By Shefa Ali
My path to living a simpler life started a few years ago, the intention was to let go of everything that wasn’t good for me, this way of living has most definitely brought more peace into my world, but it also has brought with it the pain of loss. The loss of friendships, and belief in myself and other people. There were times when I doubted myself for choosing the path that I did, when everyone else seemed to be hustling to make it in the world.
Now I know, loss isn’t always a bad thing, simplifying your life isn’t about shutting out people, consumerism, money or material things. It’s more about embracing them in a more conscious, intentional way. That’s the way it works for me, you many decide to approach it differently; some people refer to this way of living as minimalism, I call it simple living.
The more experiences I have in life, the clearer it becomes to me that to be happy, the more selective I need to be with how I spend my time, energy and money. How do I do this? Living a simple life. On my journey I have come to value knowledge and experiences way more than things.
Having nice things is cool. But ultimately, the people who truly care about you don’t care about the things you own. All they care about is that you’re happy, and that you’re able to spend quality time with them. And the people you’re trying to impress with the cool things? They couldn’t care less about whether you’re happy or miserable, so why not choose to invest your time, energy and money in making beautiful memories with the ones who do matter, and knowledge that will help enrich your relationships with them?
We live in a world where we are bombarded with thousands of images every single moment that encourage us to act impulsively on urges that bring us little to no real benefit. “Feeling down about your life? We know how to make you feel better”. Or, “This waist trainer will give you a tiny waist and make you look beautiful”. The more you buy into these ideas you realise that you can drown, in stuff that is no good for you.
Simplifying my life has allowed me to align my actions with my values. We may have goals that we want to achieve and values that we claim to live by, but often, our day-to-day actions don’t reflect them. Until your words, thoughts and actions align with each other, the values that you want to embody will remain disconnected from your reality as mere thoughts in your head.
If you’re wondering if living a simple life is for you, I will be discussing it in more detail here over the next few weeks. I will tell you about the strategies that have made the biggest impact on my simple-living journey, things that have helped me find the true essence of living a meaningful, intentional life.
* The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com
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