August 9, 2017
“Simple doesn’t mean easy, but if you make it simple it can be easier…”
As I’ve matured and experienced life in its most raw form, I’ve recognized that the above quote is so very true. I’ve lived the life that was full of drama, complexities and intricate moving bells and whistles. All of it was done to achieve the goal of happiness. But you know what? I’m done with all of that. I have realized that the easiest way to achieve the optimum level of comfort in my life is to “keep it simple.” Here are six things that you can do that perhaps keep your life simple as well:
1. Remove all things and all people from your life that serve as toxins. You are no longer lending power to anything that threatens the core of who you are and whom you are striving to become. When you reduce the toxicity in your life, you are protecting your heart and soul and limiting access to the emotions that stagnate relationships and growth. Anything and anybody who impedes your progress towards happiness, or may compromise your self-sufficiency and endangers your hopes and dreams need to be reduced or eliminated from your life. I honestly feel that if they do not provide support, then what is their purpose? Sometimes you need to scan your audience and look at the back of the room for your supporters because the people sitting in the front row may not really be clapping for you. There are times when the entire front row can complicate your life and be hazardous to your aspirations. This can complicate the journey to your dreams and do you really need this? Removing these things and people shifts you one step closer to simplicity.
2. Controlling your time. I often say that the most valuable commodity in my life is my time. It’s something that I can never get back, so I am careful and selective about how I use it. I don’t allow folks to just “take” my time without my permission because that is giving them an inordinate amount of power over my life. To achieve optimum levels of happiness and success, I believe that you need to understand that you should try not to waste your time with things and people who really do not matter and really cannot positively impact your life. I don’t just “give away” my time unless I am volunteering because then I am frustrated when it all seems meaningless. To avoid this, I’ve learned how to walk away from situations and people who present as a waste of time. It helps me to control how I spend my time and what I do with my time. It keeps me organized and with a sense of fulfillment knowing that whatever I am doing it’s because I choose to do it or at least understand why it has to be done. Yes, controlling your time is definitely necessary to keep it simple in your life.
3. Standing in your truth and genuinely living in your reality should become a daily goal in your struggle for significance to living a simple life. This requires acknowledging what you have done, what you failed to do and creating an action plan to move toward change. I’ve been taught that “A confused mind does nothing” so if you don’t know who you are and what you really stand for (your truth), then how are you going to figure out the next steps to move you towards happiness? This complicates your daily life and may force you to live a life robust with fear, confusion, and doubt because you don’t understand who you are. I think that if you stand in your truth, recognize and embrace the main tenets of your core then it will help you when making life choices. Don’t hide from yourself. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t pretend to be somebody else to yourself. Don’t be afraid of who you are and don’ t allow other grown folks to change who you are. These things are complicated and complicated is typically not simple. To keep it simple acknowledge who you are. And if you don’t like that person looking back at you in the mirror, make the change
4. Own the power of change. Remember this because it will give you the inner strength to know that if there is anything in your life that doesn’t compliment your heart, soul, hopes, dreams, and goals, then you own the power to change it. Nothing has to live in your daily existence if it releases negative energy. You can shift, adjust, reorganize, etc. anything that is contradictory to living a happy and simple life. Own your power. Use your power. Allow your power the opportunity to regulate those things in your life that threaten simplicity. Give your power the chance to alter anything that doesn’t promote simplicity. You own the power of change. Use it to own the power of simplicity
5. Forgiveness. Learn to forgive yourself, and the others around you whom you believe have “wronged” you. This is vital to your mental and emotional health. When we wallow in the lack of forgiveness we actually are holding ourselves hostage to a plethora of negative feelings that are reflective of toxins. As explained above, toxins can “eat you alive” and stagnate your progress and growth. Forgive yourself for any transgressions and forgive those who have apologized and those who have not yet acknowledged that they have done anything to you. This allows you to release many emotions that keep you angry, confused and hurt. If you begin to forgive yourself and others, then you inject your life with positivity and possibility; core ingredients to move forward. Simplicity requires uncomplicated relationships and forgiveness helps you to make that happen.
6. Trust and Believe. Yes, it’s as simple as that. I no longer worry about tomorrow because I know that my God has already ordered my steps and that I only travel along the path that he has created specifically for me. So while I am along this journey things may get rough. Things are scary. Things are confusing, and sometimes I feel like “backtalking” God. But you know what, at the end of the day, I just embrace the journey and know that despite and in spite of my feelings, God knows what is best for me. This is the “trust and believe” part….If you really just trust and believe in God then you will know that everything will be alright. You will know that you are already empowered, equipped and prepared to persevere. You will know that there are some days when you may feel damaged, but you know that you are not destroyed, and when you are bent, you are not broken. You know this because you trust and believe. You know this because you embrace that you are God’s child and you follow God’s will. You see, many people “say” that they trust and believe but what they “do” suggests otherwise. Sometimes it does require “blind faith” to make the next move, and then you realize that you were never blind with God leading the way. My life is simple because I pray each day for discernment. I want to know that the path I will travel on that day is the one God created for me and not a man-made road. Once I am assured of that, I know that I am “good.” Having faith and leaning on my triple shields of Grace, Faith and Mercy gives me the strength to accept this type of simplicity in my life. When you trust and believe, then you allow yourself to keep it simple.
So there you have it. 6 ways to keep your life simple. Will it happen overnight? Of course not. The best things and most productive things in life rarely occur without effort. But if you really want a simple life then it becomes your responsibility to make it happen. In the past few years, I retired from a career that I used to love, but it became too complicated for me because of the tumultuous relationship with my administrator. I took a major monetary loss, but I knew I couldn’t live in misery, so I elected to take an early retirement. Doing so simplified my life because I no longer had to make daily choices that threatened my sanity by working with this woman. I also ended a close relationship with a family member who had been my mentor my entire life. I had to do this because she began to believe that she could actually control my truth and then my actions. Hmmm… No, ma’am. I couldn’t allow this to happen because it contradicted the woman I had become and everything I was teaching my children to be. If I gave her the power to govern my thoughts then how would I be able to speak my truth and stand in my reality? I couldn’t so I didn’t. My life needed to be simple, so I had to rid myself of any toxins…during that time in my life that career and that family member represented contaminants to me and I had to fumigate my life from them. Was it easy? Hell no! But was it necessary? Absolutely! I recognized that I owned the power of change and I used my power to make the change. As a result, I now live a much simpler and happier life.
Simple does not mean easy, but if you make it simple it can be easier….Remember that and learn how to live a simple life. You will be happier as a result…I guarantee it.
Keep it simple…