A simple(r) life: the ins and outs

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a-simpler-life

My goal for 2016 has revolved around discovering a life of simplicity. What I’ve learned is that a simple(r) life doesn’t just happen. For me, it includes a heightened awareness: recognizing daily pleasures and meting out kindness in large doses. I believe kindness is a requirement for a simple(r) life for the simple reason that it takes little time and resources to be kind—and kindness begets kindness. I’ve also learned a simple life can be full, but requires an evaluation of where we spend our time—if we need to say no to the things that complicate our journey, or yes to the things that improve the lives around us. For Thanksgiving this year, I opted for a meal plan that allowed me to spread my time between an early-morning yoga practice to hanging up a few pictures to tidying up my home before sitting down to enjoy a simple, yet filling dinner and games with family. Three words: awareness, then practice.

Where can you simplify life?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Wasting time or living life: what’s it going to be?

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wasting-or-living-life

My mind has been stuck in overdrive for weeks. First, I prepped for a long weekend of travel while juggling work, a yoga challenge and writing commitment. Upon my return, I resumed life: working, completing my writing commitment and commencing a new yoga challenge (why not include an ab challenge too, while I’m at it?). I’ve also begun soul searching and deduced I’m wasting my time with this one life I was gifted. Apparently, this epiphany was more than my mind could contemplate, because I ended up with a two-day migraine. Along with that, I suffered bouts of monkey brain, beginning with thoughts at Point M, circling to Point J, then R and ending at Point E. The headache and monkey brain siphoned much of my energy—plus, I have yet to achieve the simple life I desire. Maybe this season is preparing me for just that. In the meantime, I need to quit wasting time and start living.

Are you wasting your time, or living your life?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Pantser, planner or a little of both?

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Pantser planner

 

If you’re a writer, the term ‘pantser’ is as familiar to you as the beloved setting where you daydream about all the writing you wish you were doing. Basically, it means to ‘fly by the seat of your pants.’ Writers like this generally begin with a basic plan, then let the story write itself. In life and in writing, I tend to follow the ‘planner’ route; i.e., I like to know what, when, where and how something will happen. Although this rarely transpires outside the confines of my laptop or notebook, I find comfort in staying between the lines. I might consider my living and writing style more middle-of-the-road, however, a ‘plantser’ who performs a little of both—more so now that simplicity is my New Year intention. A loose outline, whether for the day or the next blog or that story idea I’ve contemplated and picked apart for months, simply sets the stage for magic to unfold.

Are you a pantser, planner or a little of both?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Turn the page to begin anew

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Turn the page begin

The first blank page of 2016 arrives with good intentions: Simplicity. Balance. Happiness, health and wellness. Just when we thought it was safe, in creeps remnants of discouragement. Wait, didn’t we leave that behind at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve? As I folded and put away a couple days’ worth of clean laundry this morning, I reflected on how, when not managed immediately (or within a reasonable amount of time), the wash and myriad household tasks pile up much like the residual of unkind words, broken promises and unrealized expectations—all of which weigh us down with disappointment, regrets or hurt. I suggest, instead, we do what we can in an allotted period of time; i.e., spend XX minutes each day working on housekeeping tasks or making an effort to right a wrong, and then be done with it. Let it go, whatever it is. And with intention, choose to travel lighter, unburdened. Then turn the page to begin anew.

How did your New Year’s Day transpire?

Image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Manifesting positive results

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Vision Board
Balance… simplicity… happiness. Only a fourth of the way into the new year, and I’m beginning to realize the manifestation of these elements as I actively pursue them. When I recently mentioned to a girlfriend that I wish I could clone myself to be in three places at once, she said: Just do one thing good. That advice, along with the vision board I crafted (see creating our own luck), is my new impetus. Rather than multitask a boatload of to dos, I’m honest with myself about what I will spend my time on. I might accomplish less, overall, yet I’m focusing my attention on those one or two things and “doing them good.” I also feel reduced pressure to say “yes,” and to go with the flow, instead. The days still fly by but, with a slower personal pace, I’m able to live more fully in each moment. Which makes space for a more simplified, balanced life. And a happier me.

How have you simplified your life?