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The Art of Tidying the Mind - Part 1

There are days when the mind feels like a chaotic mess: thoughts don’t seem to align with actions, knowledge is not accessible, the body seems to be disconnected from the mind, and nothing goes according to plan. This kind of chaos can feel be disconcerting, depressing, and anxiety producing.

I call this condition Brain Clutter.

On days like these, what do you do to get re-balanced? The remedy is to slow down, get present, and organize your mind. This is an essential element of Brain Training.

Dr. Carrie Wicks Follow Your Passion

This begins my 3-part series on how to clean up Brain Clutter to reveal your Path to Peak Performance. Your destination - your MindZone - is not only a mental state, it is a place in the imagination. It is important to keep it clean and clear so it is always inviting and easily accessible.​​

Let’s begin …

In her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up, Marie Kondo (2014) describes a process of “how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life forever.” Applying Kondo’s process of “putting one’s house in order” to clearing the mind is an ongoing practice – not a one-time occasion – that can transform your life!


The basis of this practice is to identify the mind state that you desire and then take the time to do the mental house cleaning needed to design an imagined space for crisp, clean thinking.

  • Start by imagining the desired feeling that may have been the end result of a peak experience.

  • Make a list of words that describe it. For example: exhilarated, connected, present, empowered, strong, and flexible.

  • Next, take note of the words that describe your experience leading up to the event. These words may include nervous, tense, jittery, distracted, and uneasy.

  • It is important to describe the challenges that lead up to success as some elements of these challenges are important pieces of getting to and tidying your MindZone.

The mental Tidy-Up process involves re-writing some of the difficult descriptors into words that positively impact the mind and body. Words like nervous may become excited and scared may become intensely focused.


Mind Tidying Process

Keep a working list of the words you want to use to describe your experience as you train

and execute challenges in life. Ongoing work with this list and associated images or sensations is the process of tidying the mind for clarity and optimum performance –

and ultimately accessing your MindZone.


Mind-tidying is a process similar to organizing your bedroom each day. Putting away your clothes and making the bed are ongoing - and when left untended, a funky mess emerges. Similarly, talking the time to keep the words, sensations, and images in your mind intentional and direct, will allow easy access to your MindZone and peak performance in life.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this Blog that applies the Tidy Up process to purging Brain Clutter.


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