- Religion and Philosophy
Simplify Your Life and Free Your Soul!
Have you been getting that urge to simplify your life in any way you can? With the complexities we face in our daily existence, our souls are begging us to find pockets of ease and simplicity. We’re desiring time-outs for our sanity, for our health, and most definitely for our souls. While everything seems to be getting even more complicated and busier these days, with your proactive drive to lessen the overwhelm, and to “stop and smell the roses,” you can reap significant rewards.
Most importantly, you allow yourself to live more from a soul level. With a less-clouded and overwhelmed mind and spirit, you are best open to the live a soul-guided life with purpose and meaning. So how do you simplify? One little step at a time (unless you’re ready to just drop everything, leave your home and possessions, and go live on an uninhabited island!). But before I share some ideas, we need to take a close look at our choices, habits, and, specifically, how we spend time from a higher perspective.
So many details of our lives are dictated by what society demands from us. We may be so entrenched in habits that are collectively “forced” on us. First, take an honest and intensive look at how you spend your time each day. What makes sense to you and what do you feel comfortable with? What goes against your grain, but you’re just going along with what everyone else is doing, and thus are numb to it, and therefore has just become habit for you? Contemplate your actions, your habits, and your thoughts and feelings about them, and then act accordingly. Having said that, let me suggest some little baby steps, as examples, that you can build on more and more as you move toward simplicity, if you so choose:
Meals: Everything about food has gotten so complicated. What we call food or a meal now is so radically different than the food and meals many of us were brought up on, and most certainly generations before us. And we have to ask ourselves, is what we are eating really food? How many steps or processes are we away from the whole food, and what else is in our food other than food?
This summer, I have made less “meals” and more “make your own smorgasbords” for my family. I put out a display of wonderful and healthy whole foods such as a variety of nuts, avocados, blueberries, peaches, plums, apricots, artichokes, sweet pea pods, mini carrots, dip, cheese, etc., and everyone makes their own plate. This allows me to feel good that we’re getting several raw and whole foods and at the same time, I have spent virtually no time to prepare the meal, other than to clean the fruit and vegetables.
It feels like a centuries-old way to eat and I’m liking it! Although I enjoy cooking for my family, when I provide food in this way, I’ve freed up some time by simplifying the meal all while providing perhaps the healthiest of choices. It feels good to return to simple ways of having meals. Yes, less is often more…
Computer: People often tell me they’re frustrated with how much time they spend on the computer. For many of us, myself included, it is our job to be on the computer. But there are ways to simplify and feel less overwhelmed by the fruits of this amazing electronic age we live in.
First of all, are we not often overwhelmed by email? When I get an email, I hear that little bleep and see a big red dot on my mail icon when it arrives. However, if I’m writing, I actually move the mail application out of my dock so that I don’t get interrupted. When I’m getting unsolicited mail, I immediately “opt out” of future mailings so it doesn’t take up any additional energy to have to keep tending to unwanted mail.
I look for new ways to organize and make my computer in sync with my needs and desires for simplicity. When we take complete control of how we spend time on the computer, what pages we open, what we scan vs. what we read, this feels very empowering.
Phone: I found a wonderful solution to those irritating solicitation calls we had increasingly been getting several times each day. My telephone service offers “No Solicitation” service and it screens out telemarketers before your phone even rings. This is money well spent, as it frees up time and energy of tending to unwanted calls. Even though they may take only seconds out of your day, they are unnecessary disruptions, and if they are frustrating you, that is using up your valuable energy that can be better placed.
Shut or mute the cell phone when you can! Or, if it’s your down time and the call is not important, just let the phone ring. Treasure and preserve the peace in your being and take steps to lessen all unnecessary interruptions to your work, family, and playtime.
Television: Of course, we are also bombarded by over-marketing through negative television commercials. My family either mutes them, or, if the program can first be taped on a DVR or other recording machine, we can watch while fast-forwarding through the advertisements. Most damaging are the deluge of pharmaceutical ads that breed fear and are unhealthy to absorb on a constant basis. Either mute them or enjoy a laugh at them when the running list of side effects seem to far outweigh the benefits. All is healthy and well!
Home: Cleaning out what you don’t need or use is a very important way to simplify. Our homes give us comfort. It is hopefully the place we can best unwind and be ourselves. Although I’ve never been one to enjoy house cleaning, as soon as I do, I feel better inside and I enjoy the house more. Reducing clutter does the same thing. For instance, if we get frustrated with ourselves every time we open up a messy closet, that is wasted energy (via thoughts and emotions) that is being expended again and again. The effort used to simplify and clean out the closet will expend a lot less energy in the long run than letting it get to you time and again over months or even years.
Socializing: It took me years to get to this point, but I’ve learned to spend my time with the right people doing the right things. For instance, if a friend wants to go hang out at a bar, and I’m not a bar kind of person (at least, not since college days), I would either suggest something different or just decline the invitation. We’re not serving ourselves or each other if we are not doing things that please us, fill us, or which end up building resentment for the waste of time and energy. If I suggest an activity and my friend is present but unhappy about it, I won’t have a good time anyways. So what does this serve?
Also, and more significantly, if someone in our lives is an energy stealer or doesn’t support us, or our passions, we are wasting precious time and it can most definitely create unwanted negative energy. Be mindful and extremely protective of your time and energies and where you place them.
News: I went from reading the daily paper in order to stay abreast of the news (never was a fan of local tv news), a set habit over many years, to just scanning the main headlines on my customized Yahoo home page (but there are many to choose from) to get the “jist” of what’s going on. I decide which news sources, from global to local, and how many headlines I want to be exposed to. I usually spend no more than five minutes looking at my homepage. Once I learned the Law of Attraction many years ago, I learned to not focus on what’s wrong with the world; a challenging feat these days. However, I welcome positive news, any day.
I hope you find these small suggestions helpful and cause you to consider taking a look at the details of your life and how you actually expend your energy on a daily basis. One of the most profound changes I’ve made in my life was when I decided to stop following the demands of society and instead adhere to my own inner demands. I strongly believe that this is the way of our future—we are evolving, and the same ‘ol, same ‘ol isn’t “cutting it” anymore. The answers aren’t going to come from outside our Divine selves. We need to go within and connect spiritually as we form new blueprints for our lives.
When you make little changes here and there, they add up to a big difference. Simplifying your life in any way will bring you more peace and joy. Most importantly, when you reduce the overwhelm, you will be best able to free your spirit and lead a better life.