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"Decluttering your mind" by Charisse Tierney (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2016), CC0/PD[/caption] I couldn’t get my headphones to work at the gym the other day. I was not happy about this. My trips to the gym are few and far between, precious gems of “me time.” I can exercise uninterrupted, plug in to a good podcast, and tune my surroundings out. I love taking in new information, especially while exercising. It’s as if the extra oxygen and blood pumping through my body also enlivens my mind. I feel empowered and inspired to try all of the new ideas I’m hearing. Reaching my teens on a deeper level suddenly seems possible. Carving out more time for my marriage suddenly seems doable. And today becomes the day that I will finally get my whole house clean! It’s empowering ... and unsettling. Sometimes the information becomes overwhelming. The ideas might all be good, but, realistically, there is no way I have enough hours in the day to accomplish all of them. Instead of clarity and purpose, confusion and discouragement settle in -- and the lies that I’m not enough start to whisper in my ear. Information, ideas, and ways to make our lives “better” assault us all day long. Facebook feeds, Pinterest boards, email newsletters, books, magazines ... I’m discovering that when it comes to all of these things, there can be too much of a good thing. And so, this Lent I’m trying to quiet my mind, to reduce the intellectual intake, to be more intentional about what I read and look at -- even if it is all good. I think God was helping me out with this Lenten intention that morning I couldn’t get my headphones to work. Instead of seeking more wisdom from external sources, I was forced to focus on the wisdom that seeps up from within. My own thoughts flowed freely. The stressors and challenges of the past week were allowed to surface and process and release. My sense of the humanity around me seemed to heighten. I could hear the personal trainer counting reps with his class, the spinning class in a room nearby, the youth basketball league, and the sound of a runner approaching while running on the track. Instead of being inundated with carefully planned projects, lists, and ideas, I was being enlivened by the unscripted spontaneity of God’s creation. Information is good. Good information is great. It helps me manage my home and family better, inspires me to create, and helps me stay organized. It even strengthens my prayer life. But sometimes I need to just be. To rest in His presence. To trust that I’m not the only one responsible for figuring out how to solve a discipline problem, or how to make Lent meaningful for my family, or how to plan meals for a household of nine. He is there. He knows what I need to know before I ask. He provides, not just our material needs, but also the ideas and inspiration we need to keep our lives running smoothly. And His ideas are created uniquely for me. Rather than googling home organization ideas or filling my head with an endless list of Pinterest-inspired Easter crafts, I’m trying to run to Him first. To seek His wisdom in prayer and find out what He wants me to spend my time on, and how I should do it. At times He leads me to a resource with a solution. And other times, the Holy Spirit seems to just plant an original idea in my head and heart. This Lent I’m not scrolling through Facebook, I’m perusing Pinterest less frequently, and when one of my kids closed all of my computer tabs recently (you know, with all of those articles and ideas I didn’t want to forget about so I could read and try them later), I left them closed. Less in from the world. More in from Him. Trusting that He will remind me of the projects that are important to Him. Slowly, I’m feeling a change. I’m feeling less anxious. I’m learning to trust more in His plan. The constant racing of ideas through my mind is slowing down. I’m becoming more people focused and less preoccupied with my agenda and projects. He knows the plan for my life. I’m free to lay everything at His feet. He’ll remind me of what’s truly important. How can you take in less information and declutter your mind this Lent?
Copyright 2020 Charisse Tierney