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?