part 2:do you crave a richer, simpler life? less stuff, more meaning…

My extreme desire to simplify is magnifying as the year comes to a close. I know I am not alone.

I can honestly share that I let go of more things in my life in 2012 than I have any other year.

There were several contributing reasons for the many layers I shed. Some parts were easy to let go of. Others, I gripped onto. Becoming fully aware that it was the outdated stories I was holding onto surrounding my stuff and my life enabled me to pry my fingers open.

I continue to surrender and simplify and attract more freedom and abundance, more joy and laughter, more space to move and room to expand. And in doing so I know I am becoming a better parent, partner, friend and facilitator.

In Part 1 we discussed ways to simplify on the inside. Now, I invite you to explore what’s blocking your path on the outside…

Over the last several years,  I have observed the mind boggling truth about our stuff which leads me to believe in many ways, on different scales, we simply have it all backwards.

Our stuff impedes our ability to thrive. We spend a tremendous amount of our time buying objects we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to put into spaces that are already jammed.

Yet, we crave the space to breath, financial independence, freedom and time to nurture our bodies, souls and families.

How do we teach our children that joy comes from an experience, not an object? That gratitude for what they have is one of the true secrets to loving their life when with the greatest intentions, we are unconsciously filling their bedrooms and backpacks with more.

Reflective of our own lives filled to capacity and our inability to sit still with grace in emptiness and silence.

It all comes down to the level of meaning that we attach to each material object. It’s representation. It’s story. Yet, the meaning is a fabrication of our own mind.

For most of the objects we own, there is a tremendous gap between the object itself, it’s true necessity and the meaning we attach to it.  By recognizing that it is not the object that is holding you back but the story, empowers you to let go.

Now, I am not suggesting that you throw out objects that you love and hold great meaning for you. I would never in a million years part with my mom’s pottery.

I am asking you to become conscious that your excess stuff does not serve you.   That the meaning you have attached to those awesome shoes (all 25 pairs), the ugly wedding gift, the two drawers full of toiletries, the jammed filing cabinet is blocking your ability to thrive. And it’s downright uncomfortable to live with.

It’s no surprise that the origin of the word “clutter” is “clotter” – to cause to become blocked or obscured. That clutter is a giant clot in the energy of your life!

There are three things you can do to get started simplifying your life now:

1. Take a deep breath and embrace the fact that simplifying your life is a journey. With patience, perseverance and humor, it can be a fun and very rewarding one. It is a lifestyle choice not one specific targeted goal.

2. As a firm believer that 80% of the time, you already know what you need to do,  ask yourself this very powerful question. “What do I already know I need to focus on to simplify my life?” Free write in a notebook a list of all the things that come to mind. Don’t worry if it’s in any kind of order. Scan the list and chose one place to start. Don’t get stuck on which one. Just get started.

3. Read (or re-read) the article I wrote last spring to give you the step by step guidance on “Clearing Your Path.”

So, this season shop less and celebrate more. Purge instead of fill. Create empty spaces with plentiful warmth.

Please remember…  Its not the pretty bow. It’s not the perfect box. Nor what’s in the box. It’s you…your loved ones want this Christmas.
Warmest holiday wishes!


PS. According to the 2012 BMO Financial Group Holiday Spending Outlook, Canadians expect to spend an average of $1,610 this Christmas (not including travel). Put that on your credit card (average 18%) and each year you can add another $300.

The average Canadian household is $1.45 in debt for every dollar of income which is a frightening statistic.

As you simplify your life this coming year put an end to the crippling holiday financial cycle by getting creative now. A friend of mine, recently sold a few items on items on The Sunshine Coast Buy and Sell FB Group (one of many) and to my surprise she made 50% of her holiday budget in just two weeks.

If you clear out that house of yours, one room at a time you could easily give yourself the gift of a financially stress free holiday in 2013.