Un-cluttering the mind

I am the master of multi-tasking. I can do one thing and five other things at once. This can be helpful, right? To juggle a million things. And the internet makes it a million and five things to juggle. Sometimes we have to muti-task, we have to juggle, but it can get overwhelming and sometimes leave us doing a bunch of things half-way.

I used to pride myself on how many things I could be doing at once and in fact, we are often encouraged by society and societal pressures to be doing all of those things. There is nothing wrong with doing a lot of stuff, if we aren’t stressed out in the doing of them all, but how do we focus in on one project to get it done in a way that it ends up being the best it can be? How do we get everything done and not have it all half-assed? And how can we be focused in a way that leaves the rest of the clutter that invades our mind, behind?

Under the guise of making our lives easier and having all kinds of information at our fingertips, the internet has given us lots more distractions, so how do we take a step back and un-clutter our minds?

I have written a lot about mindfulness and how it can be helpful for un-cluttering and focusing. Today’s exercise is to do just that and it’s one of my favorites!

Writing exercise:

  1. Sit still with your eyes closed for 4-7 minutes. Call this a meditation or don’t (whatever you prefer), but just be in stillness for a limited time. Put a timer on your phone to alert you to when the time is over. You can choose the length of time, whatever you feel you can do. Watch your breath and body.
  2. Next- Free write. Simply pick up your pen and paper or your computer and begin to write for the same amount of time you sat still in the meditation. Set your timer again for that time. *If you don’t know where to begin, you may respond to a quote by Rumi: Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
  3. Continue to watch your breath. Notice your body, especially your neck, your shoulders, your chest.
  4. Write how writing is impacting your body and breath.
  5. Notice your hand moving across the paper writing or your fingers typing on the keyboard of the computer. Notice your breath.
  6. Write: If these were not my fingers or if this was not my hand, it would be…
  7. Tune your focus on how you feel, your hopes for yourself, for right now, for this exercise, and write that.
  8. End focusing on the breath again.

Were you able to un-clutter the mind? This exercise brings us back to the breath and to the page, a calm sort of multi-tasking with the purpose of one thing only, un-cluttering. Allow yourself to un-clutter, to calm, to practice being present in order to be calm.

Thank you for writing today! If you would like to write with us every week, please sign up for the blog and you will get a post every Tuesday in your inbox.

Take care. Be well.


Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

2 thoughts on “Un-cluttering the mind

  1. Thank you, Liza. It is urgent that I de-stress. Since the Covid Pandmeic has emerged, my blood pressure has risen, and it is due to stress/worry/anxiety. I am often looking for ways to naturally bring it down, and this was a good prompt to help. Be well.


    1. We all need to de-stress right now. I’m glad the prompt helped. I get so much strength from using my creative energy! I feel it’s so important! Take care! Be well!


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