Taking steps to simplify and add more joy to life
I’d been thinking a lot about the way I do things. You get busy and things clutter, affecting our feelings and moods. I wanted to take a hard look at my complete life and to further streamline my way of doing things.
My goal was to achieve an even happier and less stressful life. The first thing to evaluate is whether we're "going through the motions" each day, not really aware of what we’re doing. Routine can sometimes even be helpful. It’s easier not thinking about tying your shoes or pulling on socks. But my life was a little too cluttered with patterns that I came to learn were not as critical to my happiness as I had thought.
This new effort relates to physical, emotional and mental clutter. Perhaps too many of us are simply going about our daily routine not realizing what our lives should truly be about. Life should have a purpose. If we place more distractions and detours in our way, the less opportunity we have to stay the course to succeed, to stay upbeat and positive. Stress leads us down so many bad streets.
I started my plan with a little experiment. I purposefully went through our house and removed 10 items from each room. You’d be shocked at what seems like a small effort making such a big difference. It was amazing that so many things had ser ved so little purpose or had lost importance in our home! But more importantly, the act of clearing stuff also uncluttered my mind, that moving in a clear direction allowed me a more positive outlook.
That was a first step toward a simplified life. I also started turning my phone off after 8 o'clock each evening, reading more and watching less TV. What I learned is that the little things can make a big difference in life, that the act of awareness is so important. I certainly haven’t slept so well in years! My mind is clear, my spirit calming, my blood pressure down and my outlook as sunny as Florida.
What is most obvious is that multitasking is not necessarily good, that you may not be a better, more productive person. Literally stopping to smell the flowers, focusing on what is happening now, I now enjoy a rejuvenated focus and energy.
Our lives these days are so overcrowded with clutter―so many things to accomplish, so many material items we feel we really need (but most likely don’t) and so many outside influences running around inside our head, which can be overwhelming. We’d all do well to do a little decluttering, not only in a physical sense, but in our mindset as well. We need to work on discovering what’s really important and what could be set aside or tossed out altogether. Freeing yourselves to think more clearly by focusing on fewer things, and I’ll bet we all find that what we are doing is being done more purposefully … and with better end results.
Change scares everyone, that’s just human nature. And we’re all taught to get as much from life as possible. But the true delight is working and living smarter, finding fulfillment in getting by with less stuff, putting more into yourself and those around you who you love.
I invite you to open our Arts, Design & Fashion issue, hopefully to inspire and maybe freshen the spaces in your life that may need a bit of attention.