Lately I have been enjoying a blog called ‘Becoming Minimalist’ by Joshua Becker. It has reminded me that actually one of my core values is ‘Simplicity’ although sometimes when I look at the things around me or think about my actions, they are far from simplistic. Today I have spent the day de-cluttering our wee home; clearing, sorting, re-arranging and cleaning. The funny thing is that I thought I had cleared quite a lot, yet himself saw no real difference and to be honestly I didn’t feel that I had de-cluttered as much as I wished either. How could it be that I was de-cluttering and yet not making head way into a clearer space? It wasn’t until I read tonight guest blog from Trina Cress that I realised I was going about it the wrong way.
In her guest blog Trina Cress talks about how she has surrounded herself with so much ‘good’ that she is practically drowning in it. Her question was ‘where do I really want to be—drowning in the shallow end of good, or confidently swimming in the deep end of great?’ It made me realise that while I was de-cluttering I was focusing on clearing out the ‘unwanted’ rather than deciding which ‘wanted’, though not necessarily ‘needed’ items, could be released. In changing my focus I realised that I too was drowning a bit in the shallow end of good – never really having the time I wish for to complete things fully, feeling rushed to tick off another task and even eating too much good stuff – all healthy of course :). My perceived ‘need’ of things, all those ‘one day we may use it’ items along with all those ‘healthy’ foods that I feel I should stock my cupboards with, was clouding my view. there is very little that we actually ‘need’ to survive yet so, so many things which we ‘want’ and label as ‘needed’. When I look at it; my life isn’t as simple as I would like.
Enjoy the simple pleasures of a picnic lunch with the family.
I realise too that my ‘needed’ things are mainly based on emotional links. I have connected items to past memories so that in having them around I am able to re-live those good times and feel good. The same is true of the foods I eat when I am having cravings. They are all foods that have some kind of emotional trigger – be it to push negative emotion away with or to re-live a positive memory. So in line with my thoughts and intentions to ‘de-clutter the good way’ I’m inviting you to join me this week in following a bit of Trina’s advice. Below is a cut and paste of the activity however if you wish to read the whole article then head over to Becoming Minimalist or Beginner Beans to see Trina’s actual examples.
1. Identify where you are.
I started by listing all the specifics that were taking my resources. All of those good things—the projects, tasks and life happenings—that filled my days to overflowing. I had an “Oh, now I get it” moment as I realized all the directions I was sending my time and energy.
2. Discover where you really want to be.
I then dreamed about where I really wanted to be—drowning in the shallow end of good, or confidently swimming in the deep end of great? In order to get deep into great, I had to be honest about those projects, tasks and life seasons where I really wanted to focus. Which did I care about and want to pursue above the others?
3. Consider what’s holding you back.
Then, came the tough questions. What good things were drowning me? What was holding me back? What good things were getting in my way of doing something great, or doing anything at all?
4. Let go of good for better.
Next, came the hard part of letting go. I had to confront my hang-ups to letting go of those good projects, tasks and happenings. I couldn’t let guilt control me anymore—if I wanted to swim in great, I needed to go through the challenging process of letting go of the excess good.
5. Live simply with purpose where you are.
Finally, it was time to pursue my new focus on purpose and with appreciation. What would I do today to implement my new simple, intentional, contented focus?