Friday, June 21, 2013

Simple Living: Shaping Happiness

How do I know if I am simple living?

To be truthful, I'm not really sure the exact definition of "simple living" because I believe that everyone has their own interpretation of every type of lifestyle. 

I believe that freeing yourself from too many materials and no longer consuming more than you need is part of simple living. This can easily happen if you are deliberate in your lifestyle choices. Actually think about what happens in your day to day and make real choices based on what is best for you, your health, your happiness. What is best for the Earth and all those beings living on the Earth. It can sometimes be overwhelming when you consider all the creatures and beings on the planet, but intentional choices can be supportive of more than just yourself. 

My husband and I realized we were beginning to fall into the trap of the standard American lifestyle... buying more than we needed, using more than our share, taking steps because that was what we were "supposed to do". We've always been a bit different, but we started to realize that every choice we were making were leading to loads of other outcomes and lots of them were things we weren't interested in including in our lives. 

We needed to slow down. So slow down we did. 

Here are some actual steps that helped us figure out what was important to us and where our energy, time, and money was going:

1. Assess your current life position - We're talking lifestyle, job, love life, debts, education, connections with others (people, animals). Maybe take one aspect at a time and just create an opinion and a vision of what does and should make up your current life roles and energy.

2. Decide if that is what you want or are comfortable with - Comfortable in a good way not "It's comfortable so I'll just keep doing it". If something inside tells you this isn't what you want then you are not comfortable. You may not know what you want... but you will probably know what you don't want. Stop doing what you don't want as often as you can in a responsible manner.

3. Try something new - If you don't want something to be the way it has been, change it. Talk to a friend or family member and make a plan. It probably won't be the last time you change something, but trying something new takes courage and it will help you learn something else.

4. Keep evaluating - Keep checking in with yourself. Or check on a different aspect of your life that you hadn't considered before. One part of your life at a time can become better every day.

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