2022 is here, and we always begin it with goals and intentions.
Often, we find ourselves scribbling through our journals and listing what we want to achieve.
But have you noticed that once we start moving through the motions, and ticking off our lists, halfway through our journey, we end up abandoning our goals and intentions?
It might not be that apparent, but certain factors in our lives prevent us from achieving our desires, one of which is being overwhelmed.
So many things to do, but so little time.
What if it’s not really about time? What if it’s all about the things and relationships that we keep that don’t give us joy and value? What if the problem lies within us?
Thus, it leads us to this reflective question: “How am I living my life today?”
Simple Living Defined
Simple living means choosing the things that are truly valuable to us and those that bring us joy. This can be subjective since we are all unique in every way. But, to delve deeper, living simply means reflecting on our daily actions and interactions and being able to recognize these three things:
- What to let go
- What to keep
- Why are you doing it
Therefore, simple living means focusing on the essentials and letting go of things that are not necessary. It is about creating a life that brings joy and contentment to ourselves and eventually towards the people we interact with.
What hinders us from living simply?
One thing dictates one’s course in life: ego.
Ego is a way of referring to the mechanisms our personality develops to ensure we receive care, love, safety, and belonging in our childhood. The trouble is that while these mechanisms are well-intentioned, they hinder our emotional and spiritual growth and development because they are only survival-driven.
Ego further stunts the eventuality of our metamorphosis into a more soul-aligned individual because our false perception of who we are and our false desires dominate us subconsciously. There is the tendency to let our belief system, shaped by our upbringing and society’s “ideals,” dictate our course in life. There is this pressure to be that “someone.”
However, we can prevent it from interfering once we become mindful and aware of it.
Some of the most common ways that the ego interferes with our ability to take action towards our dreams and desires are to make us believe that if we do, we will be in danger, misunderstood, judged, alone, deemed unworthy, broke. And the list goes on and on.
We invite you to pause reading this blog and spend some time reflecting on these questions.
How often do these thoughts and feelings come up for you?
Why should we embrace simple living?
Living simply is not congruent with mediocrity. It’s about prioritizing the things that give you value, happiness, and contentment. Hence, the following are the reasons why we should embrace living simply:
- Simple living means more time. Simplifying our daily decisions and routines leads to more time spent on things that truly matter to us. It could look like being minimalistic in our home furniture and having an open floor space, more straightforward schedules, and simplifying morning and evening routines. Simple living is the epitome of a balanced life.
- Living simply means an increase in financial resources. Once we choose to live simply, we spend less on things because we are now aware of what is valuable to us. You won’t find the need to be “in” with the latest technology or fashion clothing anymore. Instead, you save money to spend on experiences and creating memories. Therefore, you become wiser in making purchase decisions.
- Simple living fosters more profound relationships. The reason we feel overwhelmed is because of the excesses in our lives. It takes up too much of our time, energy, and attention, yet it leaves us feeling empty and unfulfilled at the end of the day. As we let go of these excesses, we will begin to have clarity in our relationships with others and ourselves.
Thus, time will be used to build, let go, and strengthen relationships. It will also give us the chance to be in tune with ourselves and how we interact with the world and others, making each day count and living a life with ease and intentionality.
The gateway to simple living
The first and most crucial step to simple living is honesty.
In taking this step, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable, reach out to the innermost part of ourselves, and be honest in assessing our current circumstances in life.
Here is our guide question:
When you look at your life today, what areas feel cluttered?
Then let us look at our:
- Physical space
- Emotional space
- Work commitments. If you are an entrepreneur, think about the clients and collaborators you work with:
- Do they inspire you?
- Do you have the freedom to say “no” to those who are not aligned with your mission?
- Are you putting in more effort than feels balanced?
Once an honest assessment is done, we can now start working on a specific area of our life that we want to simplify. We can start with the most cluttered one and work our way through the other areas.
There is no need for us to do everything all at once. Simple living is a process. It is about being disciplined and consistent as we shape our lifestyle, or life for that matter, to meet our needs and desires and what truly matters to us.