I used to think that I had to fill up every moment of my day with “stuff”. Didn’t matter what it was, but to feel like I had something to do, I would stretch myself and fill my schedule just so I can look busy. Now that my boys are older…I am older, I truly crave a simple life. I think we all should look to do that. Our children and parents will be older and we will look back and wish that we had spent more time loving and less time working and looking busy.
Simplifying my life is gonna mean that I have to say no to some things and people so that I have space to breathe. I am going to have to do less. I have learned that having a bunch of things to do does not make me any happier…just more tired and sometimes irritated. This year, I am looking forward to finding joy in the simple things like a walk by the lake or enjoying a cup of tea in the backyard. I am normally pretty content with solitude, quiet and just being in a moment…I just need to do more of that.
Life is going to bring frustrations, disappointments, and stress with all of the busyness we have going on but we should learn to let go of what we cannot change, take a deep breath and relax. Release some of the things that we tend to that are not truly our “business” so that we have time to live a less complicated life.
A simple life. This does not mean that we sell everything we own and move into a tiny house or move to some far away land. We have to think about what we are thinking about. Does it serve you? Will it make you better? Those things that our minds are fixated on that just give us more to do and less time to love and appreciate ourselves…yeah, that can go!
How can we do this?
We have to think about the fact that a lot of times, we create our own struggles. We have to say no every once in a while and take the time we would have given away to someone else and just take a walk, a bath, read a book, or absolutely nothing at all. We also have to work on losing our attachment to stuff! (and sometimes people). We are all getting our homes ready for a new year. Throwing away things that we really don’t need to take with us forward. If you are attached to living a certain way, sentimental items, or doing things all of the time, you will not be able to clear the way for the things you really need to enter your life. Make room for what will serve you by getting rid for some of those comforts.
I am going to leave some gaps between things I do as well. I think if I add a little padding, and not cram as much into my day, it will feel less stressful. Because I try to get as many things done as I can do in one day, I hardly leave time for regular maintenance like preparing dinner and putting on clothes so my day feels rushed from the beginning and nothing gets my full attention…and now I am upset because I do not have the time I thought that I did to do it all. Creating space is going to allow me some time to do things I need to do without the rushed feel. I may even get to have a meal between clients! On top of that, not giving so much of my time to distractions (like my phone) will help open up some time that I can use to just be quiet and create a new mental habit.
I have read a few articles and blogs about mindfulness and it is something that I have been practicing for months. I love it! It truly works and has helped to make people feel important in my presence. Ok, so imagine that no matter what you are doing, you are doing it in full-screen mode. That means, like on your cell phone, you do not have 5 pages open at the same time, switching between them all. You are full- screen mode washing those dishes or reading that book, having dinner with the family….sounds hard right? It is really not though. It does have to be practiced because we are so used to doing 100 things at a time, especially as a mom. Just do that one thing…ONLY… at a time. It definitely feels less stressful and more memorable. Things get your full attention and get completed with a little more love. You can actually savor the moment! Try it with the ones you love as well. Those moments feel so much more meaningful when your full attention is on them.
What would my life really be like when I decide to do less and try to enjoy it more? I would have time to really enjoy what I love doing, the people that I love being around.
What do I love to do? I love reading/writing, walking, taking nature pictures, meditating, spending quality time with the ones I love, shopping, and vacationing. Most of that cost nothing but time! That makes things even simpler. No wallet required!
So practice doing nothing….and get good at it! I know that technically we are always doing something but you know what I mean. Just sit there and do nothing. Don’t accomplish a thing! Do not take care of anything or anybody…nothing. No planning, reading, watching anything, no chores, eating..not a thing. Feels good right? I know you are itching to move but don’t. We are exposing our mental habits and that a good thing too. Think about what you are thinking about. Let go of what complicates things. We are going to have to practice this and things are going to be so much more simple then.
I am sure that there are tons more ways to make life simpler and I will be searching for more. I want my later years to be much better than my younger years. The more we practice being still, the more time we will have to find the beauty in ourselves and our world.