We often think of simplifying, down-sizing or minimizing our external possessions and living with only the essentials as denying ourselves of the good life. This journey isn’t so much about eliminating the number of shoes or books we own, how small the square footage of our house can be or giving away every non-essential item we own. It may be all of that, if there’s a deeper-seated issue that keeps us from a sense of gratitude and enjoyment of the things that we say are most important to us.
The quest for the true joy of not being “owned” by too much stuff and the required maintenance as well as an often overcommitted schedule required me to look deep internally. At which point, I discovered a dis-ordered heart.
For me, living an abundant life is a journey of intentional growth and learning to authentically live a simple life. Simplicity has become the clarity in which I find meaning. It’s the removal of the unnecessary. It’s the discovery of what I value most.
5 simple ways to live an abundant life through keeping it simple.
1. Simplify your wardrobe. Adopting a minimal wardrobe has afforded me less stress when choosing what to wear each day. Eliminating items I rarely wear and only purchasing clothing, shoes and accessories that I feel most like myself in has given me more time each morning for the people and things I value.
2. Eliminate digital distractions. When meeting with someone, I intentionally allow my phone to take a coffee break. For me, multi-tasking simply means I am able to screw up two things at once! I work when I’m at work. I am intentional when I am in a meeting. I continually strive to remember that I own the phone, it does not own me!
3. Learn to be vacationally-minded in your work. Changing the mindset in how we view our work can transform the way we work. It no longer becomes a balancing act of life and work, it becomes the essence of life itself. God designed us to create! Realizing that creating is our work makes getting up in the morning a lot easier. If the goal is only for a promotion, prestigious title, or a larger paycheck, it will not be enough to fulfill us in the long run. On vacation, we are intentional in getting the most out of the moment and creating the memories we want to keep. Focusing on the difference we can make by the work only we can do allows us to realize the value that only we can bring to our organization.
4. Learn to say no to things. It’s tempting to believe that saying yes to everything is the path to success. Often, in not wanting to miss anything, we sign up to do everything. These commitments and obligations can cause unnecessary stress and friction in our relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. The ability to say no provides space to focus on the things we value most. It’s not about being involved in everything, but rather learning not to trade off the “best” and settle for “good”.
5. Embrace the mundane. Life is truly lived in the morning coffee chats on the porch, car rides to school or work, standing in the grocery line talking to a neighbor, reading to your kids before bed time, caring for a loved one, walking the dog, and clearing off the dinner table as a family. It’s in the moments we often hurry past. These are the simple memories that last a lifetime. These are the experiences that write our story and shape our lives. It’s these simple things that matter and become the things we appreciate most.
I did not intentionally set out on a journey to simplicity, but in so doing, I can honestly say, I have found true abundance.
I invite you to consider what ‘keeping it simple’ could mean for you…
Sheri Geyer is a Realtor & Christian Life Coach
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