For me, July is a month of iced tea, lemonade, softly swaying hammocks, ease, and joy. Most of us take our summer holiday right about now. We might travel to the beach, the mountains, or vacation at home, sipping lemonade on our front porch as we watch the world go by. It’s the summertime easy, breezy lifestyle. This joyful, pure feeling usually lasts only a matter of weeks. As we return to the daily grind of office, school and family chores, we ask ourselves, “Why can’t this feeling of simplicity and relaxation last all year?”
I think it can. Living a life of simplicity means you are in control of your life, not someone else. You set the boundaries, staying grounded during difficult times, operating from a mindset of ease, not effort. In effect, you consciously become the feeling-state of simplicity and joy. What a healthful way to live!
There are two basic steps you can take today to start the process of living a simplified life. These two steps deal with both the “stuff” of our lives, and then the interior spaces of our thoughts, feelings, and energies.
Step #1 Clean out the clutter in your life
Clean one drawer. That’s all. Start there. See what that feels like. Don’t look at the whole garage – that’s too intimidating. But you can do one drawer or one closet. That doesn’t mean to move things around and shove them into another drawer! Think about recycling so that someone else can benefit. That was a huge energetic shift for me. I began to think of all the things I had that I knew someone else would enjoy much more than I.
I gave away the three extra Pyrex dishes I used maybe once a year because I knew someone else would use them every day. I gave away a ton of the books I had collected for the same reason – so someone else could enjoy them.
What helped me keep this up was the universal law of circulation and the feeling-state of gratitude. Give that which you want to receive. I didn’t want a ton of Pyrex containers back, but I wanted the feeling of summertime ease that comes from having the clutter under control, so I gave my things away with the same energy – ease and gratefulness.
Step #2 Clean out the clutter in the center of your head
By this I mean the amount of outside noise of TVs blaring all day long, newspapers and Internet stories of horrific crashes and Hollywood drama. Do we need to be the first to know about the latest celebrity wedding or the most recent mass shooting? We are inundated with data all day, every day. Most of it is full of violence and drama. Thoughts and feelings travel and they are sticky. That violent movie scene carries energy with it. Do you need that to stick in your aura and your body?
So I turned off the TV and tuned into me. I started a daily practice of meditating for 20 minutes. Some days I would sit quietly and check in with my inner guidance system, other days I would take a walk and just smell the smells and watch the birds and flowers. Just 20 minutes of quiet time each and every day keeps me centered, grounded and filled with my life force energy.
Simplicity is a state of mind. It’s the feeling-state of joy, ease, and play. It’s that feeling of gratitude. The world can be in chaos, your life full of activities and to-do list items, but if you are in a state of joy and inner peace at the same time –that’s simplicity in action. That’s healthy living at its best.