I believe this. Minimalism doesn’t feel like ‘lacking’ to me at all. It feels like a more deliberate, efficient, calm life. One that isn’t full of greed and excess. I want to use what I need and no more. I want wide open spaces and freedom. Finding the perfect amount of something can be hard sometimes, especially when I am so used to excess and splurges. But, I’m getting better one day at a time.
Simplifying our lives has many aspects to it; and it varies from each person to person. For me, I am not an extremist by any stretch, but I want to remove the excess that is weighing me down so I can be energized and focus on what truly matters to me.
As I am constantly de-cluttering my possessions and spending less on consumerist spending, I am also de-cluttering my mind. When I first began simplifying my life, I knew I needed to get rid of physical clutter to have more brain space and clarity to get down to business on my insides. It was only natural that at some point, a lot of my mental clutter began surfacing as I was decreasing the amount of possessions I owned.
This is my favorite part of a minimalist lifestyle!
For me, “you are what you eat” translates not only to actual food consumption, but also to what I take in to my mind and thoughts. My focus is to remove the negativity that keeps clouding my thoughts and turn it in to positive affirmations.
I took a few weeks to really listen to my thoughts that rattle within. My inner voice was speaking; and it wasn’t pretty. Self doubt, worry, frustration, anger, and incessant chatter seemed to never end. After meditation and letting go of this mindset, I knew there were some changes that I would have to make to clear the mental clutter.
This became a priority and still is.
1. Social Media: I am off of Facebook. Period. I was comparing myself to others, and then other people’s constant questioning about my personal Facebook activity was a major trigger in anxiety. Now, all of my closest family and friends know to contact me directly via telephone or person if they have something to communicate as I am not on Facebook for the drama anymore. It was weird for a few days because I would unknowingly pick up my phone to check Facebook as a terrible habit. But, I had deleted the icon app as a reminder not to log on. I don’t miss it at all.
2. News: I love the news and shows like Nancy Grace (my hero!). However, I feel very agitated, angry, and defensive after soaking in updates from around home and the globe. Truly, I was getting to where I felt hopeless and sad. So, I simply just don’t watch it any longer. Now, I know they say to keep up with cultural events and such; and I do get info from my Husband on events that I am interested in so I can stay in the loop on what matters to me. But guess what? The world hasn’t crashed and I haven’t become an obsolete being just because I am not ranting over politics and the like.
3. Diet: I can’t think well if I don’t feel well. My eating habits have changed and I no longer include sugar in my diet. I feel more energized and can focus on what matters – like having fun – instead of feeling guilty because of what I have eaten during the day.
4. Drama: Other people have a way of sucking me into their drama. I am by nature a very empathetic and compassionate person, so I take on other people’s burdens as my own. This drags me so far down and makes me collapse with exhaustion. This is probably one of my #1 soul suckers. I have to consciously choose not to be involved in drama anymore and it’s making a huge difference in my positivity.
I want positive, hopeful, happy thoughts. Along with my possessions, I am de-cluttering the gunk as well. We think what we take in. We speak what we take in. We feel what we take in.
Isn’t it time we put a barrier to the negativity so we can embrace our true selves? If you want to feel energetic, you must take in energy. If you want to think positively, you must consume positivity. Let’s use our energy for positive vibes instead of the negative, shall we?
What gunk to you need to get rid of to add some light into your days?
How many times has someone else ruined your day? They didn’t do what you thought they should do. They didn’t compliment you when you thought you deserved it. They looked at you the wrong way. They didn’t pick up after themselves. Basically every one else is ruining your life!
I keep using the word ‘your’ but I am actually talking about myself.
It’s amazing how easy it is for someone else to impact my life. I don’t know where along the line this because such a huge problem for me, but it has.
Basically, I just think other people should know how to act. Simple.
Well, it’s not so simple in reality, now is it?
When I change the way I view others and take back the power they have over my life, I am happier. I am in control of myself and my reactions.
- Should I choose to not let someone else bother me, that’s just that: they don’t bother me.
- Should I choose not to be emotionally invested in someone else’s drama: I’m not in the drama.
- Should I take responsibility for what I want done: it gets done.
- Should I not let someone else’s bad mood be my mood: I’m in control of my own mood.
- Should I not wait on someone else to make me happy: I make myself happy.
- Should I not blame other’s on where I am in my life: I realize I am responsible for my own life.
This is important because when we take responsibility for our actions, we can align better with who we are supposed to be. There’s no more waiting on someone else, or some miracle to be happy. We choose to be happy. We choose how to live out our days. Do we have to stay stuck where we are today? No, we don’t. We can change our circumstance with simple, deliberate choices fueled with positivity.
How can we do that?
To simply start.
Make the conscious effort to change, and start taking responsibility for where you are now and where you want to be. Be realistic, but be deliberate. Pick one thing today that you are unhappy about and do something about it. It doesn’t have to be monumental, major, or life changing. Start small. Is your car messy? Clean it out. Did you eat too much over the weekend? Eat light today. Are you in debt? Don’t spend any money today, and make do with with you have. Little choices add up to the big things in the end. Take back control. That’s what I’m going to do.
