Simple.

Extraordinary word.

Powerful.

Seldom activated…

Our lives tend to be crazy busy messes.  Complicated and complex.

Here’s the thing-life is best lived simply.  Loving yourself means letting go of all that stuff that keeps you from your deepest joys, those full, rich expressions of who you really, truly are.  I am happiest when my life is least complicated, and I can enjoy the warm abundance of a life authentically lived.

Simple living has different faces, unique expressions.  What seems gloriously and abundantly simple for me, might be really very boring for you…it’s about figuring out your own kind of simple.

Simplicity has been my quest for a number of years now-I can honestly say that simple living has become a spiritual thing for me. I have to have it in my external spaces, so my internal places can be happy and function well. So I cultivate it.  Here are a few nuggets I can share:

Refine the fine art of saying no. You can do it!  This is where is all begins.  You really do have to get rid of those things that are extra, that don’t serve you anymore.  They may have been just the thing a year ago or five years ago, but if they don’t feel right for today, then dump them.  Don’t worry about what other people will think. You are the only one who will ever give you permission to not do something that other people think you are good at and should be doing.  This is hard work.  A few years ago my life was so cluttered up with things (good things) that I knew I shouldn’t be doing anymore, it took me almost two years to extract myself fully.  That meant saying no to new good but no longer the right things without hesitation, and proactively working toward making an exit with what I had already committed to.  This was huge, and made such a difference for me artistically. Time opened up for me to be able to do what I was supposed to do-make art.

Get rid of the clutter.  Decrapify where you live.  This is an ongoing quest of mine.  Scott and I have been married for 34 years, raised 2 kids….the crap does pile up. We both love projects and all the tools and materials that go with them.  I go through our house at least once a year, top to bottom, and just get rid of the stuff we haven’t touched in a year.  Certain sentimental items are exempt….right now the garages and shed are getting a through going over.  It feels so good to have open space and not trip over piles of unused and not thought about stuff.  In turn, I am happier, work better and feel more abundant.

Keep it clean.
  Pick up after yourself.  Take care of the chores while they are still little, and take a few minutes to complete.  Don’t let the dishes turn into a tall pile of nasty….deal with them after they are dirty. When Scott’s gone, I have 1 cup, 1 plate and 1 fork I use for meals.  I wash them after I’m done.  I stay on top of the laundry and other household chores-to get my house clean to the place I like it, it takes not quite all of a Saturday morning.

Simple meals. I am all for healthy eating and there will be upcoming blog posts on the subject…healthy does not have to be complicated.  I have a certain few meals that are winners at our house, the ingredients are simple, whole and nutritious.  I keep what I need on hand-the cupboard is always full of necessary dinner ingredients.  We do smoothies for breakfast, and lunch is a simple affair as well.  Much could be written here.

When it feels like too much, then it’s too much.  Know when to just stop.  Know when you need to recharge your batteries, and know when you need to say no, not today. I will do whatever it is another day.  Even if it involves other people.  Better yet, be careful not to schedule yourself into an over extended corner….If things are getting too complicated, then just step back and breathe…many times the stuff that seems so urgent can easily be done another day.

Simple pleasures.  A walk by the lake, a quiet lunch in the garden.  An ice cream cone on a hot day, playing with the dogs….painting just for just the joy of it….fun doesn’t have to be complicated at all.  My best fun things are generally those that are the most simple.

Simplify the big stuff.  We mow 2+ acres here at Briarhill.  There are several gardens and a couple of them are big ones.  I love our little piece of this earth, but taking care of it could easily become a hugely stressful, over -the -top, overwhelming panic attack.  We have created our grass and garden spaces to be as easy to maintain as possible.  I want to love being in the gardens, and not overwhelmed by the work….the principle applies to any big thing you might have in front of you.

I write this fully aware that my children are grown and gone from home….simplicity is a different thing for an empty nest couple than it is for those who are raising an active, growing family.

Simplicity leaves room for such lovely abundance.  How do you keep things simple?  I’d love to hear about it!

 


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