Simplify Your Life Today

A Day in the Life of an Over-Complicator 

Life is really more simple than we allow it to be. It is in our nature to over complicate, over think, over spend and over extend ourselves. To live more simply, in the spiritual sense, you must focus on letting go of unnecessary drama, stress, worries and fears that are not serving you. Work on surrendering the things that you cannot control, while using your energy for the areas that deserve your attention and devotion. Clearing the path of these hindering feelings makes way for the more important things in life that often get ignored. So, let go of the animosity toward another, or a grudge you have been holding for years and use this energy to show support and love to your partner, friends or family or use it to devote yourself to giving it your all in an area that deserves it. The feelings of love and pride that will come back to you will be immeasurable and the space that was once occupied with negative will give way to these new feelings. (Thoughts inspired by Letting Go; The Pathway to Surrender).

Life can be so incredibly complicated and complex, so many responsibilities, so many chores, obligations, to do’s- Sometimes its’s necessary to take a step back and look at your life from an objective view and ask yourself “is this necessary? Does this serve my highest self? Can I make some effort here to de-clutter?” Here are a few steps on how to simplify your life, add some simple joys and make it a LITTLE less complicated. The goal is to rid your life and your mind of the unnecessary complexities that cloud your thoughts, overwhelm your lifestyle and your physical habitat.

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Clean out your closet! Sometimes we start to accumulate things we don’t ever use and most certainly don’t need. When you start to feel  the clutter overwhelm your home, it’s time to purge. Take a look in your closet, go through and remove the items that you have not worn in the last year, you can even use the 6 month scale, (you might want to take weather changes into consideration.) Pick out those things that have been sitting there collecting dust and get rid of them! It’s so important to keep it simple, whether that be in your mind or in your closet.

Make room for the new. When you decide on making a purchase, whether it be a home décor item, new yoga pants, anything really- get rid of something old, that you no longer use or wear. This is a good way to avoid accumulating clutter (see #1). The Tao Te Ching tells us to “Inventory your desires and turn them over to the unnamable. Turn them over and do nothing but trust. Before purchases, listen for guidance, be grateful.” (The Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu.)

Plant a garden. Take some time to plant a garden. Don’t have a green thumb?..YouTube it! Cross some of those every day fruits and vegetables off of your list and grow them yourself. Sustainability is a big part of living simply, and a vegetable or fruit garden is a great step in that direction. Throw some wild flower seeds in there too while you’re at it!

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Cook your meals from scratch. This might not sound like simplifying, but along with simplifying your lifestyle, home and mind, you might as well simplify your diet. There is so much junk in everything we eat these days, how satisfying is it to prepare your own meal, from scratch, watching every ingredient as it goes into the finished product? This can be a therapeutic and sensory exercise that will help you to appreciate what you’re eating. It is a mindful exercise that simplifies more than you know.

*Check out this amazing banana bread recipe!

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Make some of your own cleaning and beauty products! Cross some more of those grocery items off of your list and check out some of these recipes to make your own products. Again- You will now be aware of each ingredient and will find gratitude in the use of each product. Visit the Pioneer Settler site for several, (mostly) all natural beauty and at-home product recipes- Click here for recipes.

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Write letters. Sit down and make a list of people you feel hostility toward. Now, write a letter to each person, kindly (if you can) expressing how you feel, while simultaneously meditating on the concept of forgiveness. Sit with your hostility toward them and imagine you are able to forgive each person, even if you can’t actually forgive, IMAGINE forgiving. Continue your letter with a paragraph of forgiveness-Tell the person you have forgiven them for whatever they did to you. Continue to meditate on the idea of forgiveness and drop the letter in the mail, or destroy it. Either way, it’s a good purge of hostility. This is a healthy exercise in simplifying- if you let these feelings fester, they will take you over and inhibit you from any sort of spiritual progress and simplification of your life.

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Cancel your plans. Make time in your week or weekend to DO NOTHING. Sometimes I find myself looking ahead and filling my weekends so mindlessly that I end up with a full calendar of “to do’s”. Even if they are just plans with your friends, cancel! Allow yourself AT LEAST one weekend a month of NO plans. Sit on your back porch, sit by the fire and read a book, SLEEP, do some yoga, go for a walk. Have no plans, no expectations, no agenda.

Simplify your finances. Sit down and list out all of your monthly bills. Then make a new list with your monthly bills in order of importance (mortgage, rent, car payment..etc., the stuff you HAVE to pay). IF you can, get rid of some of the financial clutter. Have a gym membership that you hardly use? Cancel it and make a point to do your own exercising at home. Have a credit card you need to pay off? Write down a plan of how you can pay it off within the year. Paying for cable that you hardly ever watch? Cancel it and read a book instead. There are a lot of areas where we can make changes, it’s hard (I know, trust me), but it’s all part of simplifying. These unnecessary financial burdens only serve to complicate.

It’s so easy to get swept up in the complexities and the clutter of life. We are all guilty of it. Take some time and reflect on each of these tips, and see if it’s something you can incorporate (or remove) from your life. The tiniest steps make for big results. Life is too short to burden yourself with cumbersome and unnecessary messes. Use some (or all) of these tips to de-clutter your mind and spirit.

Simple is better.

*Danielle shared this article as a contribution on YogiApproved.com

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