When I took it upon myself to write about simplifying life, the yogini in me popped out. Allow me to explain. In my readings and research during my yoga teacher training, the behaviors toward ourselves and others – yamas and niyamas – were discussed: kindness, considerations on how truthful we are when we communicate with others, modesty and contentment with what we have. The bottom line, and this is my interpretation, is to stay simple. The more you will be simple, the more you will find stillness in your life and be happy.
Here are a few of my takes on living simply and mindfully.
This is probably the most common thing people do: get rid of all the junk they no longer need or ever needed in the first place, aka spring cleaning. We tend to keep things and clutter our homes with stuff that is basically that: stuff. From the clothes we will never wear again to those few screws that came from heaven knows where. We keep things “just in case” when we know darn well they will never serve us again. Give it away to Goodwill or any other second hand store (maybe not the couple of screws, LOL)! Your junk will be someone else’s treasure. And, from then on, live only with what you need.
Free up your schedule
I am not going to lie: I was the type of person that would pack her agenda with countless social events to the point that I was exhausted just looking at my calendar. I decided to let go and take back my time. Personally, I find that having an open schedule or nothing specific planned allows you to go with the flow and reinvent how you use your time, possibly trying out something new and out of the ordinary.
Surround yourself with people you want to be around
This is a hard one. I realized this all too well when I decided to cut ties with a long time friend several years ago. We have people in our lives, whether friends or family, who don’t really belong there for whatever reason. I know it’s a sad truth, but for your sake and the sake of your family, ask yourself – truthfully and in kindness – if you shouldn’t let go. Maybe not totally, but to the extent you are comfortable with.
Ask for help
As a parent, this can be difficult, because we (ahem, I) want to be that mom that has her stuff together: a career, kids, a husband, make home cooked meals 3 times a day and have a social life, too. And let’s not forget the flawless hair and makeup.
As my husband reminds me often, there is only so much you can do in one day, especially if you don’t have help. My point being, for your sanity and the one of the people who are close to you, get help from a neighbor, mom, friend, someone you can trust your kids with so you can clean your house or go on a date night. Or use the pick up services for groceries. Make your life simple and easy.
Learn to say “no”
Another hard one: saying no and having your boundaries respected. You can easily say no to your kids, learn to say no to adults too! We always want to please everyone, but the truth is we are doing it at our own expense, and I mean health-wise. Know your limits, which are not weaknesses, and have them respected. The reality is you cannot duplicate yourself and be 3 places at the same time or accomplish work for X number of people. You will thank yourself and others will thank you as well, because you won’t go hay wire on them at some point.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook-William James.
It’s no secret that we get wiser as we grow older. Life and its experiences teach us the lessons we need to attain that wisdom. Be kind to yourself: find what makes your life simple, and, most importantly, be happy, my friends.