Being OK with a Calm Life

On the wall of my studio, is a small quote pinned by the place where I make my morning coffee and nowadays I often come to rest on these words.

It’s okay to be happy with a calm life

And, boy, I haven’t always believed that. There’s always been a battle to fight when it comes to reaching my potential. I always held myself to, what most thought was, an impossible standard. Perfection is unattainable, a bar set so high it is impossible to reach. The struggle and continuous push of yourself to be the best is draining and while it works for some, is not a guaranteed winning strategy for success.

And what is a success? A million pounds in the bank; a large house by the sea; a job so stressful it causes you to have a heart attack at 30 or 40?

None of those are prerequisites for happiness or able to protect you from the inevitable hurt or sadness that life will throw our way.

Someone wise once said that the darkest hour is right before the dawn and what a dawn this has been. Slow, like the pace I want my life to tread, one that’s focused on living creatively, happily and simply. One where my worth isn’t measured by how much money I make or what clothes I wear. A life away from in-authenticity. Quiet. Small. Curious. Relishing in all the little things which bring joy and fulfillment.

To be ok with a calm life. What a rebellious notion in today’s world.

On Minimalism for the Soul

Life is full of stuff we don’t need, want or even realise is there until it falls out of a cupboard while you’re trying to remove a blockage from the u-bend of your bathroom sink. Ok. So it wasn’t just anything that (persistently) fell on me, it was one of those Wii boards we all had to have a few years back because it would make us a better, fitter person. Yes, I admit, I rarely used it. Is it sitting in a cupboard unused and unloved? No. It’s on the floor of my bathroom covered in gross u-bend water after it tried to viciously attack me!

What I’m trying to say is whether it’s a physical object, emotional baggage, or mental clutter, we’ve all got old stuff lingering around where it needs not be.

Recently, I’ve been doing regular minimalism sweeps of my home, removing objects that hold no value to me anymore. It’s a process, as I’m sure you can gather from the anecdote about the feral board of fitness, but I’ve found the act of keeping my space clean and free of clutter super helpful in attempting to keep my mind the same way.

I’ve known for years that the space I live in is a direct reflection of my state of mind, but I’ve never looked at it the other way round. I’ve always figured all that nasty crap was a required fixture in the corner of my mind and I’d just spend the rest of my days skirting around it, trying not to upset the pile when I reached for something good hidden in the centre of it all, only for it to come careering down on me eventually.

Could it be that all this time, as I was purging items, I could also have been taking a good look at what thoughts, ideas, emotional hurt, and mindsets just don’t serve me anymore? Talk about an EPIPHANY!

I’m a habitual dweller: I’ll pick out the biggest hurt and sit on it for a few hours until suitably miserable, but lately, a few of the old favourites don’t do the trick and couple of times I’ve even caught myself thinking… “Maybe I can let go of this now.”

May I can let go of this now. Maybe all the things that are superfluous to my well-being can piss off. Maybe I am in control of what goes on in my own mind. Maybe I need to take ownership of that fact instead of refusing to acknowledge it.

So, over the next few months, I’ll be working on removing physical, emotional, and mental clutter from my life and I invite you to join me. Let’s get together at the end of it all, have a big “release party” and move forward.Save

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