1- Minimalize Your Environment:
In the words of Marie Kondo, the only things that you should have in life are those that bring you JOY.
Yes, so that drawer of odd cords in your living room is probably not going to make the cut. If you live in modern society, have access to internet to read this article and own any kind of plastic purchasing card, odds are you have more than you need and those things probably aren’t adding positively to your life.
Minimalizing your life doesn’t have to be as extreme as being able to fit your life into 1 or 2 suitcases. This was something I was doing for 4 years of my life because the idea of being tied down by material goods felt like a weight my adventurous soul didn’t want anchoring me down. If I wanted to up and move to China, or spend the summer in Philly then the last thing I wanted was to go through the horrible task of packing more than necessary and lug them around.
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean you don’t have emotional tokens, I have as many as I could need or want and they all bring me joy. I do seasonal purges and recycle my “trash” by giving them to friends and family that see them as “treasures.” I also receive material articles in the same vein. Being a fan of new old things means that I’m not only acquiring things that give me joy but I don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount to do so. This doesn’t mean that you get rid of things to the point you feel horrible, because some of us are more connected to our material goods than others, you do it in a way that will create value for you but in a brutally honest way. Start with the area of your life or space that needs it least, to attack the small things and build up, and try clearing only one box per week. Within a season a whole home/office can be minimalized with your peace of mind intact.
2-Feng Shui Your Space:
The concept of Feng Shui comes from the Eastern Philosophy that all things, living and nonliving carry “energy” and can be use to harmonize your life.
All comes from the earth in some shape or form and serve a purpose, interacting with the things around them in positive and negative ways all depending upon the motive and placement of the article/thing in your life.
I was certified in Feng Shui over a year ago and it was something that felt all too natural as I learned to various uses for it. Colors, which in many psychological studies have been proven to illicit different reactions in people and different reactions in people of different cultures. Elements of nature; Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal also have their own place and can compliment or counteract the aim of a space if used incorrectly.
The goal is ALWAYS balance or harmony with your environment. In order to maintain neutrality, think Yin and Yang (male and female counterbalancing energies) in Chi/Qi (energy) a lot of proactive thought needs to go into how you design your space whether it is your work or home. Balance intermingled with your motive will lead to an attractive quality in your space, for example say you have a work corner in your home and want more work attracted to you, then you put symbols and signals of that which you want in your work sphere. If energy, in the metaphysical or scientific sense, is not your thing then replace the word energy with “focus” or with “prayer/faith”, what have you… Every one of the causes we make, whether it be a thought, word, or action has an effect. Both faith and science have proven this to be the case.
3-Start Learning Something New that makes you Happy:
Do not excuse yourself from learning new things by saying you don’t have time. You do have time, you’re just allotting it to the things you deem to be important such as your 9-5 and the “adult” responsibilities you’ve convinced yourself merit your efforts more than being true to yourself, heck even your inner child.
Most people after high school stop reading books, even more stop learning new material or habits. We tend to go into sheep herd mode when entering the workspace. We forget what Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Kindergarten, our imaginary friends and our naturally creative selves were drawn towards.
To give another tip off to Eastern Philosophy let me explain a bit the meaning of The “Tao” or the “Source” of all life, “God” for the religious, “Nature” or the “Universe” for the spiritual… The belief is that when one is born they are born with the knowledge and connection to all things; we are untaught by society and made to believe that we lack in some areas and must “learn” certain skills to be “successful.” The “Tao” or your original state is already believed to be perfect as is, a reflection of life itself, we are created in the image of all that is and capable of manifesting into reality that which inherently exists within us.
What does learning something new have to do with all this? By learning, we awaken and activate certain parts of ourselves that have been dormant. In awakening certain components of ourselves we also set off a domino effect and that creative activity, even if what we are learning is finance or accounting it can be creative, makes us feel more alive and more connected to our true selves. Shake yourself free of the zombie state by learning something new. Think about what would make you happy to learn and start from there. A little introspection is required to get the ball rolling on this one but you’ll be surprised at what has managed to survive of your inner self even though the day to day may be all too routine or bleak.
4- Don’t Take the Same Route to Work/Home:
The “Beginner’s Mind” is the mind of someone doing something for the first time. Now think about the first time you tied your shoe…
How aware were you of the feel and color of your laces, your clumsy hands, the ground you were tying them on, and the feelings of excitement or frustration as you tried again and again to get it right. We never feel more alive than the first time we do something we’ve never done before.
Much akin to the philosophy of learning something new, changing a way of doing something is in essence unlearning a belief/practice and remaking it so that you feel the experience for the first time. One of the greatest things about today’s modern technology is that we can GPS different routes to get to the same place. I’ve made it a practice to do so and have been surprised by all the things I’ve taken for granted along the way, the beautiful architecture of my neighbor’s house, the flowers in someone’s garden, the businesses that have popped up that I’ve had no idea about…. It takes me off of autopilot, that state of being that leaves your memory blank as to what happened on that drive home to work, and vice versa, on most days.
If you want to feel more alive going to work, which I’m sure most of us could stand to experience, especially on a Monday, then try taking a new route. Do it when you have some time to spare so you can take everything in, it will change the way you see one of the most mundane parts of your day. You may even, stretching this a bit here, look forward to the commute?!
ULTIMATELY: There’s no way that your life won’t profoundly change when you’ve gotten rid of all that doesn’t serve you, created a positive energy in your living and work space, begun to learn something of your own choosing, and added a new way of doing something to your daily routine.
Your mindset will shift, your world will align more with what you love and will naturally get rid of that which you don’t, in essence you will have profoundly changed your life.
If I were selling anything here this is the part where I’d tell you try it for 30 days or your money back, lucky for you this information is free and trying it won’t cost you anything but time well-invested in yourself.
You Live. You Learn.