We are all plagued with jammed-packed schedules, demands, projects, goals, ideas, would have and should have’s.
It’s a no wonder we are the unhappiest people on the planet.
When you’ve got so much on your plate demanding your time and attention, there’s little left for oneself.
Several years ago when I was attending coaching school, we did this exercise around values. The goal was to hone in on what your critical values were, and then make a promise to yourself by living your life based on what mattered most to you.
I try to live my life based on my core values, but of course, I’m not perfect. When I am successful, it seems interestingly enough, that I am far happier than when I don’t. It’s like when I listen to my intuition, my life runs quite smoothly, but when I fail to do what my intuition directs me to do, I suffer greatly.
I’ve had enough experiences to know without a doubt that living a life based on my values and in sync with my intuition brings me the greatest joy.
So how do you do it?
Downsizing and simplifying is so much easier said than done.
How do you manage the pitfalls to simplifying your life?
In the beginning, it seems like it’s your new purpose, to rid yourself of excess or what doesn’t bring you the greatest joy. I made that mistake in the beginning and was left with this chaos.
That happens sometimes. When you start to simplify your life, your “systems” get all jumbled, and you go haywire. Things start breaking, you get confused with this new way of being, opportunities and people disappear, you might even get sick as your body tries to adjust to this new way of being.
A Few Things To Consider As You Start to Simplifying Your Life
We are naturally drawn to keep our lives complicated and busy. This occurs for several reasons, and the origins can be found way back in our childhood. Most of us were raised to believe that we needed to work hard to get ahead and that working hard is the solution to success.
Additionally, our beliefs about what our life should look like have more often than not, been influenced by outside influences like the media. We adopted what I call the bigger, better, best syndrome frantically trying to keep up with others.
The simplifying process threatens your way of life. You’re asking your body, mind and spirit to BE something different from what it knows.
It will have to go through a transition from a life that’s cramped, cluttered and demanded to a more peaceful existence based on what you value most. It will be challenging.
Don’t get discouraged. On the other side of the storm is the life you want to be living.
Through The Rough Times Comes The Benefits of Simplifying Your Life
When you simplify your life, you find the opportunity to get back in touch with your values, feelings and spirit. You’re able to connect with the essence of who you are.
All of this was simply not available to you when you were jammed packed with things to do.
But now, through the lens of simplicity, you’re able to connect at a deeper level. You have time for self-reflection to think what’s important and what can be let go.
As the life you want to live becomes clearer and clearer, you are in a position to make different types of choices. Now, you make decisions not from the place of I have to, or I need to, but rather from I want to.
For the first time in your whole life, you might be ready to finally take care of you. Self-care isn’t a luxury but a necessity. You finally understand that taking care of yourself is vastly important to your spirit.
Finally, you’ll have space, possibly for the first time in your life to grow and have the peace to enjoy it.
If you’ve never read the books by Brene Brown, I highly recommend them. Her book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead along with The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are are two books that have totally transformed the way I look at living my life.
When you’re sitting there figuring out what you should do with your life, when you’re trying to figure out if your current behaviors are ones to keep or toss, when you are distinguishing between this or that, remember it’s not what you do, but why you do it.
[tweetthis]If what you do is intended to numb you, maybe it’s not the thing to be doing.[/tweetthis]
Jennifer Louden’s book, The Life Organizer, writes, “Shadow comforts (numbing devices) can take any form. It’s not what you do; it’s why you do it that makes the difference. You can eat a piece of chocolate as a holy wafer of sweetness – a real comfort – or you can cram an entire chocolate bar into your mouth without even tasting it in a frantic attempt to soothe yourself – a shadow comfort. You can chat on message boards for half an hour and be energized by community and ready to go back to work or you can talk on message boards because you’re avoiding talking to your partner about how angry he or she made you last night.”
Good food for thought.
Ultimately, as we walk the road to simplifying our lives only we can decide whether or not our behaviors feed our spirits or crush them.
The good news – with all the new-found free time you’ll have you’ll be able to figure it out.