Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby—and, now, Dr. Rick.
Dr. Rigsby: Hello, friends, and thank you so very much for tuning in today. I want to talk to you about cleansing, more specifically, mental cleansing.
Now, we love cleansing our physical bodies. We love the incredible benefits and the refreshing and invigorating feeling associated with cleansing, whether it's taking a bath or a shower, being in a steam room or being in a Jacuzzi. Or how about jumping in a swimming pool or, even better, just running and taking a leap into a lake on a hot summer day? Oh, my friends, it's so restoring and relaxing. I get revived just thinking about it, right? [01:10.8]
But I'm not talking about a physical cleanse. I'm talking about a mental cleanse, a cleansing of the soul, if you will. Now, why is this so important? I want you to think about something.
Think about our daily intake of data. Think about all the incoming bits of information that we digest on a daily basis, what we hear, what we see, what we say, responses to what we do, sights and sounds. I mean, just think about the news streams and feeds on a daily basis from murders to natural disasters. [01:55.6]
Now think about conversations that you have every day and how many of those conversations can be rather challenging. Think about all the stressful activities that you're involved in. Think about the rejections and the denials that you receive or that you give. Think about all the ugly comments that you hear, that you receive, perhaps even that you might give. Think about all that junk, all that stuff.
I have to confess something to you. As a former news reporter, I've been obsessed with news for decades. I would call myself a news junkie. I can watch the news morning, noon and night. But I'm noticing changes over the past couple of years. I'm noticing that it's becoming increasingly more difficult for me to watch or listen to the news on a daily basis, and I really believe it's because I tend to be focusing on news that's negative, news that's horrific, news that I would just care not to include in my day. It is having an effect on my soul. [03:14.4]
I'm wondering if you all can relate to what I'm saying. In fact, I've often wondered what a meter reading of my soul might register in terms of the amount of mental junk that I carry on a daily basis. I would estimate that my readings would be off the chart. I know because of the headaches that I get, because of the muscle tension that I feel, because of the fatigue that I encounter and the constant stress that I carry, intrusions and overloads where they can manifest physically, and if you don't have an outlet, you can be in trouble in a hurry.
I think, in this day and age, the overload can give even the most disciplined workout person among us the fight of a lifetime, and all these impulses that compete for our constant attention, they're just overwhelming, unless there's a release. [04:13.4]
Now, I'm grateful that I have a couple of releases as I'm sure you folks do as well. I enjoy sitting on my back patio, watching the birds every chance I get. My favorite is the mourning dove which is oblivious to all activity around it, which makes it prey for predators, but that's a topic for another podcast. I like breathing and stretching, the things I learn from my yoga classes. I like biking and I love playing golf.
But I'm discovering a new release valve, something that I have never considered until recently, something that has really been recharging and restoring my soul, something that is transforming my life. It encourages peace and finds a soothing kind of calm. It's a daily mental cleanse. [05:08.3]
Now, I'm not talking about fasting television or fasting radio. This is different. I'm not talking about going low tech and cutting out social media for a few hours or a few days. This is different.
Friends, as most of you know, I'm a pastor. I'm an ordained minister and, recently, I was preparing this message and I used a passage from the Old Testament as part of my message. It's Psalm 51. It was written by King David. You recall this Old Testament story of David, and he's writing, he's lamenting over his sins.
It comes after he sees this beautiful woman named Bathsheba. He commits adultery with this married woman. Then he takes it a step further and the king orders her husband to the front lines of a war. In other words, he has Bathsheba’s husband murdered. [06:10.6]
He takes Bathsheba among his wives. He's confronted and he repents, and he's very sorrowful. You might say that David is hearing a lot of mental noise. He wrote Psalm 51 following the adultery and the murder and the mayhem. Psalm 51 found David with very little self-worth in complete and total humiliation, mired in guilt and shame. This is what he wrote: “Be gracious to me, O God … Wash me thoroughly from iniquity … cleanse me from my sins.”
