Live Simply

I just received this beautiful cross-stitch from my friend for my birthday. She made it for me! And it sums up my life goal perfectly: Live simply.

Living a simple life is something I’ve had to work for. While I wish it came easy, choosing the simple life requires cutting things that take away from my goal of living a simple life.

A cross stitch of a vintage truckOver the last seven years, I’ve slowly transformed my hectic, consumeristic, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses lifestyle into a peaceful, simple, and minimalistic one. And I’ve never been happier.

But getting there was not easy, and it required - and still requires - a constant willingness to say no to the world's calls. From getting rid of social media I don’t use, to not buying things I don’t need, learning to be content with what I have, and shifting from fast living to slow living, it was all a challenge to work through.

At times, it still is.

But now, I don’t want it any other way. I love my simple closet; I love my minimalist kitchen. I know where everything is and I love everything that surrounds me. The chaos has quieted and I don't want to return to that loud, busy, expensive way of living.

My goal of living a simple life isn’t to have as little as possible with a self-imposed poverty mindset. It’s about waking up my heart’s eyes to how good I already have it. I’m finding that the less I have, or desire to have, the more grateful I am for what I do have. It’s like learning to appreciate something you love while you still have it (which is an astounding skill to acquire.) It’s not taking my blessings for granted. It’s seeing how good I have it all the time.

Through my minimalism and simple living journey, I’ve found the Goldilocks of balance, and it's about living a minimalistic lifestyle. When I have the right amount - when I appreciate what I have and desire less stuff (and more of what I already have) - I find my whole world is balanced. I have it all. Satisfaction with what I own, have and use is like finding a treasure vault. I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.

My biggest takeaway since turning to a more minimalist mindset is this: We don’t need much to live fulfilled lives. Maya Angelou put it best when she said, “We need much less than we think we need.” Exactly.

If we shop our closets rather than head to the store for the latest trend, when we give away the items we don’t wear, when we pare down to what we love and only use what we love, our lives become simple and peaceful. 

Less becomes so much more. 

When I’m focused on using what I have, wearing what I already have, and not looking to shop my way to satisfaction (which will never happen, by the way. We will always want more), it is suddenly so clear how much I have. And more often than not, I not only have what I already need but have more than I need.

So, how can I stay this way and keep my peace?

Get out of the consumeristic circus. Forget fast fashion. Don’t buy into the latest trend (literally). Get off social media. Be content with what I have, and then I can watch how God provides for every need. 

Less is so much more. And I write about it often to remind myself why I'm doing this and how to stay in this lifestyle.

For me, I've given up some social media, minimized the things in my home, let go of jobs that didn't work well with me; and said no to social commitment (and yes to others). This frees up valuable time and space - including mental space - so that I can instead do things I want to do: read, garden, thrift, help neighbors, exercise, and be with family.

The list goes on and on.

What can you let go of to live a life more simple?

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