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Friday, 9 September 2011

Simplify Your Life

One day, a rich dad took his son on a trip. Wanted to show him how poor someone can be. They spent time on the farm of a poor family. On the way home, dad asked, "Did you see how poor they are? What did you learn?”

Son said, "We have one dog, they have four, we have pool, they have rivers, we have lanterns at night, they have stars, we buy foods, they grow theirs, we have walls to protect us, they have friends, we have encyclopaedias, they have Bible." Then they headed, "Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

LESSON: It's not about money that makes us rich, it's about simplicity of having God in our lives.

I was just doing some quick reading during lunch break and came across an article written by Cat Stevenson.
I could see several scenarios that I could learn and need to work on such as the constant rushing, straying, justifying excuse, split attention and saying yes to everything. I am sure everyone will find something that they can relate to below.

Do you feel the burden of having too much stuff?
Do you agree that buying material items only fulfil temporary happiness?
What kicks in when you’re faced with a lot to do?
What good habits can you share that allows for simple living?
What can you do today to make space for your well-being?

I must say we all dream of having a big home and the best car, which leads us towards a huge debt. A debt we spend so much of our time and energy working to pay off. And then in an effort to simplify our life, we often start donating and de-cluttering our material possessions, organizing our space to create a sense of calm.

Well we don’t have to reject all consumerism, move to a remote island, or follow a strict routine in order to experience the inner peace that comes with simple living.

We can start with all the daily extras we carry around with us. Beyond physical clutter, most of us carry accumulated stuff with us each day mentally too.

Today, we can start getting rid of those extras:
  • The constant rushing through errands, conversations, and stop lights in order to get to the next moment – that’s extra.
  • The questioning of our intuition and straying from our values for temporary fulfilment – that’s extra.
  • The replaying of our busy, all-consuming to-do list throughout the day – that’s extra.
  • The long-winded lecture that accompanied the request of our significant other to put the toilet seat down – that’s extra.
  • The justifying excuse about why we didn’t fulfil a commitment – that’s extra.
  • The woulda-coulda-shoulda self-talk about the interview for a prospective job that happened a few hours ago – that’s extra.
  • The split attention of back-and-forth text messaging, while playing with our child– that’s extra.
  • The grasping for external diversions to distract us of what needs to be addressed internally – that’s extra.
  • The checking of emails sporadically throughout the day, while supposedly focusing on an important deadline – that’s extra.
  • The saying yes to a commitment, event, project, happy hour, baby shower when our schedule is already overbooked– that’s extra.
  • The all-consuming plan for the future that robs us of what we are doing now – that’s extra.

We crowd our mind with extras each day with harmful self-talks, incessant worrying, attention-comprising multi-tasking, unnecessary busyness that muffle the simplicity we can be experiencing right now.

The de-cluttering of a home may appear easier to navigate than the inner-world of mental and emotional clutter. But the two are not so different; here are a few ideas on where to begin:

·         Listen to your Holy Spirit and inner wisdom. What is speaking to you about the lack of clarity at this moment? Observe what is asking for your attention – then proceed to address, accept, forgive, or simply let go.
·        Revisit and reconnect with your values. Discard all the commitments that do not serve your higher intents. Life is too precious to settle for a compromised scheduled; live each day aligned to your purpose.

Stay connected with your emotional and mental well-being. Become aware of recurring fear-based thoughts that may create clutter, anxiety or an overwhelming feeling, replace it with an empowering affirmation.

Journal to detoxify on what’s going on inside. Allow the release of emotions onto a piece of paper to become a daily cleansing routine. So often we become stuck in a rut of mental exhaustion because we haven’t given ourselves the opportunity to release. Stay connected with your emotional and mental well-being.

Begin a meditation practice each day to sweep the mental barriers clean. Meditation is a sanctuary for a busy mind to relax.

·         Start putting together to-do’s on a calendar, it allows us to return to the present. Account for the overdue commitments, bills, and errands by purging them all onto a calendar with due dates. Many tasks only require a small, dedicated amount of time to complete; yet, it’s often easy to compound the urgency or difficulty by replaying the list over and over.
Recently I agreed to do a friend a favour by holding on to something that means a lot to that person ... today I finally manage to get rid of it in my room. Don't worry, I did not throw it away, I just keep it out of sight. But when are you coming to get it back?

When we remove all the extras by creating more space…
We will begin to feel the simplicity of living each moment as it is meant to be.
We are happier and lighter, free and alive again.