There’s a reason when you clean out your closet you feel amazing – you can see everything! Imagine if you could build up this practice of regularly clearing out the clutter in your mind, so you could really see what’s happening in your life without judgment – but with total clarity.

Yogis believe that when our minds are filled with stories and extraneous thoughts, we don’t have a right mind to observe our lives or make right decisions that support our desire to live a blissful, content life. If we can observe what clutters our mind and causes torment, we may be able to know – with total certainty – what we should do next in our lives. However, it takes time and practice, so start small.

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the yogic philosophy of living freely, mind clutter falls into five categories, “vibrations of the mind,” called the vrttis:

Evaluation (Pramana): Are you making decisions based on what is actually true? Is there direct observation giving you evidence to evaluate?

Misperception (Viparayaya): Are you making assumptions based on what you think to be true, rather than what actually is?

Conceptualization (Vikalpa): Is the situation or circumstance just an illusion in your mind? A fantasy you’ve made up?

Sleep (Nidra). Are you just checked out and not connected to what is happening?

Memory (Smrtaya): Are you clouding the current circumstances based on a recollection that is positive/negative?

There are so many ways these vibrations manifest in daily life.  Do you think you’re a loser because you’re supposed to be able to achieve something?  Are you trying to believe in a relationship that was once nourishing but hasn’t been that way for a long, long time? Do you want to retaliate against a co-worker, because you think (or do you know) this person is out to sabotage you?

Whether you’re about to add an event to your calendar or go have a conversation with someone to resolve conflict, take a moment to notice what’s dancing in your mind. Step by step, build upon this practice of clearing out the clutter that gets in the way of seeing what’s really going on. This practice is a path to getting to know your authentic self and trusting yourself every step of the way.

You probably know what you’re supposed to do in your life; it’s just that your thought is a bit cluttered. One step at a time, one decision or thought at a time, you can reboot your mind, leading you to more bliss and happiness.