What does it mean to simplify your life? Most websites portray a simple life as serene, gentle, nature-driven, and mystical. Filled with quiet moments and hidden treasures, which is lovely and accurate, but it doesn't paint the whole picture.
Simplifying my life has been exciting, full of travel, road trips, laughs, and possibilities. It's bright, vivid, and adventurous and entirely untethered to daunting tasks or mundane to-do lists.
Quite frankly, it's the stepping stone to your life. It brings clarity, vision, and self-worth. It shifts our heart and soul back into balance and pushes our true selves to be seen. It's the voice in our head that says, it's okay to live life off the beaten path and not have a corporate job or not live in a big house with a brand new car or knowing my clothes do not define who I am and what I'm worth. And most importantly it brings a real understanding of "enough."
I think that's why I don't call myself a minimalist. Although there are many benefits of minimalism, every minimalist page I follow magnifies the slowness and nature. And there's also this underlying message that perpetuates a race to owning nothing. Although I enjoy solitude and forests, I'm a modern girl, in a contemporary world. We are allowed to lead a simple life while owning more than 20 items and using a cell phone or watching TV.
Whether your goal is minimalism or just some basic decluttering, here are some wonderful truths that happen when you Simplifying your life.
1. Appreciate right now.
Man, do we have it rough growing up. From the time it was normal to pick and eat boogers, we're asked what we want to be when we grow up. That's a lot of pressure for kids! We're just learning to tie shoes, playing on the monkey bars and are getting used to playing well with other children. But this type of questioning is persistent throughout our childhood, our teenage years and even adulthood.
A few years back, I was working my butt off to get a promotion. Long hours, bringing work home, volunteering for projects, etc. This led to a title and a raise, which was thrilling and satisfying. My coworkers threw me a party, decorated my desk, my boyfriend bought some wine and we all celebrated.
But when people congratulated me, they would say something along the lines of 'your next promotion isn't far away,' 'you'll be heading up the office in no time.'
The very next day, a Saturday, I brought my computer home and continued the cycle of working even harder in hopes to climb the next step in the corporate ladder.
How crazy is that? Just promoted and I was already thinking how do I get the next title? Everyone expects me to do it too, so I better get started.
Once I simplified my life and defined my values, I realized how insane it was to live this way. It creates the hidden feeling of never being enough or content with my accomplishments. Absurdly it promotes doing more as a way of finding happiness. But the reality of life is about doing less, finding efficiencies, and enjoying living so much that when the mundane shit comes up, you have the time and energy to tackle it.
Stop living in the future and appreciate this moment. Understand where you are right now. Appreciate every step that you took to get you to this moment. Even if life hasn't been great, remember you are alive and you control what decisions you make. This is a special moment. You made it here despite any fumbles you were resilient enough to make it to this moment.
Cherish your strength and all of your blessings.
2. Realizing home isn't a prison
Whenever my house was dirty, it was my excuse for not going out.
"Do you want to go to this awesome party."
"No, I can't. I have to clean my house."
"Do you want to go to a very exclusive winery in New South Wales, Australia?"
"Mmm sorry, I have to get organized at home."
"Do you want to go to this spectacular forest that has been hidden for centuries and you will be one of the 10 people to ever see it?"
"No, I really feel like I need to get my house in order so I can start the week off right."
Very much exaggerated, but yes, this is how I would respond to most activities in life. I was a hostage to my home's mess and my stuff. It was like wearing an ankle bracelet and any time fun would arrive to help me escape, I would shun them away like the plague.
Simplifying my home and my belongings freed me from my personal Litchfield Penitentiary. It's amazing how a little decluttering can change the amount of work you have to do at home. Making it easier to say yes when someone invites you to go out.
Make your home a sanctuary, not a prison! Also, get used to a little mess. A little mess should never prevent you from having new experiences.
3. Making time for my passions
I legit didn't realize how many interests I had until I stopped being so busy. I wasn't even good busy, I was boring busy, like having to format a 1000 row and 45 column excel sheet.
Why would I ever want to format an excel sheet over going to a picnic or a book club meeting, or taking a walk?
Honestly, Yazzi, what were you thinking!
Shifting my priorities to align with my values, whoa, total game changer.
I didn't want to waste my time on Excel sheets and Powerpoints, I wanted to explore new hobbies and find passions worth a happy life. So, that's precisely what I did. Now I'm a proud mother to 23 plant babies and counting.
