Detoxing your mind and your life
I press one button, and it as if the last three years of my life never happened. Contacts, photos, recordings, reminders in my calender, call and message history – all gone. Just like that! I feel like at least 10kg of weight has lifted from my shoulders, and maybe, I have gained a few years of life as well.
This phone was defective when I got it, and it never updated. Bought three years ago in Singapore, it could never quite figure out the mysteries of new Apple operating systems and lived an innocent life without any of the modern add-ons via synchronization with iCloud. It was only yesterday that I realized that this bug had been a great gift, because it allowed me to get rid of everything expendable, excluding a few virtual archives. I only manually transferred what I really needed.
Better to miss something you deleted than forever trapped in the digital clutches traps of your past.
During my time in Kamchatka I learned to ruthlessly cut out excess as the only way to reinforce my chosen path.
What is the point of trekking through the Himalayas on a well-trodden route? You travel from guest house to guest house. Maybe you are accompanied by a guide who carries your backpack, but even if you go alone, you will still be moving from hot food and a warm bed to hot food and a warm bed. Modern travel is more likely to just be about the experience, but many places remain where there are, among other things, lessons to be learned. In Kamchatka (or at least the Kamchatka I know) it was a different story. If you wanted hot food and a bed you had to carry them with you – on your back. And if it is a 5-day trek, that means 5 days’ worth of provisions on your shoulders. No shops along the way, no food kiosks. And you will understand the phrase: “Only carry with you what you really need”.
If you drag along too much junk, you can damage your spine, and if you carry too much information, you can damage your mind.
Every Sunday I do a general clean out. By this I mean more than standard tedious housework. I mean the ritualistic and systematic cleansing of my life on all levels: physical, informational, mental, spiritual. This is the only way to move forward on the path to rebirth and to create yourself anew, according to your own design.
Recently someone asked me:
“Why did you come back from Bali after living there for two whole years?”
As usual I began talking about my project and how I came to realize that it would be easier for me to develop interesting work in Russia, but then I stopped short. The real reason was something different. I remember a certain feeling inside that made me change everything, but I forgot how I had described it.
So much time had passed that the feeling faded. How? How could I put it into words? Why did I leave Bali? Suddenly I was desperate to remember. Images whirled in my mind, as did fragments of stories and experiences, until I was right there: I was in Bali in the last months of my stay, with those same waves of longing in my chest and the answer emerged:
I’m too young to retire.
Of course! One sentence that defined the essence of my inner dissatisfaction and revealed my true reason for leaving. My project and everything else was just a consequence of the desire to live life to the fullest here and now. To act, and not relax. To grow, to improve myself with each passing day, to create something vital, to discover the root of my own fears and inhibitions, without getting lost in it all, but rather being aware of the game I was playing in the world.
Why do so many young people want to relax before their time? What has traumatized them so to such an extent that all they dream of is sun and sea? Why is there no desire to be bold, to dare to do something grandiose and contribute to history? It all begins from one, perhaps even unconscious, desire, which transforms into an intention, then a goal, then an activity… Why doesn’t the soul dare to aim for bigger things? At least in its wildest dreams…
I am a child of God, I don’t want a home by the sea, I want to realize my potential to the maximum.
The next day I erased all the content on my phone, most of which was about my life in Bali. At the same time I threw out another 7 bags of junk from my house, cleaning out everything that got missed out during my general New Year clear-out.
Over the past 10 years in my life I have made two excellent decisions:
- To go to Asia as a way to discover and learn about the world, and to learn about myself on every single level;
- To leave Asia as a way to gather my strength and push forward in the process of self-realization.
There is always clutter on the physical and informational planes of life. The body is cleansed by exercise and proper nutrition, but what about the mind?
How do you cleanse the mind of remnants of the past, crutches, limiting beliefs and stubborn habits?
