It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air and it’s time for your annual “spring cleaning.” It’s time to go through that junk drawer. You know which one I’m talking about-the drawer that you put everything that you’re not sure if you’re going to use it again, but you don’t want to throw it away-just in case. The one with the old twist ties, that single battery or those miscellaneous keys that surely go to something – you see where I’m going with this. If your junk drawer is like mine, you probably could dump the whole drawer in the garbage and not even miss anything in it. Junk has a way of reproducing itself into brand new junk.

That’s the same thing that happens with your mental junk drawer. You keep “old” stuff that doesn’t serve you well, but you’re not quite ready to let it go-that old anger, guilt, and unforgiveness, those things that have a tendency to rob all the joy from your life. Your mind is a powerful thing. In order for you to live a fulfilled, productive life, you have to clear your mind of toxic, hazardous thoughts. One of the first things you have to do is recognize what your thoughts are. What are you thinking about right now?

Your mind is racing with thoughts even as you sleep. You know, the got to do’s, forgot to do’s, want to do’s, should’ve done, would’ve done, wish you had done- that clutter of self-talk that can rob you of a peaceful nights’ sleep. By the time you awake in the morning, your mind is already thinking of “things.” What am I going to wear today? What am I going to do with my hair? What am I going to fix for dinner? All of your thoughts, ideas, chores and worries are whirling around in your head. It’s no wonder that you’re tired even before your feet hit the floor! Then, you’re up and running-starting a new day with fresh ”junk” to take up space in that mental junk drawer. Some of what you put in may be healthy, like those light-bulb ideas or the resolution of a puzzle. But often, what we store are those random thoughts of past worries, fears, negativity and disappointments.

If you were to write down what’s in your mental junk drawer, what would it look like? Would it be happiness, joy, love and gratitude? Or is your drawer full of anger, fear, frustrations guilt, and unforgiveness? How much time do you spend thinking about things that happened in the past that you cannot go back and change-but wish you could? Make today, the first day that you start to clear out the clutter in your mind. Start planning on how you are going to get rid of unwanted, negative thinking, that’s holding you back and taking away your joy. If your mind is filled with negativity, your inner thoughts will ultimately translate into your outer character. If you think about some of what’s in your mental junk drawer, you may find:
1. Thoughts that are joy stealers because someone made a derogatory statement about you that hurt your feelings. You know it’s not true, but it’s stuck in a tiny crevice in your mind.
2. Anger over a past mistake that you cannot go back and change
3. Frustration and impatience because your life is not how you envisioned it to be.
4. Disappointment because someone did not live up to your expectations
5. Sadness over a loss that you cannot recapture

Whatever is bouncing around in your head and your heart, if it’s not leading you to become a better you, it’s time to clean out that “mental junk drawer!” I invite you to let go of all that “stuff” for a moment. Close your eyes and envision the person you want to be-that person you are meant to be. See that future version of yourself that may seem impossible now or it might be a more easily attainable short term goal. You have to see where you’re going in order to get there. Every journey has a destination. It would senseless to leave your home, get in your car and start driving without a destination. Once you have cleared out all the negative thoughts from your mind, you can start to imagine your future in all of its glory. Do you ever feel like you were created to be more than what you are? If you look at the stuff in your junk drawer, is it serving the vision of where you’re going or is it keeping you stuck where you are? Start cleaning out all those beliefs and thoughts that keep you from being all you can be.

So, how do clean out piles of “mental junk” that you have been storing for a long time? In order to clear you mind of clutter, you must be willing and devoted to a new way of positive thinking. You must start to manage your mind to welcome fresh air into your life.
1. Sit down and make a list of every single thing that’s taking up space in your mind. That includes personal, business, financial, or physical – anything that’s negative or makes you feel guilty or unhappy.
2. Once you’ve completed your list, ask yourself, “Is there anything on this list that I can’t do anything about?” If so, that’s some of the junk you’re carrying
3. Identify those items that you need to take some positive action to complete and discard. Take action
4. Finally, forgive yourself for those things that you can’t change and move on.

Once you have identified those things that need to be dumped, it’ll be easier for you to identify them when you find yourself thinking about them again. Clean out that “mental junk drawer” and nail it shut to anything that doesn’t serve you well!

Author's Bio: 

Linda empowers women through her gifts as a life coach, facilitator, author and inspirational speaker. Her passion is to influence women in such a way as to motivate them into positive action.

Linda works tirelessly providing her services to various women’s organizations. She facilitates several support groups and provides inspirational speaking for many women’s causes. She provides life skills to the Women’s Prison system and to community based programs offered through local agencies. Linda facilitates workshops, seminars and provides leadership for many Women’s Programs.

Linda is a contributing writer to It’s All About and Self