A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

“All I Have To Do Now Is _____”

So many of us live in our heads for the vast majority of our lives. This can be pretty miserable and tormenting – just ask them. Or ask yourself. Or ask me! It’s very common, especially in our fast-paced, ADD society. If this helped us to be at peace, there would be no problem. It tends to keep us stuck in fear and stress, though. A great tool for helping you stay out of your head and in the present moment is to simply tell yourself, “All I have to do now is (insert what you are doing now).” It works. And it might make you laugh.

When you’re brushing your teeth, for instance, you don’t have to be in your head. You don’t have to be thinking about anything from the past or the future. If you’re thinking about something nice, that’s fine – go right ahead. But if you’re beating yourself up (even slightly) about the past or worrying (even slightly) about the future, just tell yourself, “All I have to do right now is brush my teeth.” Done. Watch out, though, because you might start laughing. And what a great laugh that is! Why watch out, though? Because you’re brushing your teeth and toothpaste spit might go all over the place.

That reminds me of a quick story about laughing while brushing your teeth, at least with an electric toothbrush. And this has nothing to do with A Clean Mind. Actually, I guess it does, in that laughter is awesome. So a bunch of my friends and I discovered the band Steely Dan during our freshman year of college. That was back in 1991 or 1992. To this day, we’re still cultish Michael McDonald fans. If you take a look around, you’ll actually find that many people are. Just watch one of the many Yacht Rock video shorts (warning – some of you will find these to be incredibly stupid – please don’t judge me if you do). You can also watch this 40-second clip from the excellent movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

So when my friend got married almost fifteen years after our initial Michael McDonald discovery, he surprised us with t-shirts that he made with the most awesome picture of McDonald’s face along with the words, Yah Mo B There. That was the title of the hit 1983 song by McDonald and James Ingram. Legendary producer Quincy Jones was involved as well. I’ll have to track down this t-shirt and post a pic of it on my Facebook page, because it is hilarious. Actually, maybe only a few of us think it’s funny… Anyway, I’m brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush while wearing this t-shirt. While brushing, my eyes randomly glance in the mirror and catch the pic of McDonald. And I start laughing. Hard. And toothpaste spit goes all over the mirror. What was the lesson, you might ask? Never, ever, ever brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush while wearing this t-shirt. Back to the story…

So try this out if you’re thinking too much when you don’t really have to be thinking. It works, and it can be pretty funny, too. It gives you a much needed break from living in your head. Other examples besides brushing your teeth include… whatever you’re doing now! You might tell yourself, “All I have to do now is drive to work, chop this onion, walk my dog, sit in church, read this book, fill the water bottle, wash my hands, go to the bathroom, watch this movie, do my homework, ride my bike, etc.” And as I write this, I’m telling myself, “All I have to do now is finish this blog post.” And then proofread it real quick… And then get to the beach! It’s 72 degrees in January. I live in Florida, but I’m in the top left part of the state. Winter is not normally like this. Enjoy!


All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.

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