Problems of the mind are not cured in the mind. You can’t think your troubles away. Even if you think well, even if you think long and hard under the guidance of a psychiatrist. This, of course, helps in the higher levels of consciousness, and is useful for general prevention, but at their root, problems of the mind can only be cured through action. Physical exercise will be enough to begin with, but for more drastic change you need action: you need to contribute to the drama of life.
Meaningful application of focused attention in the here and now enables you to cleanse your mind of clutter from the past.
I decided to detox my mind.
In order to do this I challenged myself to two weeks of daily writing for my website on a schedule of 6/1 (i.e. I would add a new text every day, except Sunday). There are people who drink vegetable juices for 10 days in the name of cleansing their system and, believe me, it helps. And I have a method for mental detox and exercise in one: 14 days of writing material fit for publication.
Frankly, this task is more difficult for me than running every morning for 90 days. The fact is, even if you don’t feel like running, you can still “turn it on” and do everything as it needs to be done, even if your heart’s not in it. With writing this doesn’t work. I cannot force myself to write if there is no connection to the source, relatively speaking. I cannot physically do it, so this simply isn’t an option. Either there is inspiration, or there is not. Another question, which every creative person must answer is how to lay a path to this source, instead of just waiting for inspiration to rain down from above… This is what separates the Artist from the skilled amateur.
Moreover, I cannot ignore the act that the huge majority of writers whom I respect speak of the power of daily writing, just as athletes do daily training. I have already tried the latter and I fully agree that training daily has no comparison with 3 times a week. I have resolved that to produce material daily!
The goal is not only 10 new texts (though this alone is a worthy task), but also a state of mind, in which there exists only you and things that interest you, thereby removing all the ineffective crud stuck inside your mental structures.
Keep busy. Its the cheapest kind of medicine there is on earth – and one of the best.
Why exactly 2 weeks?
Because doing daily writing to publication standard (and not just for the desk drawer) is an intense enough pace for me, but at the same time it is possible, because 2 weeks is nevertheless a manageable period. I have already written that the sacred duty of any person undergoing conscious changes is to secure such conditions that will work A LITTLE MORE often than not. And this is the small-steps technique (from the article: How do we carry on with life?). Instead of throwing around wild promises, it is more effective to do something small to begin with. By the way, before running the 90-day challenge I had 2 weeks of daily workout on vacation, where I first honed the ability to train every day.
As for the ritualistic sense, where would I be without it? Writing every day for two weeks, I was doubling my workload while every one else in Russia was enjoying the May public holidays.
Living life for the weekends and holidays is a cage, my friends. Moreover, it is so strongly held to by its adherents that there is no chance of serious discussions of change. People tether themselves to the paddock instead of frolicking in the field of life.
The classic example: a friend of mine wanted to start a business. She created a website, did a presentation for her first clients, got her activities going in full swing, then a month later she went travelling for 30 days over Christmas and New Year. A couple of months after the beginning of starting a business? Oh dear. She came back. What do you think, did she continue with her project?
I see this happen often; intelligent people scorn their own abilities, satisfying themselves with the instant gratification of public holidays.
You can postpone a war, but never a lunch.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against public holidays. I am against lives lived from one beautiful day to the next, from one limited trip to the next.
Weekdays are the real holidays.
Make your everyday life joyful! It is an attainable goal, and if in order to do it you need to work for a couple of years without weekends or holidays (as do, for example, many businesspeople), it will all be worth it.
And so, I’m starting my mental detox through the practice of intensive focused action, which in my case means writing. The programme includes a lot of the material about my project, answers to your questions (which can be found here), as well as notes and my private journal. I would be very happy if you could support me with daily reading.
And one last thing. What about spiritual cleansing?
Physical, corporal, informational and even mental planes have been discussed. So what detoxes our spirits?
Love. Of course, love.
But not necessarily in the form that we are used to.
Love as a state, not as a feeling.
Not only love for another person, but love for everything around you. Love for the place you live, love for the work you do, love for the people you communicate with, love for your own body, mind and path. Love for life itself and all of its individual manifestations.
Love as a state means loving absolutely everybody in your life…
Let there be purity in your life and consciousness!