Junk. It’s everywhere. It makes its way from factories into supermarkets, onto our TVs and iPad screens and into magazines; it fills our bellies, minds and rubbish bins, and ends in the ocean and overflows our tips. It’s ingrained in our society and the system we know so well. It can rid us (and Earth) of the pleasures of pure living: healthy, strong, independent, sustainable, and aware.
Although I didn’t explicitly say it in the introduction of this series, minimalist and mindful ways of living and being are at the heart of this series and a big influence on my thinking. I’m no expert on these topics but I see that by freeing our lives of unnecessary clutter and junk – and I don’t mean only the physical kind – we’ll get closer to achieving inner peace and greater clarity in an otherwise chaotic world. It’s a constant process.
Thus begins Part II of the Allure of Junk series. I’m back!
“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy.” – Richard Halloway
The irony of this post is that I may not keep it simple in my writing – I certainly haven’t in the process – but I’ll give it a shot.
In the past couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve fallen on my head a few times. As a kid, I could get up, rub the pain, ask for help if I needed it, and just get on with the game, but sometimes it’s not so simple.
It’s easy to neglect the signs we’re about to fall on our heads when we’re caught up in ‘everything else.’ Yep, we catch that damn busy bug, and we get a shock once we’re down. Never fear!
We all ride emotional waves day-to-day; it’s a part of being human. Sometimes we need reminders (from ourselves and others) to get up, reassess where we’re at and to put everything back together into manageable pieces, essentially simplifying our lives, finding contentment and promoting efficiency. I know many of us are riding the same wave, so I’ve put together ways to review the things that cause the “busy-ness” to get to us. It takes time but here they are.
TIME OUT: AS SIMPLE AS THAT!
When everything’s piling up and your mind’s cluttered, sometimes all you have to do is step out of the ring and ask for time out, even if it’s just a day or a weekend. You’re allowed it. Call it. Time out is the only way you’ll have the chance to see where you’re at and what’s important to you, and you probably need some ‘me time.’ Ask yourself why you’re so caught up in whatever it is and if it’s taking up unnecessary space in your life. What’s preventing you from letting go? What do you need to do to clear your mind? Don’t make more commitments (yet). Get away from the screen (there’s that irony again). Hang with your SO or see your friends. You’re allowed a night off.
DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME TO MAKE SPACE IN YOUR MIND
I am going to go out on a whim and say most of us attach guilt to the possessions that sit in our cupboards waiting for our attention. If you feel like you’ve got stacks of junk around your house (whether hidden under the rug or not), I guarantee you won’t be 100% until you deal with them, and that’s what I’ve been doing: cleaning up. Be brutal. You won’t be on your death bed wishing you had accumulated more stuff. When you get rid of junk, you create more space in your mind for immaterial goodies and creativity.
THE HOLISTIC HUMAN: MIND + BODY = INTERCONNECTED
It’s ironic to not look after your body because you have “too much to do”, when in fact exercise and eating healthily improve efficiency!
I felt frantic because I stopped moving. I glued myself to the computer (working, writing, reading, wasting), and became too attached to commitments and too busy for exercise; silly mistakes, but the lesson’s learnt: my body thrives on attention and movement. The body is sometimes the last place we look when we’re feeling overwhelmed, but it should be one of the first.
When you look after your body, you also take care of other people. Food and activity tie us together. You can tell what a person eats or what activity they do in how they project themselves. By eating well (local, organic, etc.), we take better care of the environment and the people we love, ourselves included.
We’re the whole system: mind, body and everything in-between. We’ve got to respect the whole system if we wish to get in control, feel contentment and simplify our lives in the face of chaos. Find what works for you.
THE FINAL WORDS FOR NOW
“By being kind to ourselves and others we are creating a world of wellness within and without our bodies.” – John C. Bader
On the journey to finding greater inner peace within the chaos of everyday life, it’s inevitable that most of us, unless we’re from another world, will slip on something along the way. Sometimes it’s a lot harder than “brushing it off” but there are ways to simplify, reassess and get on with the game once more (and better than before). Keep it simple, stupid!
‘How to Fall Right’ by Olive on Blonde. This article was a fantastic pick-me-up this week. So grateful!
‘9 Rules for a Simpler Day’ and ‘Do Less: A Short Guide’ by Zenhabits. Again, these posts came at the right time. The universe/interwebs delivered.
‘How Mindfulness can save your Relationship’ by Lisa Firestone. She writes, “As we become more mindful, we achieve a greater sense of inner peace that is beneficial to us and the world around us, especially the people close to us.”
‘The Purpose of Connectedness’ by Life as a Wave. This a great post on clarity, openness and connectedness. Their points tie in with the purpose of this blog.
Now, to get away from the screen…