Keeping it Simple

Keeping it Simple

“What do you like doing best in the world, Pooh? [asked Christopher Robin]… “What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying ‘What about a little something?’ and Me saying, ‘Well, I shouldn’t mind a little something, should you, Piglet,’ and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing.”

~ A.A. Milne, from The House at Pooh Corner

A new year is beginning and I am, like many of us, thinking about how I might improve myself and my life in the future. While thinking about this, one word came to me which felt just right: Simplify.

I am clearing out closets, cabinets and drawers today, bagging up dusty old clothes, dishes and linens that I never use. With each bag, I feel lighter and brighter.

I am a certified practitioner of Feng Shui, which is the art of creating harmony by arranging an environment in such a way that it is organized, free of clutter with a good flow of chi (energy). Taking it a step further, I have found that applying some of these principles to my thoughts has been helpful. For example, why not ‘de-clutter’ my mind, clear out the crap and gain more clarity? Why not just release the old and welcome the new?

As I tossed more and more stuff onto the growing pile, I began to realize how all this excess was blocking the flow of energy in my home which affected my level of comfort and mental well-being. I believe that our surroundings reflect our states of mind. By clearing my space, by simplifying, I am deliberately clearing my mind as well.

There was a point during all this when I reached a state of utter chaos. I looked at the rising hills of discarded belongings and didn’t know quite what to do next. I wasn’t sure about some things, so I checked in to see how I felt when I looked at them. For example, there were drawings that my grandchildren had given me years ago, which I thought I’d put in a Memory Box for them. But, when I thought about it, I realized that keeping old drawings, pictures and mementos for them would just be more stuff to hold on to and drag around with me. I found that by keeping pictures or keepsakes in view that reminded me of them, I felt sad. So, I either threw them away or put them out of sight for now. And it felt right.

As I purge my home, I am purging my mind. I am getting rid of unwanted dusty old habitual thoughts.

I am committed to keeping it simple. I am replacing old habits with new ones. I am cultivating honesty and acceptance and practicing open-heartedness. I am paring down expectations, especially when it comes to my son and grandchildren. I am giving myself the gift of peace by just being me.

For this new year, my intention is to start afresh and remember the feeling of simple wonder: to look up at stars; to find refreshment from everyday miracles, like fresh strawberries, sunshine on wildflowers or the sound of rain …and to take the time to simply enjoy the ‘hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing.’