In between panicking and screaming, I’ve been worrying around in my head ways to simplify my life. Simplification does not mean I need to spend tons of extra money I don’t have buying things to make life easier. I don’t need fancy foods and storage bins and vacuum cleaners that work themselves, I just need to get to a place where simple lives in my soul.
My first step in this simplifying adventure is to rid myself of things that are no longer necessary. I just did a major clean in the sewing room and other rooms are on the list. I have offered to simplify my son’s room. He shut the door in my face. Nicely, but I got the idea.
Another means for me to simplify my life sounds easy – but it might not be. Instead of thinking about what I need that I don’t have – I let those sorts of thoughts come and go. Instead I am grateful for what I have and I look for ways to be more and more grateful.
One of the many things for which I am grateful is my ability and the enjoyment I get from cooking. I would rather make bread than buy it. Even that nasty slimy slice stuff they sell is almost $3 or $4 a loaf now. And it is tasteless and gooey. I don’t like my bread sticking to the roof of my mouth. I want to bite into it and taste the flour, yeast and salt that went into it. I want to enjoy the aroma and not just eat it because I’m hungry. I want to eat it because I want to eat it.
Cooking is enjoyment. I like chopping, slicing, dicing and doing the preparation work. I love making tasty vegetarian dishes that keep us healthy AND full. A vegetarian diet is intrinsically lighter and less expensive than eating meat. And meat does put such a burden on our digestive systems as well as our world. Tonight we’re going to feast on Bubble and Squeak – a gorgeous combination of potatoes, cabbage and onions cooked to a crisp.
Simplifying my life also means that I need to change my perspective on what things I want in my life. I recognize that if I focus on lack, I will attract more lack in my life. I instead focus on being aware that I have everything I need in this moment. That there is absolutely no emergency right now and that I can feel secure in this moment. And my desires are not the fleeting desires of buying and getting, but rather the desires of being. Being aware, confident and compassionate are the desires I foster.
The ability to let go of “things” and the desires to buy more and more things – that is simplicity. I can recycle almost anything. It is sad, but true, that we live in a world with constant messages that we need to consume. We’re told that consumer spending is 70% of our economy. Wow. Think of that – is that ridiculous? In order for our economy to grow and make jobs for everyone who wants one, we all have to spend money over and over and over and over.
Since the economy tanked back in 2008, life has been hard here in the trenches. People who have jobs are worried they will lose them. People who don’t have jobs can’t find one. And people who were used to getting easy credit to help with the big things in life can’t get that credit any longer. We’re just stuck in a world that reminds us daily to buy buy buy and yet there is nothing to buy with at all.
How can we adjust to the fact that what we have is what we have? That we can’t just go out and get a better job, or a job, or extra money when we need it? I think this is a generational lesson being played out. We are being reminded to reign in our desires. We’re being reminded that no matter what our marketing and advertising people say, we can’t have it all. We’re being given an opportunity to live simply.
Living simply with gratitude creates an inner joy. A joy that cannot be taken away from us. No matter what ……………………………..