“If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects.” ~ Anais Nin
Nobody has any time these days.
We’re so busy, rushed, and over-occupied that it’s difficult to have a mindful connection with the things that truly matter.
We spend a lot of time juggling things, keeping plates spinning, and organizing in order to enjoy a few spare moments each day.
It shouldn’t be this way. We’re so much more aware of our lifestyle choices now—and equally as aware that the present moment is the most important one.
So, how can we—without too much fuss—create space and time in our lives? Especially at springtime, we feel a natural urge for shifting and growing into our best selves.
There are three key areas of our daily existence that get saturated with confusion. Freeing up physical space also frees us emotionally and spiritually. Imagine feeling lighter in all areas of being—what freedom!
I’m really going to keep this pared down, so you can get started straight away:
Possessions: When we’re weighed down physically, we’re weighed down emotionally.
Take a good look at what you’re carrying around with you. Besides ourselves (meaning our physical being), we’re also responsible for what we own.
Ask yourself: Do I need all this stuff to be happy? If you do, that’s fine—as long as that’s your core truth.
If a part of you has been itching to shake loose of the “stuff,” then begin letting go. Donate or sell everything that is not necessary to the path you are walking. This may cause a revelation about changes you want to make to your lifestyle. You might end up completely re-inventing yourself. Uncover a you that has been longing to emerge. She’s beautiful.
Look in closets, cupboards, the garage, even your fridge. What no longer serves you? Simplify. Edit ruthlessly. For me, it’s invigorating knowing that change is a powerful catalyst.
Check your email while you’re at it, and remove yourself from any subscriptions that are adding to the white noise in your life. If it’s mindful, and you have time for it, keep it.
Finances: This can be the heaviest burden we shoulder. Finances (or lack thereof) are one of the biggest reasons for the skyrocketing divorce rate.
To simplify, edit your banking. Will two accounts do instead of three? Less to manage is good. Get a zero-percent credit card and transfer something of higher interest onto it. Start paying it off. And what are all those membership cards to a hundred different stores doing in your wallet? Less is more.
Expand this to TV channels. Will a smaller entertainment package do? Or maybe, you don’t need cable at all? Can you drive a smaller car—or ride your bicycle, and just rent a car when you really need one? Will a smaller house do? Or is renting just as good an option for your family?
We’re really stuck on ownership in North America, but after all the numbers are crunched, sometimes renting can be a relief.
Remember, you always have choices. You are not a victim of your circumstances. Make decisions that will give you freedom.
Obligations: Another way we feel stuck is by how cocooned we become by obligations.
We feel that we must do this or that for someone else. It’s okay to rethink friendships—begin on social media. Are you really connecting with all those people? Why is a large friend list on Facebook important? Examine your feelings around this. Clear some space, and find room for breath!
Are you running around trying to make everyone happy and ignoring your own needs? We all do this to some extent. We’re “pleasers” by nature or conditioning. Eliminate the tasks that are taking away from what’s truly important.
Sometimes we have to say no to family. It’s okay. They’ll survive. I give you permission to disappoint others. That is the best piece of advice I have ever received—it allowed space for myself.
It’s not selfishness to be protective of your personal time. It’s a matter of self-preservation. You are important—just as important as anyone else.
Maybe your children are involved in too many activities? Kids need downtime, playtime, imagination time, and time with you. Not everything has to be structured. (And you’ll drive less.)
You can look yourself in the mirror and say, “I don’t need to do that anymore. I need time to watch the friggin’ grass grow!” That’s really what we’re here to do: live.
This spring, find your way back to a simpler life.
Author: Monika Carless
Image: Flickr/Wicker Paradise
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina