At my core, I’m just an ole country boy. I love country cooking, country music and riding around country roads in my Dodge Ram pickup truck. I love my truck. It’s not anything fancy and it has a lot of rough miles on it, but it’s mine and it’s paid for. I’m not really sure how it happens, but every so often, I have to take some time to clean out and unload the back of my truck, which us country boys call the “bed” of the truck. Some how, trash, bottles, cans, tools and an assortment of other stuff always seems to accumulate in the bed of my truck and it drives me crazy, until I take the time to clean it out.
I have found that the very same thing happens with my mind. It accumulates thoughts, many of which serve no real purpose, other than taking up space, rattling around and making me crazy. I have learned that every now and then, it is important for me to take time clean out and unload my mind.
It’s not very difficult to figure out how this happens. We think one thought until another thought comes a long and takes it’s place. We don’t really release the first thought, we just throw it in the back with all the other thoughts that we think we have moved on from. The problem we face now is that we have all these thoughts rattling around, making noise, competing for our attention and sometimes this makes it very difficult to get anything accomplished.
So, every now and then, it is very necessary to take some time to unload the truck. The way we unload our truck/mind is by taking and making some time to meditate, pray, practice devotion or sit in solitude. This time allows us to take advantage of the tiny spaces located between our thoughts.
We have no real idea where a thought comes from. What we do know is that it comes out of silence. When we have a thought, there is a very brief moment between the letting go of one thought and grabbing hold of another. This brief moment is a time of silence and space. You can call it whatever you want to call it, the important thing is to realize it exists and offers us an opportunity to exercise some control, so that we might have a little more say about what comes and goes.
There is an old Zen saying that says: “It is the silence between the notes that makes the music.” We train ourselves to listen to the sound and usually ending up missing out on the power of the silence. This is why we need to empty the truck/mind every so often, so we can learn to hear, appreciate and learn from the silence. Music would be impossible without the silence and so life becomes impossible when we allow ourselves to be overtaken by our thoughts and all the noise they produce.
At the very heart of a thought is the act of creativity. The creativity happens in the silence, moment and space between our thoughts. You were created in the image of your Creator and therefore you are a creator yourself. So, I want to encourage you to take some time to get still, to find comfort in silence and discover your place of creation. Once you are there try to do these three things:
– Unload and clean out your heart, mind and spirit!
This does not have to be complicated. I like to use a journal, there is just something about pen and paper that help me to get my thoughts out and organized. It makes it easier to know what to hold onto and let go of. The important thing is to take the time on a regular basis to do the work. A little work every so often, saves you from a lot of work and usually some pain later on.
– Learn to enjoy solitude and silence!
For most people, taking time to get away from all the distractions and sit in silence is a challenging task. It’s not easy, but with a little practice, consistency and discipline, you can do it and you will be glad you did. Start with just five minutes a day, focus on your breathing and practice letting go of your thoughts by every time one comes into your head for attention, shifting focus off of the thought and back onto your breathing.
– Embrace your creativity and have some fun with it!
Once you begin to start unloading your truck/mind, you will discover what a difference it makes in all aspects of your life and you will look forward to the time and the creativity that it unlocks to flow from your life. You may want to use this time to write, draw, color, paint, work on some kind of craft or whatever? Just find some sort of output that allows you to express the creativity that has been freed up, because you will be amazed at how this will grow into a blessing for you and others.
The Bottom Line: This is your life, do what you have to do, what you want to do to enjoy it, because you were created for so much more…