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by Colleen Benelli
First Published – Reiki News Magazine, Winter 2009.
Artwork by Gaia Orion.
“Mind Chatter” is those unwanted thoughts that can occupy our minds for hours about a subject that circles around and around and goes nowhere. It is usually uncomfortable and unproductive. Sometimes the issues are serious and valid, and sometimes they are petty and unworthy of attention. Mind chatter—mind garbage, circular thought, negative and repetitive thought is often a habit. Intense, gripping, demanding, and limiting, these thoughts can steal time, vitality, love, and creativity from us. Most of us have a good idea of what negative mind chatter is. We have more experience with it than we would like.
I have spent a great deal of time developing skills to manage my mind chatter. I have tools I use to assist me in choosing my thoughts consciously. I am better at it than I used to be, but my mind can still catch my attention and take me to a world of negative dialogue and unproductive thoughts. Sometimes it wears me out just to think of it!
Mind chatter can be very persistent, and if we are tired, or if life is difficult at the moment, it can be hard to change to positive thoughts, and the attempt to do so can feel like a lot of work. About a year ago, I decided I needed to create Reiki tools that could help me recognize my thinking habits, release my unproductive thoughts, and empower my productive thoughts. I wanted tools that are easy to use and that could do a lot of the heal- ing work for me.
So I came up with the Reiki Waste Can. I write down my unproductive mind chatter and throw it into the can. Then I created its opposite, the Reiki Idea Box. I write down my productive thoughts and store them in the Reiki Idea Box. Everything I place in either box is imbued with Reiki to help clean up and recycle my mind chatter into fresh ideas.
I also use a couple of easy Reiki techniques to clear my living and work space of any leftover unproductive mind chatter. Negative, unproductive thoughts can actually change into physical fields of energy and leave trails in places where we spend time. Later, we may unknowingly walk into one of these energy fields and suddenly find our mind chattering about the same old unproductive thoughts. The Reiki techniques I use can clear those trails and fill a space with positive energy that supports the creative, bright mind.
If mind chatter has you in its grip, the first thing to do is to stop your thoughts, and determine whether they are productive or unproductive. Decide whether they move you forward, or whether they have you stuck.
Worry is one of the most common types of mind chatter. In their book, 10 Simple Solutions to Worry, Kevin Gyoerkoe and Pamela S. Wiegartz suggest asking the following questions to determine whether a thought or worry is productive or unproductive:
These are effective questions to ask anytime you are stuck in mind chatter. They can help you identify your thoughts and decide if you want to stay in that particular thought pattern. If the thoughts are unproductive, then more than likely it is best to release and heal them. If they are productive, they can be empowered and strengthened.
I use the term “bright mind” when I am in positive, produc- tive, pleasant and creative thought. When I am in my bright mind, I have fresh ideas, fun thoughts, and new ways of looking at things. I am creative and more able to accomplish my goals. I seem to be able to tap into the field of possibility and listen for original thoughts. It is easier to feel and be positive and happy.
Even if what I am thinking about is a serious or difficult situation, when I am in my bright mind I can ask myself these five questions and the answer will be yes to all of them. My bright mind offers solutions and clarifies my actions.
Asking the five questions identifies unproduc- tive thoughts, I want an easy way to release them and return to my bright mind. The following Reiki tools came to me during a meditation a year ago. I have been using them since, and they work great! Reiki always answers us in the way that reaches and inspires us. Since I love to create and write about craft projects, the Reiki tools came to me in that form.
I created the Reiki Waste Can thinking that it would be a fun and tangible way to release mind chatter. It is a trashcan with Reiki symbols and crystals on the inside, and its purpose is to provide a place to literally throw away unwanted thoughts. Writing down these thoughts and throwing them into the Reiki Waste Can gives me a physical experience of releasing mind garbage. The can is imbued with Reiki and my intention to let go and change my mind. It receives my unwanted thoughts and heals them and the situation over which I am obsessing. It really works well, and it is simple!
First, I purchased a small trashcan. I like the SimpleHuman® brand. It has a nice liner, and I think the name is so appropriate! To empower it for its purpose, I drew the Reiki Symbols all over the inside and outside of the liner. I placed my hands over the can and beamed Reiki into the can. Then I made a Reiki Crystal Grid with an Antahkarana symbol and crystals for the inside. I filled the crys- tals with the Usui Power symbol and the Mental/Emotional sym- bol to release and change the habits of my mind chatter and the Distant Healing Symbol so that I can work with it wherever I am.
