You don’t have to turn your life upside down to live more simply. That kind of abrupt change can be almost counter productive to simplicity. My life does look completely different from what it did 8 years ago, but not because of radical change.
8 years ago I …
- was diagnosed with MS
- had more fatigue than energy
- did not have time to be creative
- was in debt by more than $300,000 if you count the house
- was too busy to intentionally choose how I wanted to spend my time
- was always on my phone (even while driving)
- engaged in crazy dieting and was still overweight
- felt like I was under pressure all the time
- was constantly trying to catch up
- did not even think about decluttering
- worked all the time
- measured success by what I earned or accomplished
Today I …
- am healthy. I still have MS, but MS does not have me
- wake up by 5:30 am and meditate and workout
- am creative every day
- enjoy a debt free life
- take regular digital breaks and never use my phone when driving
- feel light and eat food I enjoy
- let things go and don’t feel like I’m missing out
- am clutterfree
- do work I love
- measure success by how I treat people, including myself
In today’s culture of overnight success and 30 day prescriptions, an 8 year transformation might not sound that exciting. It was slow and steady, but enjoyable. It wasn’t radical change. It didn’t freak out my family and I didn’t burn out trying to force things to change. What I learned through the process is that lasting, meaningful change rarely happens overnight, but it’s always worth the wait.
A simple life is built from tiny moments.
Years define life. Months define years. Days define months. Hours define days and minutes and moments make it all worthwhile.
Gretchen Rubin says “The days are long, but the years are short,” and while time may seem to rush by when we look back, if we pay attention to the minutes and moments and make those simple, one at a time, we can create simpler lives.
The problem is that until we simplify, we don’t have the time or attention to notice the moments and so they rush by too.
Simple moments make a simple life.
Instead of giving up because there is too much decluttering, too much debt, too much of everything, create and engage in one simple moment. Make it a priority and then do it again. Those moments will help you direct your attention to creating more simplicity and cultivating simple moments more consistently.
Each simple moment offers the opportunity for connection, happiness, peace, love and a simpler life.