Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simplify, simplify

Imagine how much more peaceful our lives would be if we lived more simply. “Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, 'Is this necessary?'”said Marcus Aurelius. “Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify," wrote Henry David Thoreau.

So how do we simplify our lives so experience greater peace? Here are a few ideas:

Enjoy the moment. Notice the beauty around you: a flower, a butterfly, a smiling child, a cloud floating across the sky. Experience bliss as you focus on the simple beauties of living. Notice the sweetness of breathing in and breathing out. Savor the gifts of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Listen to something beautiful. Enjoy the song of a bird, the kind voice of a friend, the hum of the dishwasher. Choose to listen to music that soothes your spirit and nurtures your soul. Avoid music that encourages violence, immorality, or unkindness, for that creates disharmony in our spirits.

Eliminate distractions. Turn off your cell phone, computer, or television set whenever possible and do something creative. Write in your journal. Paint. Sing a song. Learn a new skill. Consider the endless possibilities of living more simply and fully.

Find ways to live on less. Make a simple meal for dinner. Donate unused clothes to charity. Choose something fun to do that is free: go for a walk, play a board game, visit with friends. A simpler life is a richer life, for it frees us from the burdens of debt, anxiety, and greed. Leonardo da Vinci aptly said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Read something that inspires you.
We can change our lives by reading a great book, and they are free for the reading at any public library. Find some authors can inspire you to live your best life. I have been inspired by Wayne Dyer, Henry David Thoreau, Marianne Williamson, Mother Teresa, Thich Nhat Hanh, Catherine Marshall, and countless other writers. The Psalms are masterpieces of peace. A Chinese proverbs states, " A book is like a garden carried in the pocket."

Choose peace. We either choose peace or something else. Our every thought, word, and deed either brings us closer to peace or to turmoil. Decide that you will be content with your life just as it is. As you live in a spirit of gratitude, you attract greater abundance and peace into your life. I have discovered I can be happy in both meager and magnificent circumstances as I choose peace.

© Carol Brown

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