The first week of August is “Simplify Your Life Week.” In our busy, demanding world just the thought of simplifying seems complicated, doesn’t it? Just one more thing to do that takes thought and planning and changing our lives, right? Not so.
I propose to you that the first and most important step to simplifying your life is not about decreasing or eliminating anything but instead about “noticing” and “allowing.” We get caught up in the fervor of scheduling, doing and getting results, both professionally and personally, and in the process we often miss the beauty ~ the simplicity ~ of the present moment.
Serendipitously, I wrote about this in my blog, the first week of August, a couple of years ago, and I believe it is worth sharing again:
We have a lot of societal pressure to focus on the future. Most of us must plan our vacations well in advance in order to get time off from work. We must plan our finances to put our children through college, to secure our retirement. We make meal plans for our household to keep things running smoothly, we plan our weekly schedules for work and often for play, we plan by making lists and making appointments, ruminating and sometimes staying awake at night. This planning business can be downright consuming!
I am not saying that planning or being proactive about the future is bad in and of itself. Planning is a part of living life on this planet. I simply want to bring to your attention that all our future planning can keep us from enjoying the present moment. Some of us are such fervent planners that we have forgotten how to be in the moment.
Life moves quickly, my friends. If we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to truly engage, we might miss some of the best moments of our lives … because we are too busy planning the next moment of which we are likely to miss when it arrives because we are planning something else … Well, it’s a little like the dog chasing its tail, don’t you think?
So I urge you, get down on the floor and really “play” with your child or grandchild. Look into his eyes; see the sparkle. Observe the way your child holds his pen; listen to the lilt in her laugh, see the turn of her mouth when she is sad. Or put your ear to your animal friend’s chest and listen to its heartbeat, feel the warmth of its body. Go outside and watch clouds move, notice the way wind shimmers leaves of tree. The beautiful moments of life are before you, right here, right NOW! They are endless and waiting for us to discover them.
In our hearts we know what yearns for our attention. Give it! Be in the moment … even for just a moment. Planning can wait … for a few more moments.
Yes, simplifying can be about eliminating activities, material goods, at el, but first we must know what we truly value. And, we can only discover what we value by taking moments to pay attention and be present to what is meaningful to us.
This one small step can be a giant leap to simplifying your life!