Archive for December, 2009

Simplifying your Life

Posted: 12/21/2009 in Happiness, Positivity

A couple of months ago, I found an awesome website called Becoming Minimalist and read the posts from various people about simplifying their lives. I knew I had to move at the end of the year, which I very much despise. I decided to apply the tips and tricks I learned from the site to simplify, thus making the move much easier. Now I’m proud (sort of) to say that I will be able to fit my life into a 10 x 10 storage unit, including my motorcycle. I’m proud of that because I proved to myself that I can be happy without owning so many material possessions. However, I am NOT proud about it because I look at the amount of debt on my credit cards I have accumulated and wonder how the hell I have so much debt and almost nothing to show for it.

This process has also been an emotional experience for me. Simplifying meant going through everything I own to determine what to keep, donate, give to friends, or to throw away. As I performed this process, I found pictures and other items that held so many memories my wife and I shared together. This move has been quite a challenge, not only physically, but emotionally. The simplifying process can remind you of good memories you had buried in the back of your mind, and it can also bring back bad ones, so I would call it a growing process as well. You can reminisce about the good times, and you can also deal with negative issues that you may have suppressed.

I have taken the first steps to simplifying my life by getting rid of a lot of “things” I don’t need. The next step is going to be simplifying my finances by paying off my debt. I know I’m not telling anyone something new when I say that debt is definitely a monkey on my back, and makes my life complicated. I don’t need complicated right now, I need to start over fresh by making my life simple.

I would encourage my readers (if there are any out there) to check out Becoming Minimalist for tons of ideas to perform this process if simplifying your life is something that interests you. I know it does me because this move is going to be MUCH easier, and isn’t that what simplifying is all about?

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Letting Go

Posted: 12/09/2009 in Positivity

As I have been studying various principles on this spiritual path, I have learned a lot about letting go of the past. I believe that as we grow up, we are somehow conditioned to let what has happened to us in the past affect how we deal with the present time, as well as how it will affect our future. For example, if we are having a “discussion” or, hell, let’s just call it an argument, with our significant other, what is usually brought up? Things that happened in the past like “Well, you did that” or “you said this.” Does it really help the matter by dredging up old feelings for something that happened months or maybe years ago? Of course not, I believe it makes things even worse, because not only is the current issue causing negative feelings, but the negative feelings tied into what happened before are stacked on top and those negative feelings get multiplied. If I happen to be having an argument with someone, I have been striving to let the past stay in the past, so as not to make matters worse.

Another example of letting go of the past is losing someone. In 2001, my father passed away. Now, I know many people have lost their fathers, but what has affected me is the circumstances involved. If he had died a different way, I would not have taken it so hard and fell into the deep depression that I did. I still deal with it today if I happen to see, hear, or smell certain things that remind me of him (in particular the smell of sawdust, because he was a carpenter), but instead of immediately being sad, I have been training my mind to think of all of the good times we had building cabinets and remodeling homes.

In 2005, I also lost my son to cerebral palsy. When this happened, I completely went downhill, closed myself off to the world and alienated my family and especially my wife. I thought, “why me?” What, it’s not enough that I have to deal with losing my father, my son has to be taken away from me too? I had never been this depressed in my life. However, I have trained my mind to think of the positive. When my son was born and they found out about his medical issues, we were told that we would be lucky if he made it to be a year old. He made it to a week after his 6th birthday because he was a fighter. Every day when I think of him, I just think of the fact that not only did he exceed the doctor’s expectations, he exceeded them six-fold, and we were blessed with him that much longer in our lives.

These are some major tragedies that I have dealt with in my past, and I have had to let go. Yes, it’s still hard to deal with at times, I’m not discounting that fact. But I’ve learned that we have to remember the past, not dwell on it, and keep the focus away from the negative thoughts and toward the positive at all times.

As always, comments are welcome.