I know, the words “It’s elementary, my dear Watson” do not actually appear in any of the books, but it was too nice a title to dismiss. What today’s musing considers is the mindful mind.
Minding What We Put In Our Minds
Let me be quite clear from the outset, I do not totally agree with this passage in it’s entirety. However, it is definitely worth considering what passes through the doorway of our mind. Those thoughts, lessons, memories that we let reside within. Then indulge in a ponder about if we want to prioritise some items more than others. Making a more mindful mind.
The Tardis Attic.
Although Holmes states that “it is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls, and can distend to any extent”, neuroscience indicates otherwise. Just read up on any articles on the plasticity of the brain. Perhaps that’s why the BBC’s series “Sherlock” refers to a more capacious “mind palace” than attic. This is, to me, a preferable metaphor for the housing of knowledge, learning and memory. One that works with the idea of a mindful mind that can be altered.
Upcycling Thoughts and Memories.
Imperfect as the quote may be, it inspired much musing. I let my mind run with the thought room and memory furniture metaphor. Could we do a bit of interior design with our memories? Place some where they might be more readily available, and perhaps hide others away in the bottom drawer. How useful it would be to lock some in a safe and throw away the key. In some ways the metaphor works well for those memories we have supressed. But we know too, we can ignore the safe but still fall over it.
But what a lovely idea to design an inner space that is more comfortable and better serving to our own mental health and attitude. We could do a bit of DIY and upcycle a piece of memory furniture to a more preferable style. It’s not just creatives like me who have pondered the idea! Neuroscientist and 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Ramirez is certainly interested in the possibility as he articulated on National Geographic Live which you can watch here.
What's In The Attic?
Hopefully, Sherlock’s attic is put to better use that my physical attic at home.
All the things I no longer use but cannot bear to be permanently parted with reside up there.
As I write that I realise how illogical that is.
I can hear a churlish admonishment of Sherlock pointing out how ridiculous it is to keep things that are no longer of use.
Time to Spring Clean!
Certainly, there is merit to being compassionately curious about the thoughts in your mind and the resultant emotions that they evoke.
Then, if there are any thoughts or beliefs that are not serving you well, it may well be time to upcycle, move some into storage or throw out completely.
You wouldn’t keep sitting on an uncomfortable, broken chair.
Make Your Mind a Place You Want to Be!
I suppose, therapy is a little like that. You explore those inner spaces and have a good old sort out.
Get the place feeling warm, comfortable, safe and secure.
Hypnosis as part of personal therapy can help you explore your mind, thoughts and feelings.
You can quite literally explore memories of past events and utilise your own imagination to modify, the thoughts and feelings that reside within.
Imagine making a good memory brighter and more dominant, or a painful memory paler and smaller so you can easily manage its effects.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle certainly makes for an interesting ponder.
One that is definitely a metaphor that we can work with in therapy.
With a smile and warm regards,