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Is Less More?

by Brenda Wisniewski on 05/08/14

 "Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject." -Thomas Mann

If this is true then does that mean that order and simplification are the 1st steps toward mastery of your life?

I tend to think so.

My personal experience has been that once you strip down your life, I mean really strip it down to the point where you're almost bored then you can start to re-build and create a life that is in alignment with your values and what's important to you. When our lives are complicated and busy we don't have time to see why we're doing certain things. We're on auto pilot and merely just trying to survive. I operated like this for years and sometimes still find myself in that mode if I'm not paying attention.

It's easy to get swept up in "doing" when you have kids, friends, a job, and other responsibilities. Our society is very much a more is better, bigger is better society. But is that really true? I ask you to examine this for yourself and to not just take my word for it. Is more really better? What happens when you have too much going on? For me when I have too much going on I feel overwhelmed, stressed and pressured to get it all done. I start to get short with people, I am tired, I am not as patient with my kids, I'm grumpy and not really present in the moment because I'm thinking about what's next. I jump from one task to the next trying to accomplish the insane to-do list I created for myself.

That's the point - we created this for ourselves so we can uncreate it. Why do we need to go to every kid's birthday party that our child is invited to? We don't. Why do we need to say yes to every social invitation we get? We don't. Why do we need to take on another project at work when our plate is already full? We don't. But, why do we do it?

From my experience, I believe it could be because of a few reasons: 1) because some of us are people pleasers 2) we don't have good boundaries 3) because we think we should 4) we care about what other people think of us 5) because we don't care enough about ourselves to say no and 6) because we have an unmet need we're trying to fulfill. We are prioritizing everyone else except ourselves. Where are you in all this? What do you really want to do? If you really want to do this, ask yourself why? Is it because it's feeding your need to be liked, your need to be accepted or included or your need to be accomplished? Or is it because in your heart you really want to do this?

Chances are there are some things you do that you don't need to do. Saying yes to things you don't really want to do out of guilt or shame or a should is a habit. That's all. It's something you can re-train. And, when you stop "doing" so much you'll start to feel lighter, freer and you'll have more energy. It's like when you spring clean or clean out your closet - you always feel better. And, the best part about this is if you create space in your life and build a solid foundation you start attracting things you want.

So, start small. Take an honest look at your life and see where you can simplify things. What can you take off your to-do list? Where can you say no if it's not an absolute yes? Where can you do less to get more of what your really want?

Congratulations you're on your way to creating more space in your life for what you really want. Doesn't that feel good?

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