Simplifying your Life isn’t Just About Stuff

I’ve written about my yearning to declutter before and I am happy to say I am now in the midst of just that. Slowly, but surely my desired aesthetic is coming to life in my home. I was looking at my dining room and feeling pleased with the progress I had made. I then started to think that many people would probably find it boring now and I started to wonder if it lacked a ‘lived in’ feel to it. I wasn’t particularly concerned about this because I know all too well from experience that a cleared off table does not stay cleared off for long. I give it a week before there’s a random box of unknown origin propped up on one of the chairs, mail splayed across the table, and the cat playing with a rogue sock underneath. Oh, it’ll be lived in alright.

Photo by Arthur Brognoli from Pexels

But then my mind wandered to why I was even wondering what other people would think about it. Why would I care? I’ll be completely transparent here, I’m not a particularly social person. If I were holding lavish parties in my home every other weekend it would probably be a more valid concern, but I assure you that is not now, nor is it ever likely, to be the case. I’m sure like many people, my mind often feels filled to the brim with an overwhelming amount of thoughts. Some incoherent and fleeting, some unimportant, yet lingering. I wondered what hypothetical people would think about the current state of my dining room because my mind has become a vessel with no filter. And I started to think how I was decluttering my space, but not my thoughts.

I know what my heart longs for, but I don’t always know how to achieve it. I know how to clean and throw things away. I feel competent in my ability to organize and present things in a nice enough way. (Hey, that rhymed!) But how does one simplify their mind? Can I throw away the thoughts I don’t need anymore and somehow organize the ones I have left? Is the answer something like yoga, meditation, or praying? Maybe professional therapy or just catching up with a friend? Are these the answers? I racked my brain trying to figure out when I feel the most at peace. I think being immersed in nature helps, but that’s not something I can always oblige on a whim.

There’s something about the woods that overwhelms me with a sense of calm, until the bugs get at me anyway. I’m sure you can picture yourself trying to find your ‘zen’ while frantically swatting away overzealous creatures of the forest.
Image by bertvthul from Pixabay

Human beings are complex and it only makes sense that the way our minds work reflect that.  Our brains are such powerful things. Amazingly so. Everything about the way we experience life takes place in our minds. We touch things with our hands and see things with our eyes, but all those signals accomplish nothing without the brain to interpret them. And the most fascinating thing about it, is that by actively changing the way you think about something you can physically change your brain. If you want to learn more about that look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

There’s no answers to these questions to be found here, as I’m sure they vary from person to person. Perhaps this is just the ramblings of someone who seems to always have too much on her mind. All I know is that it doesn’t matter how minimalist I become, if I don’t deal with my psychology I won’t feel peace of mind. So, if you’re like me and irrationally think that once your surroundings fit a certain criteria you may feel an inner peace with life, I would encourage you to explore within yourself. I do believe that ridding ourselves of clutter and chaos can help clear our mind, but it won’t do all the work. Our minds our powerful things and they deserve our attention just as much, if not more, than the tangible things in our lives.



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