Spring is a wonderful time of year. It is a time when the whole earth is renewing herself. New leaves and blossoms appear on the branches of trees, birds and butterflies chase each other in the sky, and the crisp air of spring carries the hopeful hint of summer’s warmth.
It’s also the traditional time of year for spring cleaning, a chance to brighten and freshen our living spaces so that we, too, can feel renewed and refreshed. This year I’d like to suggest that you consider doing a different kind of spring cleaning – an informational spring cleaning. It’s the perfect way to kick-start a total transformation of self.
Information Is Your Brain’s Food
Your brain loves information. All human brains do. Information is like food for the brain, and it can never get enough. And today we are living in the Information Age, so we are drowning in it as it pours forth from all sorts of media – Internet, books, radio, advertisement, TV, and more. Just like we can consume too much food, we can consume too much information, which causes our minds to race with myriad thoughts and impulses.
Some information is fairly innocuous, just passing through without much influence at all. But other information sticks around as content that we use to form our beliefs about ourselves and the world. For the sake of informational spring cleaning, it is important to determine which pieces of information are serving you and which are not. In ordinary spring cleaning, you throw out trash and get rid of stuff that is no longer of use. Informational spring cleaning is the same.
Power Brain Information
When determining what information to keep and what to shed, an important question is: “Does this information assist me in living according to my true self?” All information in this regard can be considered either positive or negative. Positive information assists you in some way to live your best life possible. It can simply be helpful information, like a forecast of the weather or the date and time of an appointment, or it could be profoundly inspirational information, like the understanding of your soul’s worth. A brain that lives by positive information of this sort is what I call a Power Brain because its potential is limitless.
The information that needs clearing is negative information. This information unnecessarily creates feelings of fear and undermines your sense of confidence and self-worth. Sadly, our culture is swarming with bits of information of this type, and it takes many forms in our world: fear-inducing news reporting, paranoid conspiracy theories, unrealistic standards of beauty, and advertisements that preach the notion that happiness can be bought. It can also be in the entertainment we choose, such as in dark fictional dramas and songs with angst-filled lyrics.
This does not, of course, mean that you should be a Pollyanna, always ignoring the unpleasant realities of life. Information about legitimate dangers and realistic assessments of difficult problems is not negative information because it is actually quite helpful. The information that needs cleaning goes far beyond reality by creating fears that serve no purpose and diminish humanity’s ability to create a better world.
The Habit of Positive Thinking
Most negative information has collected like dust and dirt in our brains because we have let it in. For most people negative thinking, such as the assumption that great results are impossible or that human nature can never be trusted, is a habit. With some patterns of negative thinking, it is knee-jerk – certain situations will ignite negative thoughts in our brains and then we become lost in the negativity.
See from now on if you can catch yourself when this is happening. You don’t need to kick yourself for it, of course, because that is just more negative thinking. Instead, just watch yourself and know that you have a choice. “I am choosing to be negative right now,” you might say to yourself. Do your best to replace the negative thinking pattern with something positive. If that is too hard, do your best to bring yourself back to a neutral emotional state. From there, you just might be able to see the positive aspect that exists in all situations – the proverbial silver lining. Over time, more positive thinking will become a new habit for you, and your life and everyone around you will benefit.