In a previous post in this series, I invited you to visualize “the room that is your mind” and I explained how you can make use of that metaphor as a way to figuratively, and maybe even literally, upgrade, redesign and redecorate your mind.
In fact, we’re talking about two different mindrooms. There is the one you currently inhabit, which will changeas you make changes to it. Then there is your ideal mindroom, the one that you can perhaps visualize but can’t really create in one fell swoop. Your “real” ideal mindroom will only be truly known to you as you do the work of making one change after another. Still, leaping ahead in imagination and trying to picture it now can prove a lovely—and helpful—adventure.
Just as you might have a complete set of plans for a house remodel and have a great sense of what your remodeled home will look like, as you actually do the remodeling your plans are almost certain to change. The same here: you may have a clear sense of the ideal but your actual mind room right now is under construction. But even as it’s under construction, you can ask yourself some useful questions and make some useful early decisions.
What sorts of questions? Questions like the following ones. How do you want your mind room to look? How do you want it to feel? What’s its atmosphere? How does it feel when you first enter? What do you see out the windows? Does it have a particular style, like country modern, vintage, or contemporary? Is it a warm and embracing place, a cool and ascetic place, or an eclectic place that’s rather on the wild side? How do you want it look and how do you want it to feel?
I hope you’ll have some fun imagining and creating your ideal mindroom. To get from your current mindroom to your ideal one, you will need to make a wide variety of changes—and changes to those changes. You might put up new wallpaper, decides that it’s pattern is far too busy, and try another pattern. You might install a window and realize that you need a second window, for a cross-breeze. You might change your chest of drawers, in which you keep your hat collection (for the different roles you play in life), your snow globe collection (for visualizing calm), and your other useful collections, from rosewood to mahogany. You might get an even comfier easy chair than your current one. Changes like these are coming.
These changes are part of the process. Who knows where you will finally arrive? But you can help aim yourself in the right direction by settling in and engaging in some blue-sky imagining. My ideal mindroom is a little less cluttered than my current real one. I know I have the ongoing job of decluttering. I may never quite arrive at the ideal, but it is lovely to picture it. I invite you to do the same, to do your own inspirational visioning. I think you’ll enjoy yourself—and benefit from what you learn
Eric Maisel, Creativity Coach
ERIC MAISEL, PhD
Eric Maisel, PhD. is the author of more than fifty books and a noted thought leader in the movement known as critical psychology. His books include The Power of Daily Practice, Overcoming Your Difficult Family, Rethinking Depression, The Future of Mental Health, Helping Survivors of Authoritarian Parents, Siblings and Partners, Humane Helping, Helping Parents of Diagnosed, Distressed and Different Children (Routledge, 2019) and Unleashing the Artist Within (Dover, 2019). Dr. Maisel is a retired family therapist, active creativity coach, and critical psychology advocate. He writes the Rethinking Mental Health blog for Psychology Today, lectures nationally and internationally, provides keynotes for organizations like the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry, and facilitates deep writing workshops around the world. You can learn more about his workshops, trainings, books and services at www.ericmaisel.com.