Instructions for the Reiki Crystal Grid are in the Reiki ART/Master manual written by William Lee Rand and the Antahkarana symbol can be downloaded free on www.reiki.org. If you are not a Reiki Master or do not have the manual, you can sim- ply imbue the crystals with Reiki by holding them between your hands with the intention that Reiki and the symbols flow into them. As the Reiki flows into the crystals, state the intention that they fill the can with the healing energy of Reiki. Intend that the can be a healing container so that when you write down your unwanted thoughts and throw them into the can, they will be healed and changed. Intend that the crystals transform any negative, unproductive thoughts into creative, bright ideas. Ask that it be easy for you to recognize the dis- traction and limitations of your mind chatter and change it into positive, productive thought.
I keep Post-it notes and a pen next to my Reiki Waste Can and whenever I have persistent, circling mind chatter that I am ready to let go of, I write the thought down on the Post-it note, place it between my hands, send Reiki into the paper and the thought, feel myself let go, and throw it into the can. If I am not by my waste can, I use the Distant Healing symbol and intend that I have written down and thrown away my unwanted mind chatter. The Reiki Waste Can will heal those thoughts as they are released.
I have really enjoyed this Reiki tool. It is very easy and works quickly!
At the same time I created the Reiki Waste Can, I created the Reiki Idea Box. The Reiki Idea Box is imbued with Reiki to hold and empower ideas I receive when I am in my bright mind. These ideas are positive, creative, pleasant, and productive thoughts about my family, work, home, finances, relationships, health, etc. Some- times they are an idea I may want to manifest, a quote I like, or an enjoyable philosophy. I write down any thoughts I would like to remember and think about again. The Reiki Idea Box is designed to continually send Reiki to help me stay in my bright mind and to empower my productive thoughts intentions, and dreams.
The Reiki Idea Box is made much the same way as the Reiki Waste Can. However, it is imbued with different intentions. I used a Reiki Crystal Grid and imbued the crystals with the Usui Power, Mental/ Emotional, and Distant Healing symbols. I drew Reiki symbols all over the inside, and I beamed my intentions into the box and into the crystals. I asked Reiki to help me remember and focus on the thoughts from my bright mind. I asked that my bright ideas be highlighted in my world and easy for me to recall. I asked that I would be guided to the actions I need to take to manifest some of my bright ideas. And most of all, I asked that I would have fun with the process.
In one of my meditations about using Reiki to heal mind chatter, I was shown that thoughts can leave energy trails in the places where we spend a lot of time. Our negative, unproductive, circling thoughts can actually become physical fields and their energy can stay in our homes, workplaces, our cars, or any other place where we spend time. When we leave energy trails behind, we can walk into them later, and they can unexpectedly return us to the old thought. If we walk into that field of unproductive energy, our mind can suddenly be caught and our attention grabbed, robbing us of our choice to think as we want to in the moment. Then we have to consciously notice this and replace our thoughts in order to return to our bright mind.
I began to notice how often this happened and realized that I had particular locations where I had left old negative thoughts. I could be thinking about a project I was excited about or daydreaming, and an old, worn out complaint would pop into my mind. Mind chatter would take over, and it took effort to bring my thoughts back to my bright mind. I found that I had left negative energy trails throughout my home. The strongest ones were in the shower and in front of my kitchen sink. They were also very powerful in my car. Conversely, I had locations of positive energy, where my thoughts turned to inspiration and clarity.
I decided to clean up my negative energy trails and empower the places where I spend time. I used several Reiki techniques, depending on the place I was clearing. One technique uses Reiki, Epsom salts, rubbing alcohol, and fire. It has no odor, so it is good to use in places where it is inappropriate to burn sage. When I light the bowl, I can feel the negative energy getting sucked into the fire and dissipating into the Reiki field of light in the bowl.
Line the inside of a bowl with aluminum foil. I use a bowl that is oven safe to ensure that it can withstand the heat of the fire. Pour 1/2 cup of Epsom salts into the foil and then pour three tablespoons of 99% alcohol over the salt. Beam Reiki into the bowl with the intention that when you light the fire, the fire will pull the negative energy into the salt where it is healed and neutralized. Send the Usui Power symbol into the bowl, salt and alcohol, and ask for the space to be completely healed of any random, unproductive thoughts. Then light the salt, wait for the flame to grow, and walk through your space with the bowl in your hands, allowing the salt to absorb the unwanted, unproductive energy. You may want to chant the Reiki symbols as you walk so that you fill the space with Reiki at the same time that you clear it. When the clearing is complete, pour water over the salt to make sure the fire is completely out. You can dispose of the salt in the drain, sending Reiki as it dissolves into the water.
The first time you do this, you may want to hold the bowl over the kitchen sink or a fire-safe place until you know what to expect from the size of the fire in your bowl.
Depending on the intensity of the energy trail, I might also burn sage in the space. I Reiki the smoke to send powerful positive energy into the room to replace the negative mind chatter left there. Mind chatter can be annoying and destructive. It is easy to give it too much power and too much attention. I hope these Reiki techniques will help you calm your mind chatter in a fun and easy way. Sometimes the simple way can be the most effective.
As Abe Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation, www.reikichat.com.