I studied that passage. I meditated on that passage. Then I reread that passage again and again, and I don't know why it hit me the way it did this time, but I'm grateful that it did. Those words just kept ringing in my heart with a piercing familiarity. “Wash me thoroughly … Cleanse me from my sins.” Wash me. Cleanse me. [07:22.4]
It's a curious footnote to me that David did not say, Heal me. Heal my heart. He said, “Cleanse me.” Cleanse my heart. As a matter of fact, a little bit later in Psalm 51, King David wrote, “Create in me a clean heart … renew a right spirit in me,” and I think that's when it really struck me. I have allowed the cares of this world to clog my mental arteries. I have allowed the news of the day to stress me out of control. I have allowed my mind and my spirit and my soul to experience sensory overload. [08:10.6]
As I reflected on this passage, several words jumped off the page: wash cleanse, create, renew, restore—I began to consider the inextricable connection between water and renewal, between water and restoration, between water and creating, between water and cleansing, mental cleansing.
You see, friends, mental cleansing is about renewal. It's about restoration. It's about transformation. Mental cleansing. Water. It's got me thinking lately about the properties of cleansing. [08:59.4]
I mean, I can even go back to when our four boys were toddlers and they would run in the house seemingly daily with scrapes and scratches and cuts. I can remember they would run right past me to Mom. “Dad, you can't help on this one,” and Mom would cleanse the wound, so that it would heal properly. The properties of cleansing.
I think now about where I feel the most relaxed when it comes to writing books and it's when I'm near water. It's when I can enjoy the water. In fact, all I have to do is see water and it cleanses and relaxes—and apparently I'm not alone. Experts say, we feel more relaxed by looking at water on a biological level. Seeing or hearing the soothing sounds of moving water triggers a response in our brains that induces a flood of neurochemicals. These chemicals increase blood flow to the brain and to the heart, which induces relaxation. [10:06.0]
I recently came across a book that shares the theory of the blue mind. Marine biologists, Wallace Nichols, wrote the book on water and its healing powers. The book has the longest title I have ever heard of, but here goes. Are you ready? Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.
I need some water right now just to calm down. But this book is so insightful. Wallace Nichols shares these proven benefits of water. In the book, he explains that just looking at water, just being near water, being in water, reduces our stress, decreases our anxiety, while increasing our happiness. Our heart rate lowers. We become more calm and, overall, we feel so much better. [11:09.0]
He calls this the blue mind effect and says it's a response that we see when we see water. It's a response that we experience when we experience water. I'm talking about the power of water.
Health and wellness experts tell us that the physical benefits of a cleanse improves our energy, increases our stamina, even improves our digestive system. It creates an emotional release. It improves our overall sense of wellbeing. They even argue that not dealing with the constant barrage of toxins can really be bad. All those toxins in our body, if we don't deal with those toxins, it can accelerate the aging process. So, a cleanse can greatly benefit our bodies. Imagine what a mental cleanse can do for our souls. [12:03.5]
I'm talking about increased clarity, coping better, loving ourselves, forgiving ourselves, listening to those creative voices inside of us, exploring our entrepreneurial self, reimagining solutions to a problem, entertaining thoughts of wholeness, of not just physical wholeness, but mental wholeness, spiritual wholeness.
Experts say we ought to give our bodies a break from the toxins. I think we ought to give our souls a break, too. So, in addition to stretching, in addition to riding my bike and playing golf, I'm checking in daily for a mental cleanse. Friends, work this to fit your lifestyle. Do this in a way that fits your belief system. For me, it's reading the word of God and allowing the Holy Scriptures to cleanse my soul. [13:00.4]
When I mental cleanse, I can literally feel the junk and the dirt falling off me. I can feel the calluses coming off my heart. My spirit is renewed. My soul is restored. My equilibrium is recalibrated. Just a few minutes every day seems to transform me from the inside out. Cleansing, such a simple thing, but the results are life-changing.
I've often wondered why I've always felt rejuvenated after jumping in a cool lake or splashing about in a pool or just even looking at water. There is something about water that offers us life and healing and restoration. So, why not try a mental cleanse this week? You may find it just as useful as a juice cleanse.
Friends, that's going to do it for this episode. Until we meet again, this is Dr. Rick, asking you the most important question I can ask, how you livin’? [14:08.2]
Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”, absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/FreeGift to get the print or audiobook right now.
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