When you looked at your first bicycle, did you think; oh I can’t do that, I’ll never be able to ride that, everyone will laugh at me when I try? Did you tell yourself , “If I can’t ride this bike the very first time I try, then I’ll never try again?” Were there small voices in your head saying you’re not talented enough, not tall enough, not strong enough to ride a bike like this.
I doubt it.
I want to go back. I want to feel the freedom that comes with being four years old. At four we made our lives fair, we didn’t play with kids we didn’t like or who weren’t nice. There was no drama. “She’s mean. I don’t want to play with her.” And that was that. No big deal.
At four, if we were pretending to something different from ourselves, it was only because that was the game we agreed to play. Remember “make believe?” At four years old, if your pal was crying you wanted to know why and you tried your best to make it better. That’s was important. Being four could be little complicated since you couldn’t drive a car, but it was manageable because we knew all we needed to know to get by.
Some time has past since I was four and the world I am living in seems somewhat off kilter. There’s too much negativity and troubles. Grown ups are old and crabby. They don’t appear to know how to play. Too much stress and worry is occupying the space their heads and hearts. I see them all the time in shiny cars wearing bitter frowns as they scurry about the city.
But I know, in that very same city, there’s a bunch of four year olds living the good life, living large with eyes wide open and playing by their own simple rules.
So that’s what I am going to do. I am going to be four again.
I am going to follow my own rules and have fun.
Tip: Think like a child when you meet a new challenges; worry less and do your best.
Inspiration: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~T.S. Eliot
One-day one-thing: It’s Sunday do whatever you want.
Baggage is a drag. It is clutter of the soul. One of the most difficult challenges I face is clearing the clutter out of my head and heart. It’s hard work, and I don’t always do a very good job of it.
I keep a running mental list of the way I would like my world to be; my “when” list, my “if” list, and my “dream” list. I could spit it out rapid fire without even taking a breath. I bet you have a list you could rattle off in a minute as well.
But those lists rarely resembles reality. And worse than that, it marginalizes what you have in your life right now. By always thinking the grass is greener, the future is better, we fail to see the greatness of right here and now. I know it all makes sense in words. It’s easy to say and words are cheap. The true challenge, and the most important challenge, is applying what we learn to how we live.
For me it all comes down to clutter, at least that’s my analogy. My initial intention of this “journey to living better with less” was to tackle stuff, less stuff. But now
I believe I’ve learned clutter is systemic. It goes hand in hand with the rest of my life. I can close the closet door and I can’t see the clutter, but all the clutter stuffed inside is still there.
Just like our cluttered emotions, beliefs and overall well being. It’s always there, right inside you, where ever you are. Clutter goes deep into your psyche, at least for me it does. This realization is making my simple journey to minimalism a totally different trip. Who knew?
( someone knew, but not me )
I boiled it down, into four segments. This is where I have to
really seriously declutter and maintain clarity.
Physical stuff: Garage, storage unit, office, boxes, etcetera. This is the easiest one to identify and I believe it leads to clearing out the more difficult areas of your life.
Emotional stuff: Stress, relationships, sorrow, guilt, regrets, fear – we all have some degree of this in our lives – find a method to manage this emotional clutter so that it doesn’t ruin your time here on earth. Very difficult.
Spiritual stuff: Belief system – define your personal beliefs and match your daily actions to that belief – create harmony for yourself.
Mental stuff: Identify what is holding you back from your own life- what do you hear in your head that tells you -” I can’t.” Identify that voice and delete it. This takes constant effort for me.
This is tough and I don’t pretend to know anything about how to accomplish this. What I do know is, I have been to hell and back a few times, and I am not interested in any revisits. No matter what, I have made my choice. I don’t want any clutter of any sort. So I am willing do the work. I am willing to let go and move on.
Tip: Try saying an affirmation: I let go of my past hurt feelings. Life is good and so am I. ( I picked something simple, so I could remember it. )
Inspiration: ” It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. ” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
One-day one-thing: Let go of one or more expectations….forever.
I have been telling anyone, and everyone who will listen, about my plan to get rid of everything. I tell them that I am actually already “in process” of getting rid of everything I own. You should see the look of disbelief on their faces. They are entirely shocked at this idea, and at first they don’t believe me. They tilt their heads….like “really ?” When they eventually realize I am dead serious, (I swear I can see something click in their brains) right there and then, they think I am crazy.
I didn’t expect this.
I think of myself as a fairly “normal” person, not any crazier than the next. I can’t say that I had any preset expectations at all, but this reaction has been surprising. It’s so surprising to me, mostly because it is recurring. It’s not just a few people who react this way, it’s a solid 97%.
I suppose it is going outright against the grain of the “got to have” based mentality of the American consumer. Three-fourths of our economy, ( 75% percent <-that’s crazy), is based on consumerism. Businesses want you to want. Want more, bigger, faster, better, lighter, smaller, they even want you to want more that uses less. The somewhat green marketers say “buy this aluminum bottle” to use less plastic bottles. That’s a good effort because plastic is evil, but everyone knows glass bottles are by far the best.
For whatever unknown reasons most people can not believe that I don’t want “things.” I like things, I just don’t want to own things. I have way too many things! Besides owning is work, and it’s expensive. Maybe I am just cheap and lazy. (?) I don’t know. What I do know, is my things stress me out. They are weighing me down, taking up my time and I don’t want them anymore.
I can’t wait to tell the next person. Cheers.
Tips from: Joshua Becker – via Organizing Your Way
Today’s “one day- one thing”: Listing chairs on Craig’s list.
I love boxes! It’s true! I never met or saw a box I didn’t like. The problem is once I own a box, I put stuff inside it. End result, I have a lot of boxes with God-knows-what inside.
By not knowing what is inside, I definitely can’t just throw it away. Therein lies one of my many problems. Sorting, blah!!! I hate it. It takes forever, so of course I don’t do it.
This is the cutest box ever. It’s tiny. I have saved this box as a reminder to myself -NO MORE BOXES!!!!
The mass marketers would like you to believe that if you buy a container then all your “stuff” will be protected and organized. They want you to believe that your children will suddenly want to put away their toys or that your house will instantly become neat and orderly. They do a good job. Now plastic containers come in all shapes and colors. One is bound to be perfect for your “whatever.” I have a plastic box just for a wreath. The wreath’s original box was perfectly fine, but no….a green and red one is better. It’s all bullshit. (I didn’t need the wreath either, but that is beside the point.)
Buying boxes, containers if you will, is a license to hold on to unnecessary stuff! Don’t do it. I realize there are valid uses for a containers, but if you are anything like me, a storage container stores stuff we don’t need, we may not even want, and stuff that we usually forget we have until we look inside. (we’re never going to look)
Next time you see that shiny new container that is going to miraculously solve your clutter issues, remember my tiny box. Get rid of the stuff you want to store – you aren’t going to use it anyway. Be brave, be box-less.