Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sifting Through Life: Simplicity



We are simple beings in a simple world with human characteristics that over complicate our lives not because we want to, but because we think it is what is expected of us.

Stop and look at your life.  Are you happy?  Are you tired?  Do you have a lot of anxiety?  Can you change it?

How can you make yourself happy and satisfied?  

Simplify.

Take out the noise and scale back.  This could include many things: job, family, obligations, church, friends, kids, crafts, addictions, etc...

You are probably thinking, this is easier said than done. I would have to agree--this is easier said than done. If you don't at least acknowledge that things need to settle down then you won't be mindful of the need and start working on a solution.

Life happens. Its true. We are faced with many challenges and pulled in all directions and this need for simplicity is the balance that keeps us centered.

You can be a very busy person or individual and still feel balanced in your life. It takes practice, acknowledgement, and patience.

Personally I am a simple person. I like simple foods made with whole ingredients that are easy to make. My house is not a showcase of the latest styles in any magazine. I keep it comfortable and laid back. I dress in simple tones. I enjoy simple things: walks, camping, writing, photography and a few crafts.

My personality doesn't function well when I am overloaded with tasks or commitments. I get easily overwhelmed when I walk into a big box store. I make list to keep my life in a more orderly manner and I have a wall calendar that I can SEE what is going on.  I am so dated--lol--I can't seem to transition to my phone calendar.  

Simplicity.

One thing that I have gained by slowing down and simplifying my life is time. I now have time for the things I want to do and with people I want to spend it with. It is not unusual for me to comment that some days feel like they last an eternity. I am not complaining I am expressing my gratitude that I reorganize my priorities a bit more and made some simple changes, to what I can only describe as, a chaotic time in my life.

How do we simplify our lives?

These are some suggestions that I use to help me cut out the excess and allow me to regain my time, sanity, and harmony while maintaining a busy schedule, family, and school. Balance is what I was searching for and this requires me to make some choices. This is how I start when I feel that I need to step back and simplify.

Recognize a change is needed. To begin with, we must see that our lives first need to be simplified. If we believe that change is not necessary or needed then the likely hood of us following through with a plan might not happen.

Prioritize your needs and wants. You might be surprised that you need very little to be happy. You also might realize that the needs on your lists are an attempt to fulfill something else in your life and simplifying things may push those needs away.

Decide what you are willing to give up. If you are at a point that you feel that your life needs to be simplified then you have to give a few things up. Part of simplifying is releasing those things that are bogging you down.  Only you an decide what those things are and maybe they are things at all. They could be activities, commitments, hobbies, people, opinions, etc...

Don't rush it, take baby steps if needed. Change is often hard. Some simplifying can be done overnight, or in a few days. Other things require time and patience, money and scheduling, and perspective.

Define joy and happiness for yourself. Figuring out what really makes you happy and how you experience joy can help a lot in simplifying your life. Use your list of wants and needs to help you see where you experience the greatest amount of joy. The work towards those things on your list.

Be flexible. Simplifying your life takes time, takes dedication, takes work, and can be met with some resistance if this involves a job, a family, a church, or an organization. Simplifying our lives often times will include other people too and their opinions. Finding that balance requires everyone to be flexible.

Take the first step forward. When you recognize a change is needed, then you decide where you need to make some changes, you commit to the change, then you need to act on simplifying your life. You must move forward now with your plan.

Be authentic.  Our lives have a way of consuming us. They suck us in like the intake on an airplane engine and spit us out on the other side. This leaves us over worked, over stimulated, over indulged, and over it all. We may feel fake, not our selves, fragmented, and worn down. This creates a stressful environment to be authentic. True to ourselves. Simplifying our lives gives us the way to a more authentic being.

My reasons for wanting to simplify my life are probably not your reasons, and that does not matter. The idea is that we are busy and it's okay to allow ourselves a chance to step back, reevaluate, and simplify the world around us based on what we see is necessary.

When I start to feel that my life is unbalanced or out of harmony, I usually revisit my thoughts of simplifying and my desire of returning to a simplistic lifestyle reminds me to check the list above.




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