Soothing Simplicity

SOOTHING SIMPLICITY

Living simply is a refreshing perspective on life that can transform us from living with the tyranny of the urgent, to living with mindful decisions and peaceful attitudes. Choosing simplicity means letting go of whatever does not add value to our life, so we can focus on what we truly love. It’s trading superficiality, noise and excess, for contentment, gratitude and meaning.

Soothing simplicity isn’t hard to achieve because it begins with small steps. Here are a few suggestions. Henry Ward Beecher reminds us that, “The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.” How we start our day sets the tone for the rest of the day, so let’s give ourselves some precious morning quiet time to focus on what’s most important. When we clarify our priorities, we can let go of everything else. This creates the best possible frame of mind. I like to start my day with a prayer of gratitude, so I continue to be grateful throughout the day.  A simple evening routine helps us unwind when we choose activities that are relaxing and calming. This prepares us for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Our environment is simplified by getting rid of clutter, so what we have is organized and easily accessed. Having a budget clarifies where the money is going and what needs improving. Multitasking does not fit into simplicity so that needs to go. It also helps to remove the “just in case” concept from our life – all those things we keep in case we might need them. We can avoid becoming a hoarder by buying only what we need at the time we need it.

Prioritizing self-care is an important part of soothing simplicity. We take care of ourself when we say no to requests that are not right for us. Paying attention to our health and fitness means we can cut down on those props we use to relieve stress like sugar, snack foods, or alcohol. Eliminating toxic people opens up space in our life. Decluttering our relationships allows us to focus our time on nurturing relationships that feature mutual love, respect and support.

Simplicity calls for down time which means time away from our phones and computers. It means getting comfortable with doing nothing. I like to watch cloud shapes change, the wind in the trees, or listen to bird songs outside our front door. My husband has an aquarium screen saver that he watches to reel himself in whenever he’s lost himself in busyness. When we practice mindfulness, we stay in the moment and center ourself so we stay grounded in what is means most to us. Getting out in nature always helps me restore calm and balance.

There are benefits to living simply and they begin with reduced stress. Letting go of everything we don’t need is freeing, so we experience more peace of mind. Simplifying gives us quality over quantity and clarity over chaos. It helps us save money so we have more financial freedom. We are freed from being possessed by our possessions and all the time it takes to maintain them. Simplicity frees us from comparing ourself to others. We are more productive because we are less distracted. Simplifying allows us to be content with less because we have defined how much is enough. We’re able to live more deliberately because we are focused on the present moment. And we’re able to do more of what we love so life satisfaction increases.

John Burroughs writes, “To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter….to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

The process of simplifying is a journey. What worked before may need to be reconsidered as our environment, health, or needs change. Just know that whatever steps we take to simplify, we’ll be rewarded with increased calmness and a richer life experience. Simplicity helps us realize we already have everything we need for contentment.

 

Until Next Time – Sylvia

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