into riches. Re-hem pants to create a new cut. Speaking of cutting, scissors can quickly crop tops into halters, and tanks with a unique flare. Ill fitted jeans become brilliant shorts, and so much more. For what must go, there are a few things you can do other than throw. Salvation Army, Clothing drop-boxes are a must, as well as are Church steps that accept donations. If we learn the art of trickledown recycling, we improve our own nation. If you are in need of pocket change, resale sites such as Etsy and Depop are great ways to make some other buyer’s day.
Rerouting back to earlier’s lost keys; it’s best to clean as far as the eye can see. Visual clutter makes our minds overly busy. Instead take a moment to clean the room your in, and focus for 30 minutes on cleaning everything the eye can see. Clean for only 30 minutes a day, one room at a time. I like to use the Endel app, to play melodies that are non-distractive so that I can clean without getting stuck checking my phone to skip through my playlist. By the end of the end of the timer I feel that I can visibly see a change, and by the end of the week a major impact has been made. It’s great to take a break from working, to clean the space around you. The reward in the end is an environment you want to hurry back to (not run away from).
My last tip my be my favorite. At the end of everyday, I brew a pot of tea and gather a snack. Whilst I sit there and relax, I catch up on reading my favorite books, and note what went right with the day. By allowing myself this small space to enjoy a moment alone (or with family), I am subconsciously inviting a more positive atmosphere into my life. This way I can actually close my eyes restfully at night, instead of having them flung open by the falling sky. No matter what space you find yourself in, there is always an open window there within, gifting you the potential to begin again.