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Archive for February, 2009

What if you were surrounded only by those things you used and loved? Things that were beautiful and made your heart sing?  Clothes that lifted the spirits and made you feel great.

Most of us have far too much.  I know I do.  My closets are crammed and overflowing, and I’ll bet there’s things in mine (and yours) that haven’t been worn in years.  There are items hiding in the back of my pantry that probably need carbon dating.  Things in the cellar and attic that I don’t need, don’t want, and probably a few that I have no idea what they are.  There are items I received as engagement gifts that I’ve never used, and never will.  Books I’ll never read. Magazines I keep for what reason?

The interesting thing is that when you eliminate the clutter, the unnecessary and unbeautiful, it frees you up in more ways than just space.  For me, it releases stress, increases energy, and even enhances creativity.

Give it a try.  Eliminate 5 non-essential things each day, starting now. Look around you, what will go first?

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Yesterday I took a meditation break.  Now I realize that’s not “breaking news”, but for me it’s become a necessity and I wanted to learn to do it better.

Lest you think I’m a newbie to meditation, let me disabuse you of that notion.  I learned Transcendental Meditation back in the early 70s (and still remember my mantra) and since then have used that and many other methods.  But the not-so-secret truth is that I have trouble sitting still to meditate.  My mind races.  I’ve even listened to guided meditations that have the opposite effect. rather than relaxing me, they can make me want to run screaming from the room (I exaggerate a bit.)

I’ve had quite a bit of success with CD meditations, and find that guided meditation works best for me.  I’ve even written and recorded myself in order to have a personalized meditation.

And then yesterday I shared this with friend Stephen Josephs and he led me through a brief (three minute) meditation. [And Stephen, don’t forget that you promised to record it for my IPod] that was refreshing and relaxing.  Stephen is something of an expert in meditation, and we discussed my needing to rebuild my meditation muscle, just a few minutes a day.

I’m guessing there are a lot more “achiever” types out there that share my challenge.  Do you meditate? What do you do to relax?

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It seems that every where you turn, the focus is on the economy.  I don’t just mean on the media.  Everyone I know has the current economic crisis on their mind, and I’m finding it fascinating to see the effect that it has on individuals.  Because it seems that it’s creating an awareness that (for whatever reason) didn’t exist in the minds of most of my friends…or to be honest, a heightened awareness that even I didn’t have.

What I am referring to is that everyone I know (including me) is taking a look at their expenditures and asking themselves…”do I really need this?”  “Do I really use this?”  “Do I really want this?”

My usual habit is to want the most fully featured everything.  The best cable plan.  The wireless phone with the most features.  More is better.

But is it?  I’ve decided it’s not. 

Now I have not decided to become a follower of Voluntary Simplicity whole hog.  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_living]  But I am reviewing all my subscriptions, systems, technologies, plans, closets, habits…etc. etc.  And I am finding that I don’t use it all…and if I don’t use it or don’t love it I am getting rid of it.  That goes for data plans I don’t use, cable channels I don’t watch, and a whole huge list of things.

At the same time, I am reviewing systems for what causes me stress and what doesn’t work.  I am saying “bye-bye” to my Vista laptop and returning to the Mac of my early days…ok, to a new Macbook, not my old Mac SE30.  I’m getting rid of my Motorola Q which only gets a half day of battery life (if I’m lucky) for a new cell phone, as soon as I figure out what I ACTUALLY need, but meanwhile the data plan is being cancelled. 

For me, this economic crisis has renewed my awareness that there’s a lot I can do to take control of my environment to ensure that it is responsible, workable, and it supports me.  And as Martha Stewart would say…”that’s a good thing.”

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