I am serious. I want you to answer that question. Now, some of you may not bathe daily. But I am sure you will probably not admit to that in mixed company. But for the vast majority of you who do, I want you to really think about this question. Just for the fun of it, I decided to do a google search on this very topic. You’d be surprised to know that there is a growing trend of people who don’t think it is necessary to shower daily. Be that as it may, that does not obviate the question.
Is it because you need to feel refreshed daily? To feel clean? Is it personal hygiene? Get rid of harmful bacteria on your skin? Is it your body odor? Although, some of you may like this sort of odor. It is said that when Napoleon would come back from winning his various wars, he would send a message to his wife or concubine, or whoever he was “consorting” with, to not bathe for a few days. The scent of his woman who hadn’t bathed for a few days….well, I will leave the rest to your imagination.
What happens if you don’t bathe regularly? Do you feel refreshed? Do you feel clean? If you have to go to work or a social function, would you be concerned about your body odor? I have a friend who does not like to shower and will try to cover up the smell with generous amounts of cologne. (I guess if he is reading this, I may have lost his friendship…lol) How many of you can see through that? (or more accurately smell through it?)
So, why am I spending so much time talking about this? So far, I have been discussing the concept of bathing the body. And regardless of the reason, most of you will agree that regular bathing is critical for our social success. But what about our mind? And our spirit? Have you ever considered that our inner self may also need regular cleansing just like the outer self? If so, how do you “bathe” your inner self? What “soap” do you use? What “water” do you need to cleanse your mind?
It is easy to see what makes our bodies dirty. But what makes our mind “dirty?” And what about our spirit? Ok, for all you smart alecks out there….get your mind out of the gutter, I am not talking about a dirty mind in the terms you may be thinking about. Although, come to think of it, that type of dirty is also part of what I am calling a “dirty” mind.
So, let’s talk about your mind? Where is your mind spending most of its time? What is the environment in which your mind lives? Who does it spend most of its time with? Who are its friends, acquaintances, relatives? Who does it aspire to be?
There is one big difference between mind and body. When it comes to the body, you may be able to cover up your grime by all the accoutrements you have at your disposal, to hide certain flaws or signs of aging, to look desirable. But when it comes to your mind, there is no fooling. Who are you going to fool when your mind’s society is your own thoughts? You may say that you want to spend time with someone you admire, but what is your mind really thinking about?
Is your mind thinking of all the exciting possibilities available to you or is it shrinking in fear? Are your thoughts generally positive or generally negative? What are your thoughts primarily concerned with? Joy and excitement or resentment and anger? Are they optimistic or pessimistic? Or do you think they are “realistic?” Is your mind welcoming “guests” who increase stress or are they bringing in peace?
Let’s do an exercise, shall we? I am sure most of you have had an argument with someone recently. Think of the argument. Were you right in the argument? As you relive the argument in your mind, who is winning the argument? You can’t believe he or she acted the way they did, right? Why couldn’t they have listened to you and did what you wanted them to do? As you relive the argument, are your thoughts calm? Are you enjoying your thoughts? Actually, you may be, because in your mind, you are winning the argument and the other person is “wrong,” so it may be giving you some perverse pleasure of being right. But are you relaxed?
Now think of a different situation where you are enjoying someone’s company. And examine your thoughts.
Now, let me ask you another question. What types of thoughts is your mind thinking of most of the time? How many of you had to think twice as hard to come up with a pleasing conversation as an argument? What is the environment that your mind is spending most of its time in? What types of thoughts are its friends?
“You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
Back to the question of bathing. So if our mind is spending most of its time in a murky, dirty environment, wouldn’t it behoove us to bathe the mind in pure, clean water at least once in a while? So, how do you do that?
Well, there are many answers depending on your priorities. It could be listening to inspirational music. Or inspirational speakers. For some, it might be going to church/synagogue, but not just in the physical body, but really listening to the sermons and the messages from the spiritual texts. Or it may be reading motivational books. I recently heard one person say that he was disillusioned by going to a motivational seminar. He said that while he was there, it was very exciting. The atmosphere was great, the energy was awesome. But when he came back, all that enthusiasm disappeared shortly, when he came back to the “real world.”
So, I asked him if he took a shower every day. He looked me questioningly and said, yes of course, what type of a question is that? I said, don’t you think taking a shower once should be enough to clean your body at least for a few weeks or months? Why do you have to do it every day? He thought I had gone crazy. I said, do you expect that one sermon or lecture of a positive nature is going to completely get rid of all the negative thoughts you have accumulated over the years?
You have to keep immersing yourself in positive thoughts and ideas regularly, as you know that the default mechanism for most of us is to constantly think of the negative aspect of things. We are bombarded with 11 times more negative thoughts, ideas and conversations than positive ones when we are growing up. To counter the cumulative effect of all these negative thoughts, one has to bathe regularly in some type of positive experiences, thoughts, emotions and ideas.
When we bathe our mind on a daily basis, it will become a habit, just like bathing your body has become one. You don’t have to think about bathing, you just do it. Just making a habit of reading a few pages of a non-fiction inspirational book for 15 minutes every night before you go to bed will get you ahead of the game. How you bathe your mind is as critical, if not more so, than how you bathe your body. Bathe your minds with books and programs of people who you admire. If you need some ideas, read Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, and others.
As Jeff Olson said in his book, The Sight Edge, if you read 10 pages of a good book every day, over the course of a year, you would have read 3,650 pages – the equivalent of one or two dozen books of life-transforming material. Will your life change? Absolutely!
So, will you bathe your mind every day?
Until next time.