In Search of Simplicity
Ditch the clutter in your life — the mess around the house, the junk food, the negative thoughts – to simplify, create space and set your spirit soaring. By Jill Lawson
Simplicity is the result of successfully eliminating from your life that which tends to complicate it. Whether it is in the food you eat, the clothes you wear, or the way you keep your house; living simply has enormous benefits on your state of health and wellbeing. Because clutter serves to confuse, and hoarding harbours envy, relying on material things for happiness is sure to keep you from experiencing maximum enjoyment out of life. Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, believes getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy to your life is paramount for living happily ever after. We all know how good it feels to finally clean out an overstuffed closet or ditch the piles of magazines growing cobwebs in the corners of our bedroom. This instantly gratifying feeling of getting rid of old, stagnant, useless items indeed sparks joy, as Kondo suggests. Your house is no different than your mind. In fact, clutter in your life reflects the clutter in your head. You may spend hours simplifying your sock drawer by tossing the unmatched pairs, but unless your mind is clear, your life will not be so simple.
Practice the following meditation to get rid of all that robs you of joy. Clear out the stacks of regret collecting dust in the corners of your mind. Sweep away negativity. Dump the trash talk from your anxious thoughts. Do a little tidying up of your brain and create space for happiness to take residence.
Do it now
Do this meditation first thing in the morning. Refrain from listening to the radio, reading the news, or watching television until you’ve completed the following practice.
Begin in a comfortable position. Bring your attention to the thoughts coursing through your brain. When a thought comes in, label it, and file it. For example, perhaps you are thinking about what to bring to a dinner party next week. Label it as “not yet needed” and file it away. If thoughts do not bring you joy, such as thoughts of remorse or pessimism, delete them. Continue until your mind contains only thoughts that instil peace and clarity.
The art of simplification is its own reward. When simplicity occurs both in your house and in your mind, the space created can only be flooded with all the joys money cannot buy. May your existence be stuffed full of immeasurable and non-materialistic pleasures.
Jill Lawson is a writer and yoga teacher enjoying life on the island of Maui in Hawaii (jilllawson.net)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.