Spring Clean Your Mind: Part One

Posted on April 2, 2012


An inspiring mentor of mine once wisely advised me that before starting anything, I should put a plan in place to outline and assess how I was going to achieve it. As someone who likes to get started on a new endeavor ASAP (I really don’t have a procrastinating bone in my body), this was always tough advice for me to follow.

When you know you need to get something done, why not just do it?

But, as time and experience have taught me, having a viable plan in place before beginning an activity is a wise move. All things worth achieving usually take some kind of process. Having said that, I’m going to walk you through the first part of How to Spring Clean Your Mind.

The steps I’ll provide for you in the blogs ahead are meant to be approached as a process. You have to do them in the order listed. No skipping around. Each step takes some practice before you can master it and continue to the subsequent step. They are all part of the plan. Keep that in mind and you’ll have a spin-and-span psyche in no time.

Before you can start cleaning up your negative thoughts, you’ve first got to be able to recognize them. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

But it’s a bit harder than it seems. Because we’ve been socially conditioned to believe all of the thoughts that pass through our minds, it’s difficult to begin to notice our thoughts.  Most of the time (if not all of the time), we take our thoughts for granted. Actually, we take our thoughts for truth. Most of us go through life not even realizing that we have a choice as to what thoughts we believe and what thoughts we can reject.

So learning how to first identify your lizard thoughts will take a bit of practice.

{Remember that lizard thoughts are those needlessly self-critical, negative, debilitating thoughts that get in the way of your happiness.}

People spend years practicing different forms of meditation to get to a place where they can train themselves to detach from their thoughts. So no, you won’t be able to do this overnight. Like I said earlier, it’s going to take some practice, patience and persistence.

However, the more you do it, the more it becomes habitual. 

This week, I want you to begin to notice a few of your lizard thoughts. (It is probably not possible to notice them all, ever, no matter how good you get at this activity.) Just try and see if you can recognize a few of them.

Lizard thoughts usually precede a bad feeling. So if you feel stuck in a funk, or if you find yourself in a bad mood, see if you can find the thoughts that triggered the not-so-great feeling. 

Then, just say to yourself-There’s a lizard thought. 

For now, just begin to observe your lizard thoughts. You don’t have to do anything just yet. Just start to notice when one of them pops in your head. Then tell yourself, “That’s my lizard talking” or “There’s my lizard again” or what have you. I often have my clients name their lizards. If you want to do that, go right ahead. Then you can call the lizard out by its name: “There’s Lincoln the Lizard talking.” 

I’ll be practicing this with you and will share my lizard thoughts when I notice them. 

Posted in: Thought Work