I have been subscribed to the blog Zen Habits for a few months now and enjoy receiving updates in my email every day because there is generally something uplifting, inspiring or just awesome involved in every single post. Today of course was no different.
Here is an excerpt from the blog:
“This is the addition to “Omit needless things” that is necessary: not that you have as little as humanly possible, but that every thing you do have counts… In anything you do, see if you can apply these principles. There’s no need to get obsessive about it, of course, but it’s always useful to examine what we do, how we do it, and whether we really need to do it.”
The post discussed our need to omit superfluous stuff be it physical things in our homes or offices, foods we ingest or even the goals we set out for ourselves. This minimalist lifestyle is one I attempt to live in most areas of life but reading someone else’s take on the subject really got me thinking about what is needless in my life and exactly what I do about it.
I am the worst offender of two things -- committing to way too many plans and allowing food to spoil in the refrigerator.
As you have all been reading I have been quite busy with Green Leaf reviews of late but that is just one area of my business. I am also a painter (as in wall treatments, not on canvas) and a writer. I have been working on all of these things simultaneously in addition to spending time with family and friends and keeping up with everyone and everything (paying bills on time, reading blogs, grocery shopping, etc). After a while the pace takes a toll and it is vital for me to find a way to blow off steam.
Matt and I take a walk almost every night which really helps my mind decompress. True that in essence it is another plan but we spend the time talking about our day and releasing any of the stresses we had allowed to sneak in. In the midst of go-go-go we both really look forward to that twenty minute span of time that is reserved for no one but us.
Not only does this allow us to purge the chaos from our minds by laughing about it but the endorphins from the exercise are a double benefit!
We now plan weekly meals to reduce the over spending on, and needless waste of, extra foods we never eat and go bad in the fridge. I write out a list of meals we will have for dinner and all of the ingredients used to make them. Things we can not make right away are frozen and as I make the meal it is checked off. Meals that leave a lot of leftovers are put in small containers and one or the other of us has it for lunch the following day. I guess one might say we reduce, reuse or recycle our food.
Not only has this cut down greatly on the food that goes bad, it has helped us save a lot of cash and fat by not eating in restaurants for lunch or dinner all the time!
These two things are small steps but steps none the less toward a simpler life.
Other things I do to cut out needlessness:
- Turn off the television (the over stimulation causes brain chaos!)
- Unplug things not currently in use (why drain the planet too?)
- Continuously remain aware of every action I take
- Smile and laugh, a LOT (happiness is lighter than negativity trust me!)
- Sell, donate, trade and / or share
I have a long way to go before my home will look as simple as the photo on the Zen Habits blog post but I am working on it by starting with the two areas where have the greatest issues and it truly feels great!
I hope all of you will read the rest of today’s post over at Zen Habits.
In case this post wasn’t enough to convince everyone how much extra there really is out there I strongly encourage everyone to check out the Story of Stuff again. If you’ve never seen it believe me it is a total eye opener.