What Consumes the Mind, Controls Our Life

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Simplicity

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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?

Make Room For What Matters

Clarity, De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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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.

The Journey Is Worth It

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Natural Beauty, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simplicity

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You know the drill. We buy a bazillion dollars worth of hair and make-up products all our lives and then wonder why our skin looks horrible, and our hair is thinning, bland, and falling out. It’s no secret that the products we buy are damaging, but we do it anyway because we think it’s no big deal.

Well, I had a turning point with my hair. A huge chunk broke off last month and I know I had to make a change in the products I was using. My face was broke out, red, and splotchy from all the creams and scrubs and medicines I was applying. To top it off- I was using Mr. Clean All Purpose Cleaner to clean house and it totally rusted my appliances and discolored my counter tops. If an ‘all purpose cleaner’ isn’t all purpose, then….I’m going green, baby.

This change is taking a while as I research and test products to arrive at a place where I love the items I buy and they actually work. It’s a process. If you have experienced the same type things I have and are looking for an alternative, experimenting and using less may be the answer.

It has been for me.

I am not an expert by any stretch. But, I have learned some things and I want to share.

  • No Poo/ Low Poo: I went no poo for a while, but have changed my process. I now only use natural shampoo, conditioner, and products. Unfortunately, I blow dry and flat iron my hair again. My wiley curls just wasn’t working out. Maybe one day I can be just as hardcore. However, I did learn that I will survive if I don’t wash my hair ever single day, and if my hair is curly and wild – so be it.
  • Natural Soap & Body Wash: I use Zum Bar soap and Burt’s Bees body wash. My skin is hydrated, dry-patch, and red bump free after a month! I thought there was no cure for my skin conditions (per dermatologists as well), but that’s just not the case. Apparently, regular chemical-filled soaps, body washes, and scrubs were destroying my skin.
  • Caveman Regimine Skincare: This is a miracle. I only wash my face with water and a baby soft wash cloth. No soap or creams or moisturizer touches it! I’ve been doing this for a while now and my blackheads are disappearing and not coming back, my red cheeks have nearly went away, and my skin glows.
  • Natural Makeup: This is still a work in progress, but currently I use Physicians Formula Organic CC Cream, and shimmer bronzer (or cinnamon) on my face. I’m phasing out my eye makeup and when it’s time to replenish it will be organic. I also use grapeseed oil on a cotton ball to remove my eye makeup.
  • No Sugar Diet: In a perfect world I would eat Paleo. That is my future wish, not my reality. However, I do not eat sugar – or when I do, it is minimal and natural occurring (like watermelon occasionally). This means lots of meats and veggies. Also hemp hearts and peanuts, almond milk, and coconut flour to name a few snacks and additions. Without a lot of carbs and eating foods of high protein, I am fully satisfied, full of energy, and get better sleep. It works for me.
  • Live With Less: I quit shopping to waste time. I evaluate every purchase and make sure it will be used and is in line with my core beliefs. I am paying of debt, so spending wildly is not an option.
  • Clearing Clutter: Getting rid of clutter and unused items in my home to make space for things that matter and brings me peace of mind.

I like to remind myself of the changes I am making and the progress I’ve made so far. Sometimes it seems like there is so much I need to change that it’s overwhelming. I didn’t make all these changes in one day. It has been phased over time and have allowed myself plenty of space to make mistakes, start again, and to experiment. I am having fun and enjoying the ride.

Are there things you want to get rid of to make space for more of what you want? What’s your motivation and how are you getting back to your authentic self?

Burn-Out

Clarity, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Simplicity

With our busy, on-going, never-ending, to-do lifestyles, it’s no wonder many of us burn out.

The burn out is what is driving me to simplify and evaluate my priorities. I want to live a life that is full of passion and is aligned with my true self. After surviving my 20’s, I realized with a quickness that I had over spent, over charged, and over exerted myself so thin that I had to quickly dig myself out. I’ve been living a life that society told me I had to live to be successful.

Well, the new leaf has turned and I am on a mission to simplify and begin living a better life. A life that is simplified, care-free, and peaceful.

I have a lot to do and a lot to accomplish to get there. The journey is a tough one, but I am already reaping the benefits.

First, as I have stated many times on the blog is my core wishes. These wishes are what I want more of. For me to enjoy and experience what I actually want, I must get rid of things that are clouding my life.

Every day I focus on my core wishes:

  • I want more time with family
  • I want a slower life
  • I want clarity
  • I want peace
  • I want space
  • I want freedom
  • I want to be healthy

The things that I am getting rid of are:

  • Clutter
  • Distraction
  • Busyness
  • Social Media
  • Weight
  • Society’s pressures

It takes a great mental shift to narrow down what we truly want. After we have that figured out, it’s time to think about what we don’t want.

My journey is on-going, but the progress is great.

  • Clutter is slowly diminishing from my home: I have my SUV full of donation items that I am dropping off today
  • Diet is improved and I have more energy and have lost 30lbs due to no-sugar foods and yoga/exercise
  • Focus is beginning to get a little clearer each day as I lift the busyness
  • Self confidence is growing as I define what I want and make choices to live the life I am supposed to live

Our life is short and there is no reason to spend it doing things you don’t want to do. Why say yes to a life of distraction when what you want is peace? It is possible to get there, one step at a time.

Re-Arranging Life

Clarity, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity

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An excess of possessions is sure to smother a good mood. You work all day just to come home to a house full of chaos. There’s cooking to do, rooms to clean, and stuff to put away.

It’s an energy-sucker for sure.

I know how it goes and I still get very frustrated at the unused, useless stuff I have sitting around.

I’ve spent so much time and money re-organizing and then organizing my stuff again and again throughout the years. The fact is, we can re-organize our stuff, but not re-organize our life. This is the key.

We can get rid of things, purchase containers to store, rent a storage building and still end up cluttered and out of control. Our behavior and priorities have to change first to be successful.

I wish this was as easy as it sounds, but it does take effort, soul searching and work.

Currently, I am re-arranging my life and my stuff.

This takes a lot of clarity and focus to make the result I want a priority. My priorities:

  • Quality family time
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Freedom in my schedule
  • Plenty of rest
  • Search for passion
  • Pay off debt
  • Get healthy and active
  • Rid home and life of excess and clutter

To do these things, I have to focus. The heart of my minimalist mission is to get rid of excess clutter to make room for my priorities.

That is the first thing that makes sense to go, to free up the time for me to spend with family, get more rest, explore my passions and future, and to pay off debt.

My daily decisions and choices are key. I have to make it a reality that I am living the life I want. Do I chose a bottle of water or a coke? Water. Do I buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need, or pay off debt? Pay debt. Do I want to work myself to death to buy useless stuff, or do I explore my passion and get my life in that direction? Work towards passion.

Every decision I make is important. Every time I feel overwhelmed and tired and unmotivated, I focus on my priorities and do that.

When you get to the point in life where you realize what you are actually doesn’t line up with who you want to be, it’s time to make a shift and change. Otherwise, you will wallow in guilt, shame, and sadness. I know, I’ve been there. And now, I’m scratching and clawing to simplify and focus on the important things. I want to be who I was born to be, not who society tells me I have to be.