Spring Cleaning = Simplify!

We’re still cleansing, and it’s apparent from the blooming daffodils and crocuses that Spring is springing forth, which means it’s a great time to start cleansing other aspects of our life as well.  Hopefully we can do this creatively.  I’ve already rearranged the living room (giving away our large couch) and our bedroom, helping the energy to flow differently, maybe even better.

Then, I ran across this article from Oprah’s website/e-newsletter.  (Now, I know many people have different reactions to Oprah, but if you take away the glitz, glamour, publicity and money, I believe that she, too, is just another woman on this journey of life, trying to figure something out.)  The article, “Back to Basics: Living with ‘Voluntary Simplicity'” is self-explanatory in title.  I enjoyed reading the article, written mainly to share a single mom’s experience of walking out of her life to walk into a simple way of living and written from an obviously mainstream woman’s perspective.  Honestly, it made me crave a cottage in the woods, too (but with four kids, I would need more space!), and it helped me realize that I know the steps to simplification.

The article reminded me that I do need to continue moving forward in simple living.  It’s time to start working in the garden.  I’m due for a homemade batch of detergent again, and after this cleanse, I can’t wait to get back to the kitchen to start cooking even more wholesomely (if that’s even a word!). 

Time to open the windows, let the wind flow through and get to work!

The article features Simple Living Institute, Inc.  You don’t need to go to Orlando, though, to learn what they’re teaching.  There’s an abundance of local resources, if you look in the right places.

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What’s Your Style?

Can your friends and family see you coming from far away just by what you’re wearing?  As soon as you start talking on the phone, does the person on the other end of the line know it’s you?  Do people feel comfortable in your home, if for no other reason than because you are comfortable there?

You can take style surveys all day, but when it comes down to it, only you know what speaks to your soul.  You know what makes you comfortable, what makes you feel like a queen, and only you know what makes you feel like . . . well, what makes you feel really badly.  So, why waste your time?  Rather, let’s take some time to find what echoes the sentiments that is the music of our being.

How?  Here’s an example.  Go through your closet.  Are you really going to lose weight?  Would you even wear that if you did?  When’s the last time you wore it?  If you didn’t wear it last season, you’re not going to wear it this one.  Does it make you feel loved and beautiful?  GIVE IT AWAY!!!  You have to give to receive, and the more you do it, the easier it is.  Now, when blessings and opportunities come your way, fill your closet only with what you truly need and only with items (from undergarments to clothes to shoes) that make your heart sing.  Now, when you wake up in the morning, you’ll have lots to choose from, and you’ll be dressed in a style that suits you . . . if you’re honest with yourself.  No one but you knows if you’re being truly honest, but everyone will know if you’re comfortable and confident.

When I was in high school, I bought Levi’s at a thrift store and packages of white pocket T-shirts.  Jeans and T-shirts and Birkenstocks.  That was my favorite outfit.  Four kids later, I still love jeans and a white T, but jeans right now fit a little too snug at the waist.  I feel more feet_rings_toerings_313512_l.jpgbeautiful in a flowing skirt and pretty shirt, and I have a few other outfits I love.  Comfort for me is key to my style, not fashion.

What about accessories?  For me, I only have a few pairs of earrings, each with their own meaning and an energy they give me for that day.  Every necklace that I’ve had and worn because it meant so much has broken or been broken.  I figured I was too attached, and it was its own lesson.  Everything we wear carries a message with it, offers a window into our being, even if on some days the meaning isn’t very deep (i.e., “these were on sale at the store and match this shirt”).

As for your personal life style, you know your disposition.  Are you optimistic?  Sincere?  A pessimist?  A cynic?  Do you prefer Victorian or contemporary?  Intelligent?  Practical?  A ditz?  (I know, some days vary!)  Do you reflect this in your voice, your expressions?  I don’t have to ask if this plays into your relationships.

I’ve asked a lot of questions, but really there’s only one here.  How well do we know ourselves?  Our true self.  The one that when you come to end of all your days, you know that this is who you are, who you’ve really been in every moment.  May you live fully into that being.  Can we be so honest with ourselves?

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Why Make Things Difficult?

daisy_green_blue_242467_l.jpgIt’s a sunny spring day here, and I am inspired to accomplish much, including making some honest commitments to do good for myself.  Along with eating well (which I am doing), I want to sincerely simplify my life.  Who doesn’t?

Chances are, you might share this characteristic with me — making things harder than they have to be.  Why do we do this?

So, as we strive to make every day simple and less complicated, let’s make note of our steps along the way.  Here are a few things I’ve done in the few months since starting this blog:

  • More times for crafts/hobbies
  • Increased environmental awareness
  • Planning meals better

I keep saying I’m ready to clear out the clutter, but I have yet to make the giant leap.  I’m taking baby steps in that regard, I suppose.

Life is easy, right?

Live in the now, filled with compassion for yourself and others, with no attachments.

Like I’ve said before, it is definitely easier said than done.  It fails to mention the small stuff, right?  The bills, the errands, the cleaning.  But isn’t that part of the “now”?  And isn’t there a book about not sweating the small stuff and another about chopping wood, carrying water?

When I think about choices I’ve made in my life that seemingly complicate things, I daresay that these choices have also helped me.  Lessons come my way that illuminate my ways of thinking, my way of life.  Without the attention the “drama” brings, I may not have noticed my own patterns of behavior.

It’s finally Friday of what has been a particularly difficult week with the kids.  A friend of mine agreed that she, too, had a hard week but didn’t know if it was her or the kids.  Were my week and the kids really difficult, or did I make it so because I let my ego get in the way?  Did I get trapped somewhere not in the present, lose some compassion and get too attached to what I thought had to get done or be done?  Sounds to me like a sure recipe for a rough week.  I wish I would have thought of that on Monday.

So this weekend, go forth with awareness, love and non-attachment.  It’ll be a weekend.  That’s all we can promise.  May it be a simple one.

(photo from everystockphoto.com, by Henkster)

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