I wrote the other day that I was Creating room to breathe here at my home and office, clearing things out and rearranging furniture. I like to change it up often, because I never want to get too set in my ways. Like last night I rearranged everything in the master suite, and put things where they’d never been before. That means I had to remember where the clock was and where did I put the standing coat rack I place my wet towels on after a shower? When the phone rings I have to look for it. In the office, I look for the calendar and it’s on a different wall, my appointment book is on top of a wire shelf space saver under which is the adding machine and pens, all on the opposite side where they’ve been for years. I know that it’s doing things like this (crossword puzzles, too) that keep my brain active. I know that re-routing my neural pathways helps keep my mind young and flexible. Neuron pathways are the channels through which information travels between the brain and body, and they can be trained and used to perform actions like chores of daily living, sports and emotional expression.
So I purposely put many of my most regularly used items in a different spot, so I could no longer automatically reach for them. I’d have to think and be alert and be aware. But I also know from experience that when I am awake and aware, that is when I am the most receptive to inner guidance. I’m not stuck in my rut of automatic actions and behaviors and thought patterns. I’m in the mind state of “what’s next?” with eager anticipation, not sure where it’s coming from or what form it might take.
I admit, the first few times I reach for something that is not where I’m used to it being, especially when I’m busy, is a lesson in patience. And I’m not always ready for that lesson. But that’s why I do these tests to myself, so that when I need patience, I will have learned it ahead of time. When I need to be flexible and open minded, I will have practiced stretching my mind, so it’s elastic enough to snap back and not break down.
It’s really like living in a new place when I do this, it has that feel to it. You know all your stuff is in this room but you have to remember just where you newly placed it. It’s a good exercise in memory, too. But mostly I like the feeling of “new place” that I get when I rearrange things so dramatically. I may not even particularly like where I place something, I can use that as part of my practice of accepting what is, knowing when I am ready, I can change it anytime. That little lesson helps me feel empowered in accepting other things too, empowering me that I can change other things in my life when I am ready as well.
So now I’m taking a few hours off to play and organize in my new space, helping my neural pathways re-route as my mind is stretched. If I’m going to live to a happy, healthy, active 120, I want my brain to be flexible enough to enjoy it.