Leave Space for what Matters
This is your year to take action towards living a life uncluttered by most of the needless things people fill their lives with, leaving you with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing, and stress; but instead: contemplation, creation, and connection with people and projects you love.
But I know what you’re thinking:
HOW? I’m not so sure it’s possible right now…
Your days fill up fast, and they are rushed and packed with things to do and people to see – sometimes they literally seem to be bursting at the seams. Right?
Yes, I know exactly how you feel. That used to be my life too.
Before I started simplifying my life, I was being pulled in dozens of different directions every day, and never had enough time to get everything done. Naturally, I wanted to do a great job with each obligation I had, and somehow I had convinced myself that I could do it all.
But the reality was I was stretched way too thin; and thus I was doing a lousy job at everything and completely stressing myself out in the process.
Simplifying for Sanity
This feeling of being mind-numbingly busy and overbooked is a huge source of stress for most people. And stress is perhaps the single most important determining factor of whether we’re healthy and happy, or sick and tired, in the long run.
Unless you want your health to decline and your stress to continue to skyrocket, you must start simplifying.
How can you simplify your life this year?
It’s not as hard as you might imagine…
1. Focus on being productive (not being busy or perfect).
Don’t just get things done; get the right things done.
Results are always more important than the time it takes to achieve them. Stop and ask yourself if what you’re working on is worth the effort. Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals? Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important.
And don’t get caught up in the idea of perfection either.
Smile every chance you get;
not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had hoped, but because you choose to be grateful for all the good things you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have. You must accept the fact that life is not perfect, that people are not perfect, and that you are not perfect.
And that’s okay, because the real world doesn’t reward perfection. It rewards people who get GOOD things done. And the only way to get GOOD things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.
2. Leave space between everything that’s important to you.
It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with tasks. Don’t do this to yourself. Leave space.
The space between the things we do is just as important as the things we do. So leave healthy gaps between your tasks.
Take a break to stretch, take a short walk outside, drink a glass of water, perhaps do some simple deep breathing exercises. Enjoy the space, and breathe.
Again, your overarching goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the things people fill their lives with, leaving you with more space… for sanity… and for your priorities.
Let go of all the purposeless drama, aimless time-wasters, and clutter that keeps getting in your way. It’s time to focus on what truly matters.
3. Exercise your appreciation for what is.
A simpler, more positive mindset can be created anytime and anyplace with a change in thinking. That’s right, frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress evaporates.
The simplest secret to doing this is letting every circumstance be what it is in the moment, instead of what you think it should be, and then making the best of it.
It’s about being grateful for what is, and then working WITH it, not against it.
This kind of humble gratitude always makes life easier to deal with. Because happiness comes easier when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.
Is this message your wake-up call–or invitation–to a simpler life?
How many times have you thought “this isn’t working” or “something is not right” or “things have to change”? – those thoughts and words are from your inner voice. It’s your wake-up call calling.
You don’t need a major life crisis to wake you up. And no one needs to tell you because you already know. Your inner voice has been trying to tell you, but in case it’s been a challenge to find time and space to listen through the chaos, maybe you’ll resonate with one of these situations.
- If your life is on auto-pilot, this is your wake-up call.
- If you never put yourself first, this is your wake-up call.
- If you’ve become someone you don’t recognize to please other people or to chase some version of success that doesn’t resonate with you, this is your wake-up call.
- If you are constantly numbing out with food, shopping, booze, TV, or other distractions, this is your wake-up call.
- If you are worn down, beat up, stressed out, and completely depleted, this is your wake-up call.
Answering a wake-up call
Getting your wake-up call is not the hard part, answering the call is. Choosing to answer the call instead of ignoring it is hard. Right now, it may feel easier to keep going, and going, and going.
But you know if you don’t find a way out of the endless cycle you’re in, it’s going to get worse.
If you are having trouble with any of this, remember, you are not alone.
We all struggle with one thing or another, each seeking in their own way to live a fulfilling life.
- Take time for yourself.
- Think Better – about everything in your life.
- Take a breath.
Rev. Mari Gabrielson