Keeping life simple

A friend has invited me to join her in a four week challenge to simplify our surrounding. The plan is to eliminate twenty seven items, three times a week, for a total of four weeks. At the end of that time period we will celebrate our success with a reward. I agreed to join her on this adventure. To begin simplifying I have to decide what area to work on. Each section is dedicated for certain activities; the obvious are the kitchen and the bathroom. The living room is for entertainment, reading and relaxing. It is not too difficult to keep those areas clutter free. The challenge is making the decision of what to let go of in other areas. It is true that certain things have emotional or sentimental attachments, therefore making it difficult to release them.

Looking for items to eliminate I think about the things in my study. It is the one area reserved for specific activities to write, conduct research, or simply rest and meditate. I also have my acoustic guitar there to enjoy playing music at times. It is a relatively small space containing many materials with huge potential. Of course the couch, desk and bookshelves have to stay. So now I will focus on my books. The shelves are filled with books covering multiple subjects; Books on Spirituality, Psychology, Brain-Science, Health & Nutrition, Humor, Creativity, and Writing. One of my favorite books is the Complete Illustrated Writings of Shakespeare. I enjoy reading old books to see how the people spoke and thought so long ago. I find the Dictionaries of Quotes are useful to give me insight. My collection of older books, early 1800’s, are invaluable and could never be replaced. This description barely touches the surface of my library, which is located in rooms throughout the house. I love and appreciate the written word and highly value real books. I see them as treasures that may be opened any time to glean the wisdom or joy that is hidden within the pages.

In addition to the above, I have a library of art books. As a very creative person, I love having the materials I need at my disposal when I desire to be artistic. I love to play with color and enjoy all the different mediums. I have been given or accumulated over the year’s materials for almost every format I know. Watercolors, oils, acrylic, pastels, charcoal, colored pencils, graphite, ink, they are all fun. Having a variety of sizes of canvas, frames, water color paper, sketch pads and journals, they are amiable at that magical moment when I gather them together and play. Although I have sold my art, and won ribbons at county fairs, my desire is not necessarily the end result. My true passion is experienced with joy and peace as I am free to express myself using art and color. I have used art with many types of clients and find it is very therapeutic. It is also a way to help others see how to connect with the ‘almost lost’ form of relaxing and being childlike while free to be creative. With the ability to paint comes the responsibility to have supplies that go with it. This is where questions may arise. How many frames do I keep, how many brushes do I need? The art books with all those great ideas, should I hold on to them or should they be tossed out in the name of simplicity? As one with a true artist heart, I believe having supplies will always give me another opportunity to share with others. Then they too can be free to have fun and play. Simply put, I believe I will have to look in another area for those twenty seven items that need to be eliminated. Perhaps I shall start with that old famous junk drawer. You know,the one that gets filled with all the stuff that doesn’t belong in it!

One thought on “Keeping life simple

  1. The plan to eliminate possessions seems like a way to simplify, but, as you show, many possessions are too useful to be tossed out. They are your tools. Tools to get a job done, tools to learn, to explore, to record, to express. I once lost all my possessions to a house fire; after the grieving I realized how free I felt; I had no possessions to store, to protect, or to trip over; however, life was NOT simplified; it was a struggle to survive. Over time I acquired possessions again – and lost that sense of freedom. I don’t plan to toss out my possessions to regain that sense of freedom. Why? Because, like you, I have balanced the usefulness of my possessions with a tolerated loss of my freedom. After all, what good is it to be totally free and totally tool-less?

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