Simplify

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I needed a reminder.  Wanna come along?

The following excerpt was found on the Gallagher Press
website and is compliments of Linda Breen Pierce.

"Simplify, Simplify…"

More than a
century after Henry David Thoreau uttered these words, his plea for simplicity
has more significance now than ever before. We work hard and play hard, filling
nearly every moment with activity. Most families believe they need two incomes
to pay for a standard of living that has doubled in the last 50 years. But do
we?

Based on my three-year study of over 200 people who have simplified their
lives, I found that we can work less, want less, and spend less, and be happier
and more fulfilled in the process. Here are ten suggestions to simplify your
life. Don’t try to simplify your life in a few weeks or months; most people
need an initial period of three to five years to complete this transition.
Small, gradual steps are best.
 

1. Don’t let any material thing come into
your home unless you absolutely love it and want to keep it until it is beyond
repair
. Too much stuff – it’s suffocating us. Purchasing, maintaining, insuring,
storing and eventually disposing of our stuff sucks up our precious life
energy.

2. Live in a home with only those rooms
that you or someone in your family use every day
. Create a cozy home
environment that fits your family. You will find this is much more satisfying
than living in a museum designed to impress your friends. Spending time and
money to maintain a home that is larger than you truly need diverts these
resources from more fulfilling endeavors.
   

3. Limit your work (outside of the home)
to 30 hours a week, 20 if you are a parent
. To live a balanced life, we
need "down" time – time to daydream, to relax, to prepare a leisurely
meal, to take a walk. If we surround our structured activities with empty
spaces, those activities will become more productive and meaningful.

4. Select a home and place of employment
no more than 30 minutes away from each other
. Commuting time is dead time.
It nourishes not the body, the mind, nor the soul. Preserve your energy and
money for more rewarding life experiences.
   

5. Limit your children’s extracurricular
activities to one to three a week, depending on age
. Otherwise, you will
exhaust yourself and your children will grow up addicted to constant
stimulation.
 

6. Take three to four months off every few
years and go live in a foreign country
. Living in a different culture
fascinates, excites, and vitalizes us. It teaches us to live in the present, a
core practice of simple living. We gain perspective when we experience a
foreign culture. We learn how much we have to be grateful for.
   

7. Spend at least an hour a week in a
natural setting, away from crowds of people, traffic, and buildings
. Three
to four hours of nature time each week is even better. There is nothing more
basic, more simple, than the natural world.

8. Do whatever you need to do to connect
with a sense of spirit in your life, whether it be prayer, religious services,
journal writing, meditation, or spiritually-related reading
. Simplicity
leads to spirituality; spirituality leads to simplicity. Cultivate a practice
of silence and solitude, even for 15 to 30 minutes a day. Your spirituality
will evolve naturally.

9. Seek the support of others who want to
simplify their lives
. Join or start a simplicity circle if you enjoy group
interaction. Living simply in our culture can be a lonely journey. Your friends
and family may still be on the work-and-spend treadmill and are unlikely to
give you support. Participating in a study group will give you support and
validation for your choices.
   

10. Practice saying no. Say no to
those things that don’t bring you inner peace and fulfillment, whether it be
more material things, greater career responsibility, or added social
activities. Be vigilant with your time and energy; they are limited resources.
If you say yes to one thing (like a job promotion), recognize that you are
saying no to something else (perhaps more time with family). Live consciously
and deliberately.

………………………………………….

Linda Breen Pierce is the author of Choosing
Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World

and Simplicity Lessons: A 12-Step Guide to Living Simply.

She can be
reached via email or at (831)
626-8486 (Pacific time).

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9 thoughts on “Simplify

  1. I feel better knowing that I do most of those things. I need to work on “no”, especially saying no to people outside of my family. That is a biggie for me. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Running2Ks, you are welcome.
    But I want to state that this was inspired by other blogs I’ve checked out lately. Amy’s was most directly the impetus for this post. But reading Miriam’s blog regularly has really gotten me thinking about aspects of my life that I take for granted, which not only are unnecessary, but also actually make my life more difficult.

  3. Way cool! This is all good stuff to keep in mind. I wonder if I could get it tattooed somewhere?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on Maya and Sage’s birthday. How do you pronounce Kajsa?

  4. Hey Jen! It’s good to see you here. I love your blog. Kajsa is pronounced Ki-suh. That’s a long I, as in, um, I.
    I think the tattoing is a fantabulous idea. Where ever would you put it?

  5. Good for you! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this list. I hadn’t come across it yet.
    Also LOL at the cartoon you included. That’s too cute. 🙂
    Isn’t Miriam’s blog great? I find her to be very inspiring also.

  6. Well, I have plenty of room for the tattoo on my butt, but I wouldn’t be able to see it there very easily. Maybe I should come up with a better plan?

    Thanks for the pronounciation guide! That’s a beautiful name!

  7. Well you are most welcome. And thank you for the compliment on her name. I wish I could take credit, but it’s actually a Swedish name.

    As for the tattoo…What do you have – four kids? Hmmmm…I wonder if that’s had any imact on your body -at all.

    I can think of a few places that are NOT much bigger on me than they were 15 years ago. Perhaps you’ve had similar experiences?

  8. In response to your post “Simplify” I want to post a part from my article which examines the impact of Speed, Overstimulation, Consumerism and Industrialization on our minds and environment. Please read.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

    To read the complete article please follow any of these links :

    ePhilosopher

    FreeInfoSociety

    sushil_yadav

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