Simplicity really is Bliss……
I’m really into simple at the moment – spending days at home, time in my garden, and just being with my (nearly) 3 yr old. I’m being deliberate in getting SLOWER and SIMPLER, and more careful about how I use my time.
Do you feel the pressure to be ‘doing’? …..like you’re only valuable or worthy if you’re busy or ‘hustling’? At times I do, and I also watch people doing it – sometimes I feel exhausted watching them rush……I wholeheartedly hope that we can all stand up against this – we live in such amazing times, but also complicated times. We have higher levels of stress, mental health issues, and many disconnected people. We need to remember how to be still, and to be quiet. I really believe there is much LESS to life than being busy (thank goodness!), and that time spent being/resting/playing/restoring is time VERY well spent.
We live in an age where we are contactable ALL of the time, and if you happen to also run a business (or even if you don’t – it might be work or school), it can feel like we’re all ‘on call’ constantly. Messages/emails/Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat – it’s relentless. I’ve also noticed a culture that tells us we have to be ‘hustling’, and to that, I’d just like to say ‘no thankyou’. Let’s be smarter with how we use our time (in general and in work/business), rather than just being ‘busy’ because we’ve been told its good.
We can start by redefining what ‘success’ is? We have been tricked into believing it lies in more money, the best clothes, the perfect job, an amazing holiday each year….and while these things can be fabulous, we must ask ourselves, at what cost does it all come? Time is NOT money (so please don’t let people/media/advertising trick you into thinking it is)……I’m more interested in a connected daily life, where I can spend time with my family and friends (while not rushing), really enjoy the whole hearted cuddles my son gives me while he is little, and be able to slowly drink my cuppa in the morning sun (at least a couple of days a week anyway).
Now don’t get me wrong, I get that money is important for SO many reasons (that’s another email altogether!), it represents freedom in many ways and can allow us some incredible life experiences. Chasing money above all else though will not make you a great friend, a loving partner, an engaged parent or a fulfilled human. It’s important we keep the balance and catch ourselves out with what we are chasing and why.
Know that your ‘success’ is unique to you, (just as mine is to me), and it’s something we ALL get to personally decide. The beauty in this, is we can be deliberate in setting intentions that mean something to us, that fit in with our unique situation, and empower us to live a life that lights us up.
I often ask myself ‘How do I want my life to look?’ (and if it doesn’t look like that, how can I change it so it does!), and I also ask ‘What lights me up?’ (i.e. What am I passionate about). The answers to these questions let me know if I’m following my soul purpose, or simply going along with what society tells me I should.
Allow this to be a working progress – I re-visit my intentions every three months to check that I’m staying close to what’s important to me. My intentions centre around being a present Mum, being of service to my community, and living a life of freedom, connection, wholeness and bliss (surrender)…..notice, for me, nothing in there mentions being ‘busy’.
I still certainly have times when I’m busier than others, and times when I could describe my day as ‘busy’, but with these practices it means the ‘busy’ doesn’t last for too long, and that I don’t fall into the trap of exhausted.
Below are some practices I’ve found useful. I repeat these to create habits & I adjust consistently to stay close to what important to me.
SOME PRACTCAL TOOLS FOR GETTING &/or STAYING SIMPLE
Enjoy days at home – don’t go anywhere, don’t feel the need to eat out, spend any money, or get in the car…..simply enjoy your space. This can also be an opportunity to really create a home/space that you LOVE to be in.
Prioritise what you are passionate about (family, hobbies, friends, work etc), and make choices to support those things that ‘light you up’. You might want to make your ‘work’ your passion (I did – and it’s fabulous).
When people ask ‘how are you?’, be mindful of your reply – a reply of ‘I’m busy’ is not some badge of honour and tells the person asking nothing about how you actually feel in your mind, heart or Spirit. It’s time we changed this culture not only for ourselves, but also for our children. I want to know how you are, not that you are ‘busy’.
Ritual – try starting each day with stillness/mediation/prayer. This is something I’ve really dedicated myself to recently, and it’s made a big difference….5-10mins is all you need.
Technology and Social media – Set Clear Boundaries. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling, constantly answering emails, checking snapchat etc. Set clear times to do this (e.g. 8-8:30am and 7-7:30pm….whatever fits your routine). There are even apps you can use now that will block these sites for you when it’s not your specified time.
Don’t feel like you have to open every email or check all your notifications – if it’s junk or sales, delete or ignore.
There are SO many amazing people to follow online, courses to do, blogs to read etc (I totally get it!!) ….however, you don’t need or have time for all of them…select a couple that you really connect with, bask in the goodness, then delete/unsubscribe/shelf the rest.
Multitasking is a Myth – it actually doesn’t truly exist, and doing more than one thing at a time is called ‘switching’ and is one of THE MOST STRESSFUL THINGS YOU CAN DO. Approach what you’re doing with your full attention, one task at a time.
Switch of the News. Media thrives on drama – and us watching it!! Choose to disconnect from the constant bombardment – we don’t need to watch the same stories over and over.
Say NO & Embrace a Positive Sense of Sacrifice. This could be for events (work or social), hobbies that no longer really interest you (or that you’re only participating in half-heartedly), or that online course you started and have never really got into, or finished…..if it doesn’t light you up, let it go.
Get Your Phone Out of the Bedroom – it has NEVER belonged there (buy an alarm clock if you need to). Make your bedroom a technological free zone…..and watch your sleep improve…also do this for your children (teenagers included!).
Become a more mindful consumer – buy only what you need (even better, buy it from someone you know!)…this way you spend less, waste less and need less.
If you didn’t post it on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat, i promise you – it still happened & you were still there. And to be honest, you were probably more ‘present’ than you would have been if you were taking photos/selfies or filming………….I’ll never forget as a 20yr old travelling in Uganda, being on the Nile River, under a full moon, swimming with my friends & giggling that we hoped we wouldn’t get eaten by Piranha’s. When I mentioned to one of my friends that I wished I had a camera (this was back when we had FILM cameras not even anything digital), she said to me “Oh Hags (*my nickname at the time), you don’t need a camera, you can remember this in your heart”…….it is still one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received.
I hope your life is as simple as you wish it to be, and these reminders can help you make it more so if that is what you crave.
PS – As always, I’m consulting as a Naturopath and Bowen Therapist in Millicent and Mt Gambier Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings.
Yoga classes run twice a week: Tuesday evenings in Millicent, 5:15pm at the Millicent Footy Club, and Friday mornings in Mt Gambier, 8:45am at ‘Blue Indigo Yoga’.