Here are 12 very specific tools forÂ simplifying your life. Begin using them today if youâ€™re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.
Unclutter your life. Youâ€™ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff thatâ€™s no longer useful in your life:
If you havenâ€™t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization.Â Get rid of anything that keeps you mired in acquisitions that contribute to a cluttered life. In the words of Socrates, â€śHe is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.â€ť So the less you need to ensure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, the closer youâ€™ll be to hearing inspirationâ€™s call.
Clear your calendar of unwanted and unnecessary activities and obligations. If youâ€™re unavailable for Spirit, youâ€™re unlikely to know the glow of inspiration. God will indeed work with you and send you the guidanceâ€”and the peopleâ€”you need, but if youâ€™re grossly overscheduled, youâ€™re going to miss these life-altering gifts. So practice saying no to excessive demands and donâ€™t feel guilty about injecting a dose of leisure time into your daily routine.
Be sure to keep your free time free. Be on the lookout for invitations to functions that may keep you on top of societyâ€™s pyramid, but which inhibit your access to joyful inspiration. If cocktail parties, social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or even drinking-and-gossiping gatherings with friends arenâ€™t really how you want to spend your free time, then donâ€™t. Begin declining invitations that donâ€™t activate feelings of inspiration.
I find that an evening spent reading or writing letters, watching a movie with a loved one, having dinner with my children, or even exercising alone is far more inspiring than getting dressed to attend a function often filled with small talk. Iâ€™ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.
Take time for meditation and yoga. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and make conscious contact with God. Iâ€™ve written an entire book on this subject called Getting in the Gap, so I wonâ€™t belabor it here. I will say that Iâ€™ve received thousands of messages from people all over the world, who have expressed their appreciation for learning how to simplify their life by taking the time to meditate.
I also encourage you to find a yoga center near you and begin a regular practice. The rewards are so powerful: Youâ€™ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what youâ€™ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.
Return to theÂ simplicityÂ of nature. Thereâ€™s nothing more awe-inspiring than nature itself. The fantasy to return to a less tumultuous life almost always involves living in the splendor of the mountains, the forests, or the tundra; on an island; near the ocean; or beside a lake. These are universal urges, since nature is created by the same Source as we are, and weâ€™re made up of the same chemicals as all of nature (weâ€™re stardust, remember?).
Your urge toÂ simplifyÂ and feel inspired is fueled by the desire to be your natural selfâ€”that is, your nature self. So give yourself permission to get away to trek or camp in the woods; swim in a river, lake, or ocean; sit by an open fire; ride horseback through trails; or ski down a mountain slope. This doesnâ€™t have to mean long, planned vacations that are months awayâ€”no matter where you live, youâ€™re only a few hours or even moments away from a park, campground, or trail that will allow you to enjoy a feeling of being connected to the entire Universe.
Put distance between you and your critics. Choose to align yourself with people who are like-minded in their search for simplified inspiration. Give those who find fault or who are confrontational a silent blessing and remove yourself from their energy as quickly as possible. Your life is simplified enormously when you donâ€™t have to defend yourself to anyone, and when you receive support rather than criticism. You donâ€™t have to endure the criticism with anything other than a polite thank-you and a promise to consider whatâ€™s been saidâ€”anything else is a state of conflict that erases the possibility of your feeling inspired. You never need to defend yourself or your desires to anyone, as those inner feelings are Spirit speaking to you. Those thoughts are sacred, so donâ€™t ever let anyone trample on them.
Take some time for your health. Consider that the number one health problem in America seems to be obesity. How can you feel inspired and live in simplicity if youâ€™re gorging on excessive amounts of food and eliminating the exercise that the body craves? Recall that your body is a sacred temple where you reside for this lifetime, so make some time every single day for exercising it. Even if you can only manage a walk around the block, just do it. Similarly, keep the words portion control uppermost in your consciousnessâ€”your stomach is the size of your fist, not a wheelbarrow! Respect your sacred temple and simplify your life by being an exerciser and a sensible eater. I promise that youâ€™ll feel inspired if you act on this today!
Play, play, play! Youâ€™ll simplify your life and feel inspired if you learn to play rather than work your way through life. I love to be around kids because they inspire me with their laughter and frivolity. In fact, if Iâ€™ve heard it once, Iâ€™ve heard it a thousand times: â€śWayne, youâ€™ve never grown upâ€”youâ€™re always playing.â€ť I take great pride in this! I play onstage when I speak, and Iâ€™m playing now as I write.
