Do I have room for something new?
by Bee Walker
I have a friend who has an agreement with herself: When she buys a new clothing item, she selects another item from her closet and donates it. She has the most organized and cleanest closet I have ever seen. Her closet is full of fashionable clothing, and she only has items she actually wears.
My closet, on the other hand, is stuffed with clothes I no longer fit into. I go through them from time to time to decide what to get rid of, but somehow I hesitate to let these items go. I tell myself I am going to lose that extra weight and will wear them again. So I put them back on the hanger, where they collect dust for another year.
Similarly, my mind is stuffed with topics for my writing. I have a lot of ideas floating around my head. On top of that, I have a long list of writing prompts I have collected over the years. They are meant to inspire my writing, when I need ideas. Still, there are times, I feel uninspired and the words don’t flow.
This got me thinking about the parable of the overflowing cup. I am sure you have heard the story:
The old Zen Master was serving tea to his new student. He set a cup in front of the student and started to pour tea into it. He kept pouring and pouring, even though the cup was already filled with tea. The tea spilled all over the table, and onto the student’s clothing.
The student jumped up and looked at the master with astonishment: “Stop pouring!” he shouted. “Can’t you see the cup is already overflowing with tea?”
“Indeed,” the master noted, “just like your mind is already overflowing with knowledge. I am unable to teach you until you let go of your preconceived knowledge and make room for new thoughts in your mind!”
I am like the new student in the parable. I have a lot of knowledge I have been holding on to for some time. Not all of it is useful; some of it is outdated.
If my writing feels stuck or unexciting, maybe the topics are like the old pair of jeans in my closet. Maybe they are not only outdated, but also don’t fit anymore. So instead of pulling out the old list, it might be healthy to let go of it and make room for new ideas.
So I decided I won’t dust off the list of writing prompts. It is possible to free up mind space and allow fresh ideas to inspire me. I am expanding my knowledge by doing new research. I am learning new things.
When I sit and write from this open space, my mind tingles with ideas. The words flow like water onto the pages, and I am again excited to write and share my stories.
Bee Walker is a certified Mindfulness and Meditation Instructor, who teaches seminars and classes on mindfulness stress management. Together with her husband, Bee writes for “Keep your Paws on the Road,”a dog-friendly travel blog that shares dog training and other dog related information. For an appointment or to ask Bee to speak for your group, contact her at BeeWalkerMeditations@gmail.com or visit her website to learn more.