Getting Rid of the Cluttered Mind

Has this ever happened to you?

I was out with a friend the other night and as we got up from our table at the coffee shop, I frantically was feeling my pockets for my keys.  I couldn’t find them and I said, “Where are my keys?!!!”  

My friend just looked at me.  Then she smiled.  “I drove you.”

I just stared at her, as my panic faded.  Oh yeah. How did I forget that?   

My friend told me what I already knew.  There’s so much going on and my mind can only deal with so much.  It’s cluttered.  You’ve been there, right?  I’m not the only one.

The TO DO, TO GO and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT lists are endless and our finite minds can only juggle so much.  So on the brink of summer vacation, I’m ready for things to slow down.  I mentioned rest in my last post as part of change that is happening in our family at the moment.  We are at a crossroads but with the gift of a rest as we wait on the Lord.  

So although I will be working for the summer, the rest of the household are not.  I’ve been thinking about how to rest so that we come out of this time refreshed and renewed.  On the path to health. 

I’ve come up with a few ideas.  These may be of help to you as you think about your vacation time this summer.  Or hopefully they will prompt you to come up with your own ideas of what kind of rest works for you.  These are mine:

  1. Perspective.  Although I’ll be working part-time throughout the summer, my job is pretty low key which I love.  I work in a place I love with books and get paid to do it.  Can it get much better?  For me, that’s a resounding no.  So I’m going to remind myself of that, every day I go to work when the rest of them are sleeping in or hanging out at home.  I am also going to remind myself that in a way, my job is a rest from the work of being a stay-at-home mom for the last number of years.  It’s so nice to let my husband take care of all the requests, chores and dinner prep, a few days a week.  He is more than happy to do so.  In fact, if I’d ever gotten a real job when the boys were young, he would have been the stay-at-home parent and been quite happy doing it.  Now he gets a chance to do it as he rests at home, out of the work place.  
  2. Say yes.  I’m going to say yes more than no.  When it’s appropriate and within my realm of doing so.  For many years now, I’ve said no more than yes.  Mostly to myself.  It’s been a mode of self-preservation and protection.  It means I don’t have to deal.  It lets me hide.  But I miss out on a lot.  Does it mean I’m going to go crazy and say yes to everything?  No.  But it might mean I go out with my family more instead of letting just the boys go.  It might mean I buy that London Fog once in a while.  It might mean leaving the comfy couch and my book for something else.  Or on the flip side, I give myself permission to stay there on said comfy couch some days because I’m tired.  Without the guilt.
  3. “Live in the moment.”  My husband and I have been talking about this lately.  He brought it up one day after a chat with his coach.  I thought it was baloney until he actually practiced it with real results.  It got me thinking.  I realized how much I live in my head.  I think about what has to get done next and where I have to be.  I daydream what I’d love to be doing instead of where I am at the present moment.   I’m hoping living in the present will help me say yes more.  I”m wondering if it will  make me more in tune to God’s voice.  Instead of worrying about the past or future, I’ll be focused on the here and now, open to a nudge or a quiet whisper.  I haven’t been in that spot for too long.
  4. Rest. Read. Rite.  Okay so it should be write but I couldn’t resist.  The three R’s for me this summer are these.  These things bring me life.  They make me excited.  So I will continue to do them but perhaps in more healthy ways.

Resting can be more than sleeping or lounging in a chair.  For some of us, rest embodies some ZZZ’s and a cozy place to sit.  A blanket.  For others, rest comes in different forms.  Rest is anything that brings your soul to life.  That makes it sing.  That restores your body and mind.  Doing the things we love can bring peace which is essential to rest.  It is an inside out rejuvenation of our mind and bodies.  For me, if I can find even a portion of what I’ve listed during this period of rest, then I’m heading in the right direction towards restoration.  

And remembering that my friend drove me to the  coffee shop.  

What about you?  What brings you rest?