Many years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The man who took a chance on me, booking me even though I was an unknown at the time, was a talent coordinator named Howard Papush. It was my first big break, and I went on to appear on The Tonight Show 36 additional times. Now itâ€™s my turn to say thank you to Howard. Heâ€™s written a wonderful book titled Whenâ€™s Recess? Playing Your Way Through the Stresses of Life, which I encourage you to read. (Howard also conducts workshops that teach people how to play and have fun in life.) In the book, Howard shares this great quote from Richard Bach: â€śYou are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.â€ť I couldnâ€™t agree moreâ€”by all means, get back in touch with your real, playful self, and take every opportunity to play! Notice how it makes everything so sweet, and so simple.
Slow down. One of Gandhiâ€™s most illuminating observations reminds us that â€śthere is more to life than increasing its speed.â€ť This is great advice forÂ simplifying your lifeâ€”in fact, slow everything way down for a few moments right here and now. Slowly read these words. Slow your breathing down so that youâ€™re aware of each inhalation and exhalationâ€¦
When youâ€™re in your car, downshift and relax. Slow down your speech, your inner thoughts, and the frantic pace of everything you do. Take more time to hear others. Notice your inclination to interrupt and get the conversation over with, and then choose to listen instead. Stop to enjoy the stars on a clear night and the cloud formations on a crisp day. Sit down in a mall and just observe how everyone seems in a hurry to get nowhere.
By slowing down, youâ€™ll simplify and rejoin the perfect pace at which creation works. Imagine trying to hurry nature up by tugging at an emerging tomato plantâ€”youâ€™re as natural as that plant, so let yourself be at peace with the perfection of natureâ€™s plan.
Do everything you can to eschew debt. Remember that youâ€™re attempting toÂ simplify your lifeÂ here, so you donâ€™t need to purchase more of what will complicate and clutter your life. If you canâ€™t afford it, let it go until you can. By going into debt, youâ€™ll just add layers of anxiety onto your life. That anxiety will then take you away from your peace, which is where you are when youâ€™re in-Spirit. When you have to work extra hard to pay off debts, the present moments of your life are less enjoyable; consequently, youâ€™re further away from the joy and peace that are the trademarks of inspiration. Youâ€™re far better off to have less and enjoy the days of your life than to take on debt and invite stress and anxiety where peace and tranquility could have reigned. And remember that the money you have in your possession is nothing but energyâ€”so refuse to plug-in to an energy system thatâ€™s not even there.
Forget about the cash value. I try not to think about money too frequently because itâ€™s been my observation that people who do so tend to think about almost nothing else. So do what your heart tells you will bring you joy, rather than determining whether it will be cost-effective. If youâ€™d really enjoy that whale-watching trip, for instance, make the decision to do soâ€”donâ€™t deny yourself the pleasures of life because of some monetary detail. Donâ€™t base your purchases on getting a discount, and donâ€™t rob yourself of a simple joy because you didnâ€™t get a break on the price. You can afford a happy, fulfilling life, and if youâ€™re busy right now thinking that I have some nerve telling you this because of your bleak financial picture, then you have your own barrier of resistance.
Make an attempt to free yourself from placing a price tag on everything you have and doâ€”after all, in the world of Spirit, there are no price tags. Donâ€™t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do; rather,Â simplify your lifeÂ and return to Spirit by finding the inherent value in everything. A dollar does not determine worth, even though you live in a world that attempts to convince you otherwise.
Remember your spirit. When life tends to get overly complex, too fast, too cluttered, too deadline oriented, or too type A for you, stop and remember your own spirit. Youâ€™re headed for inspiration, a simple, peaceful place where youâ€™re in harmony with the perfect timing of all creation. Go there in your mind, and stop frequently to remember what you really want.
A man who personified success at the highest intellectual and social levels would hardly seem one to quote on simplifying our life, yet hereâ€™s what Albert Einstein offers us on this subject: â€śPossessions, outward success, publicity, luxuryâ€”to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.â€ť
Wow! Iâ€™d say this is pretty good advice, wouldnâ€™t you?
About The Author:
Wayne W. DyerÂ was an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth. Over the four decades of his career, he wrote more than 40 books, including 21Â New York TimesÂ bestsellers. He created many audio and video programs, and appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.
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