In the past, I would have never bought plants, because I thought they were too much work and I was too busy with no time to spare. But now because I let go of the crazy unfulfilling busy, I relish the time with every plant.
Watching them flourish, grow new leaves, and figuring out the right amount of sunlight and water they need, is rewarding. I sing to them, clean them, talk to them every morning and night. I love them. They honor me by standing tall, sprouting babies, or flowering.
Stop the boring busy and make room to learn something new, you might become a Crazy Plant Lady like to me too.
4. Choosing Better
I make way better decisions now. I am hella mindful. I ask myself questions like
- Will this item/action contribute to bettering my life,?
- Will doing this make me happy for the long-term?
- Do I want to spend my time/energy/space on XYZ?
If the answer is no, then I won't do it. (Please note, that I'm human and I still make mistakes, and MOST of the time I live by these questions, but not all the time.)
Just today, Chris and I were looking at engagement rings. I've had my eye on this very simple, yet unique ring from Alexis Russell. It's $150, perfectly delicate and I feel connected to it.
The last few days, we've questioned if it was unique enough to be a symbol of our love and the life-long commitment. We started looking for rings again, and it made me sick. Suddenly I was plagued with worry about what other people would think if they saw the $150 ring vs. $1500 ring. What if it's too small. What if people judge me or judge us as a couple. I was losing sleep over it.
Finally, I took a deep breath and knew that our love goes beyond rings and it doesn't matter what anyone thinks but us. Because when it boils down to the truth, I'm simple, I don't wear expensive jewelry, I'm not one for lavishness, and I really don't want to stress about wearing $2,000 on one finger.
Will a $2000 ring better our lives? Will it make me happy for the long-term? Do I want to spend the time/energy/space on it?
No. No. And no.
Will the $150 ring better our lives? Yes, because we will have money left over for traveling. Will it make me happy for the long-term? Yes, because I know what it symbolizes. Do I want to spend my time/energy/space on it? Absolutely.
Choose for you, it's empowering. Trust me you'll love it.
5. happiness is real
Do you know what it's like to not rush? To stop doing out of obligation or because you believe you're supposed to do something to be seen?
When we let go of ideas that are not aligned with our hearts, we notice what brings joy. For example, do we need a 3000 square foot house to give our family love, food, and shelter? NO
Do we need to have designer clothes, shoes, and expensive jewelry to take pictures and post them on Instagram? NO
Do I need to eat chia seeds, yogurt, and berries for breakfast to be healthy? NO!!!!
*Disclaimer: If you can afford a big house, designer clothes, and eating chia seeds and yogurt makes you healthy, and none of it stresses you out, DO YOU baby boo!
When I stopped believing the ideas that have been spoon fed to us on every media outlet from birth I realized the formula for happiness is much simpler than I once thought it to be: To be happy, you need to do what makes you happy.
But remember happiness is not short-term pleasure like money, sex, clothes, etc. It's not success determined by your salary or the brands you can buy. Happiness is appreciating who you are, knowing that you will always have to learn, that you will make mistakes, you will feel pain, you can overcome obstacles, it is knowing you matter and belong in this world. And it's connecting with other people who make you better!
So, what makes me happy? Loving every part of me, knowing I'm never going to be perfect, appreciating that I will always be new to something and that's okay, respecting that without pain, there is no happiness and throughout this crazy life, whatever happens, whatever mistakes I make, I dare to be resilient. And for that, I'm happy. This courage to be myself propels me to follow through on passions and hobbies even if I'm not good at them. And i grow by filling my life with people who see me in my light.
Find your happiness you are worth it! Remember, it can include screen time and movies too, just don't forget to enjoy nature! 😉🌲🌺
Simplifying is a bumpy road. Some days, you're coasting with the sun shining, the wind blowing, and the tunes blaring as you ride next to the beach. Other days, the rain is falling hard, and you're trying to sort out what you value through the fog and windshield wipers. But at the heart of it, it all it's about reconnecting with your mind body and soul. Knowing yourself well enough and not succumb to distractions, the consumerism, and social pressures. It's about being brave enough to be seen in the world and making choices that empower you. To let life happen to you, to feel emotions, and be unburdened by your home.
If you want to simplify your life I would like to invite you to
the Shift into Simple Challenge.
Seven days and seven simple tasks to reconnect and simplify your life.
Join the waitlist and be the first to know when it starts!
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