How the Environment We Create Is a Reflection of Our State of Mind

The environment we surround ourselves in often mirrors our emotional and psycho-spiritual state—the overall condition of our mind. When we’re distracted, things tend to go missing. Disorganization is reflected in accumulating piles. Feeling disconnected leads to unanswered emails and neglected voicemails.

Signs of inner turmoil often surface first in subtle places, like the backseat of your car. If you’re continuously in emotional disarray, it can manifest in what’s kept there on an ongoing basis.

It’s not just about personal cleanliness or discipline; it’s about being attentive. Instead of getting sidetracked by emotional ups and downs or spiritual cues that surface in our lives, it’s crucial to remain mindful of the messages we receive and take proactive steps based on them.

For instance, leaving clothes on the floor might not solely signify laziness but could reflect aspects of self-respect and self-valuation. Similarly, standing with hands in pockets might indicate comfort or a tendency to hide. Not shaving on weekends could convey disregard for others’ opinions or even a lack of self-care. Moreover, when did casual attire become the norm for every day?

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Consider the tale of the Chinese Magistrate selecting an assistant. Despite three qualified candidates, he observed their behavior closely during a weekend stay at his home. He noticed details: poor table manners, unkindness towards servants, hasty speaking without listening. Yet, he remained undecided until he inspected their rooms on the last night.  The older gentleman’s jacket lay casually on the bed, the soldier left personal toiletries out, but the younger man’s space was orderly—clothes neatly folded, shoes placed correctly (according to Feng Shui), and belongings in order. 

This clarity in decision-making reflected the spiritual warrior’s mindset—being clear at all times, which is mirrored in our surroundings. The austerity seen in many Eastern spiritual practices isn’t just about self-denial but about disciplined attention and expansive awareness. Thus, the backseat serves as a symbol. Just as a Grandmaster would call out “Farmboy!” for a jacket left unbuttoned, it’s essential to meticulously tend to every detail of our lives and maintain impeccable attention, just as a spiritual discipline.

Clearing your work area of clutter can significantly enhance your focus and productivity.

Arnitra Jackson


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