“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”Maya Angelou
All over the world today, lots of people, myself included, seem to go through life with their only goal being to just get by — hoping that someday soon things would calm down so that we can begin to truly live. Especially with recent events, I know I’ve found myself zoning out and spending my time on meaningless busywork just to make the time go by faster, which means that each day blends into the next. I suppose it’s an efficient way of passing time, but it’s definitely not productive to me. Although, I have had plenty of time lately to simply sit down and think for a while, which has helped me realize I could be living consciously rather than zoning out and wasting time.
When I say “living consciously,” I mostly mean not doing what I’ve been doing lately by trying to make the time go by as fast as possible. I’ve noticed, even before these recent events, that some people close to me spend almost every day just waiting until it was time for bed again. For my life, I know that I don’t like the idea of living that way, and so I want to share some things that I do or that I plan on doing in order to make the most of every day.
This part really goes back into my post yesterday, where I talked about how important meditation is in the process of decluttering! Meditation of any sort can help you become more aware of your surroundings, and especially of yourself. Learning how to meditate is like opening a door to your inner self, allowing you to become more aware of how you think, feel, and interact with the world.
At the end of a long day, try to just sit down, breathe deeply, and remember where you are in the world. Meditating in the evenings is a great way to unwind and reflect at the end of a long day. This is especially helpful to get to know yourself better, because this allows you to come to terms with how you feel, and just to reflect on all the things you did (or didn’t do) that day.
Meditation is especially helpful to me because it gives my brain a break from all the stress and all the work from the day, and helps me to close things down for the night. I mentioned in my recent post that there are so many resources to help you start meditating, like guided meditations on YouTube and so many apps to choose from!
I talked about this one in yesterday’s post as well! Journaling has helped me a lot over the past few years, and is definitely the one I use the most on this list. Being able to have a place to write down anything and everything that’s on your mind can help clear your mind and help ease some stress.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can seem silly to some people, but it definitely helps me process things. Whenever I feel stressed, overwhelmed, or confused, I don’t always find myself reaching for my journal. But when I do, I write down every thought and question and anything I can think of to write down, and then when I read back over what I wrote, things often start to become clear. It usually helps me to realize that emotion can change my judgements of a situation, and taking the time to write things down has helped me see things from a new, more logical perspective.
It’s also very helpful to take the time to write at the end of a long day, for the same reasons as meditation! Writing about your day can give you time to reflect on yourself and your surroundings, and making a list of things to do tomorrow can help your brain unwind and de-stress for the night.
3. Reading Books
This is something I haven’t been doing enough of lately. It is something I feel has been missing from my life nowadays, where everything is online and being busy is valued above experiences. To me, simple living is about enjoying life to the fullest without as much of the clutter, noise, or stress of today. By taking time to read a book, not only can we be exposed to amazing new worlds and perspectives, but we also learn how we can relate to others by relating to the author or to the characters in an old favorite book.
I have learned so much from reading books. I used to love those dystopian adventure books that make up the entire teen section of shelves. Reading about the characters facing and overcoming challenges, experiencing terrible hardships, or oppression, even though they were always fiction books, I felt as though I was right there with them. I feel like I learned a lot about being grateful for the things I had after reading about the challenges faced by others.
Reading books of any type can really open up your mind and show you all kinds of different perspectives, which many people would never see otherwise. Again, it’s also something that can help you unwind after a long day, but just make sure not to pick up something really action-packed when you want to doze off!
This is another thing that is important to my journey of living a simple life because I believe that working on being more aware of yourself and the world around you is the best way to begin decluttering. It’s very hard to try decluttering your physical environment if your mind is full of things to remember and all the thoughts and feelings that have no escape. I know that I can’t focus well if I haven’t first taken care of myself physically and mentally by taking time to reflect.
And of course, there are many more ways to live a conscious life that I didnt talk about in this post! These three ways are just the first few that I thought of, and these few seem to be a good starting point! In the future, I may publish a part two as I continue to explore these methods.
I hope you found this helpful! As always, feel free to let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!