Simplify Your Life and Grow Appreciation

It’s easy to be swept up in constant acquirement. Why do we have to have so much stuff? Each new purchase promises a task made easier, a sense of satisfaction and satiation. Then when it gets to be too much, all of the old stuff or stuff that never quite met expectations goes into a big bag for someone else to repurpose. 

My mom used to make getting rid of stuff into a game called “Keep or Throw.” It’s not really a game, but I think giving it that label made the otherwise tedious task seem somewhat fun. Basically we’d hold things up for their fate to be decided. The answer is rapid with the idea that thinking too much pulls us from our true feelings about it. 

If I remember correctly, Oprah had a version of it with a ‘maybe’ pile that becomes ‘no’s’. More recently, Marie Kondo helps with the decision making by prompting whether the item sparks joy. Going through stuff is overwhelming for people, and digression towards memories slows the process way down. The last time I moved, my friend who was helping me lighten the load along the way said, “everything you own has a story!” This was probably her way of saying “this has gone on long enough,” but it’s true, I attach sentimental meaning to everything I own.   

When I cycle through clothing it usually marks the end of a life chapter. Admittedly I have clothes I still wear that are 10 years old. Mostly when I’ve felt a need to go through things, it becomes almost symbolic. It represents my own changes and readiness for moving on in self-development. During times when a lot is going on in your thoughts and emotions, physical re-organization can bring a sense of clarity. Decluttering of physical space is a great way to declutter your mental and spiritual spaces.

Simplifying your possessions is not only a great way to take inventory of what you already have, but it reminds you what has actually been useful to you. Notice what habits of yours have you gravitating towards particular item use, what you give value, and what you give attachment. Is the attachment necessary and healthy? How does it feel to let things go?

from canva

For help shedding what no longer serves you and reducing the amount you purchase, try gratitude and abundance practices. Gratitude is a form of mindfulness that increases life happiness and wellbeing. Abundance practices are a form of gratitude but you may also notice it decreases feelings of want. It’s a way of feeling wholeness because that endless void of reaching in order to feel fulfillment and enough quiets. 

Gratitude can range from actively journaling about aspects of your life that you really like and are going well for you to a quick naming in your head before you sleep. List specifics from the day and details about why you’re grateful. It’s not immediate and flashy happiness. Changes in your perspective from gratitude are subtle yet work deeply in you. It’s not meant to lessen your life’s challenges either. At the very least it shifts the narrative in your head. 

Abundance practices focus on all you have rather than what is missing. Giving attention to what’s missing means having to constantly feed it. Certainly if you need something, honor it. Solving problems with stuff or living by the mentality that life will be better only “if” and “when” breeds temporary fixes and never fully attained satisfaction. Goals and making changes are great, but a constant state of waiting or relying on external elements to be happy is not. Abundance holds you in the moment.

Decide what is worth keeping in your life and recognize the beautiful things you have already acquired. Thank you for reading 😉 If you like this page, please share it.

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