Clean up Thoughts

This past weekend brought a mixture of time for grieving the loss of my best four-legged buddy, Lonzo, and sharing time with loved ones. That sums up the complexity of the human experience ~ happy and grateful for what exists, and sometimes sad and longing for what does not.  

When in the latter state, part of me wants to lie in bed and cry and the other part of me feels restless and wants to tackle a project. When grieving, I usually do a bit of both. This past weekend, the project included taking everything out of a large closet sized pantry, cleaning shelves, and re-organizing items back onto the shelves, and letting go of others.  

Of course, it looks messy and a bit chaotic while in the middle of it. This is how I sometimes describe the mediation process. You put everything on the table, start sorting through it, and then arrange things in a more constructive way. The mess on the table does not stay that way. Things simply look messy while coming together.  

Taking everything out of the pantry helps determine what still serves a purpose and what I really wish to keep. Whether facing conflict with another person, within ourselves, or simply due for clean-up, we can do the same thing with our thoughts. We can write all the thoughts in our minds down, look at them and decide which ones to keep thinking and which ones no longer serve us.  

My friend Brooke calls this a “thought download.” I “download” all the thoughts in my mind on to a piece of paper. It is easier to sort through them that way.  

Whether it be thought about me, another person, a situation, or anything that takes up space in my mind, I make a conscious decision about what to do with it. I can look at a thought, gauge how well it serves me, and whether I wish to keep it, discard it, or replace it. The cost of not paying attention to thoughts may be long-term happiness, health, or a relationship with one’s self, or a family member, friend, or colleague.

Putting all those thoughts down on a piece of paper may look a bit jumbled. Things often look messy while coming together. Yet, they may stay messy or get worse if never looked at or put on the table/paper. What thoughts of yours are due for a cleanup?  

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.