Yoga isn’t about executing the poses perfectly or having the best balance. Yoga is connecting with yourself. Yoga is like learning to breathe again, or that moment when you jump out of bed in the morning, rush outside to do the sun salutation, and you’re utterly blinded by how brilliant the world can be. Yoga is taking a moment from your stressful, up-beat life and remembering you have a soul that needs tending to. ~ Unknown
The world truly can be beautiful and brilliant when we take the time to slow down and enjoy it. This has always been so hard for me: just as it is for so many people.
I feel that it is selfish and un-productive if I stop to breathe and do a few stretches.
Since I have began my yoga journey, I see how important it is to take the time to look within yourself. Yoga is not about being a pretzel, it’s about being deliberate. Being deliberate in loving on yourself every day. It’s about letting go of house chores realizing that it’s OK to take a break, get healthy, and press on within. When sticking through yoga, the to-do list shows up in the mind, but you learn to see it, and let it go. You begin to understand that the dishes will still be in the sink when you get done. They will. And it is perfectly fine.
It’s a daily practice of peace.
Whether you do yoga or not, it’s important you find something that allows you to be still, get healthy, and focus on yourself. It could be a walk, a bubble bath, a jog down a trail, gardening, drawing, watching the sunset. If it means you check in with yourself for at least 20 minutes or so to allow your self-worth to come forward: then you have found it! When you find it, do that and do it every day.
Over time, our possessions and negligence to our priorities begin to pile up. The mile-high to-do list keeps growing. You never feel fulfilled or caught up. You burn out, become resentful, and think that you are stuck.
It’s human nature to want our homes to be organized, clean, and a complete haven from our busy lives. We want to come home to a refreshing environment where we can relax and enjoy ourselves and our family. If we use consumerism to battle anxiety, or go shopping as a hobby, we end up in debt: which makes us feel guilty. Not only that, we become self-appointed Stuff Managers. We have to organize, store, move, clean, and up-keep our belongings.
Just writing that last paragraph made me out of breath. Whew.
I am giving up being a Stuff Manager.
I want my home to be tidy, minimal, useful, and relaxing. My past spending habits and acquiring nature has taken it’s toll. My home is no longer my haven; it’s a never-ending to do list that exhausts me before I even walk in my door.
My goal is to keep and use what is beautiful and useful. Everything else must go.
A few minutes ago I dropped off about 5 construction sized garbage bags and several 13 gallon garbage bags full of unused junk to a local donation center.
I left feeling lighter, clearer, and more positive.
Once we realize that what we buy and keep actually owns us, not the other way around, we can begin to carve out, remove, and make room for what really matters in life.
Don’t you just salivate thinking about a clean slate? What would you do with bare walls and clean cabinets?
I certainly wouldn’t go back to the thrift store and just buy something because it was cheap to fill up my walls again: I would display my favorite photos of my family with pride. I wouldn’t buy clothing just because it’s trendy or on sale trying to look like everyone else: I would buy only what fits and what I love. I wouldn’t use shopping to pass the time or to fulfill a void. I wouldn’t keep things just because I felt obligated to.
We don’t live in the past or future, we live in the here and now.
I am not the same person I was 5 years ago, so why am I keeping clothing and things that no longer suit my needs and wants?
Well, I am not anymore. I am living for today and am going to keep and use the things that represent who I am today.
In another 5 years, I am sure I will have to repeat the cycle. And that’s OK. I don’t want to be who I was last year. I want to be who I am today. That’s who I live for.
And, I’m not stocking up for the future, either. I do not need 5,000 paper plates just because they are on sale. I need 1 pack. If I need another pack in the future, I will just go get another pack then.
Living in the moment and for who you are today means letting go of guilt, fear, and worry. We can live lighter and more carefree enjoying what we have an who we are in this moment by keeping and doing the most important things.
That’s the way I will live.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Let’s not continue being insane, lost, chaotic: a feeling of chasing rainbows and wishing. We all can make our lives align with our true soul, if we just listen to our hearts and take action. It’s a matter of taking the first step in the right direction. It’s about saying no to the petty and yes to the good. It’s about clearing the clutter and the stuff that holds us back: whether it be physical possessions, mental negative chatter, or relationships that no longer serve us. One step at a time. One moment at a time.
Let’s take back control of our lives and live free. We can, if we choose to. Let’s live for today – forgetting yesterday and allowing the future to unfold as it’s divinely supposed to.
What do you not want in your life today?
I don’t want:
- Useless work
I want so badly:
Today I will let go of the chains that bind me to yesterday. I will let my wings sprout and make the right choices that align with what I want.
I will let go of stress and the things that I can’t control. I will rest when my body tells me to. I know that I am in control of my reactions and I will choose to make the best decisions each and every moment. When I make a mistake; I will let it go and learn from it. I know that each moment is a new chance for my life.
Let’s embrace today, shall we? Let’s do something that we’ve always wanted to do. Let’s lose the guilt that tells us that we are not exactly where we think we should be. We are where we are supposed to be: right here, right now, with the hurt, sadness, frustration. See it for what it is and try to let go. Envision happiness and peace.
The 4th of July weekend is a perfect time for me to appreciate the freedom that I do have right now. It also makes me hopeful for the freedom I can accept for myself if I invite it into my life.
It’s an open invitation. Welcomed. Safe. Secure.