zen habits : breathe

Simplify Your Life with Balance

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Anastasiya Goers of Balance In Me.

What is the most difficult part about simplifying your life? It is fairly easy to clean your closets and organize your belongings. It is possible to eliminate activities that are not really important to us (watching TV, web surfing.) Even simplifying your finances is not too complicated if you have a general plan.

The most difficult part about simplifying life is dealing with emotional attachments. Let’s say that you have an old picture frame (vase, shirt, shoes etc.) in your house. If it’s just a thing that you picked up on sale or bought ten years ago you will probably be able to change its permanent residence to “trash.” But how would you deal with this thing if you got it from your late grandmother? Maybe your parents gave it to you as a graduation present? Parting with this thing (even if you do not like it too much) gets much more difficult.

Another difficult part about simplifying life is going against social approval. We are so used to a certain order of things and certain cultural rules that we do not even doubt them. We assume that we need to have cable with 200+ channels only because everybody else has it in their homes. We break our backs to sell things for the fundraisers at our kids’ schools just because everybody else does. This list goes on and on.

I had trouble simplifying my life for all the reasons mentioned above and this is when I found a balanced approach to simplicity. Balance helped me find the simplicity that I was personally comfortable with. I didn’t have to limit my belongings to just 100 things and I didn’t get rid of all social commitments. However, I realized what is really important in my life and what is just clutter.

Here is the balanced approach to simplicity that I use in my life. Can you use it in yours?

Don’t try to win social approval

Our life is full of tasks and responsibilities that we assume important only because they are traditional in our culture. Most of these social norms do nothing but clutter our life and waste our valuable resources.

There are plenty more examples of social standards that we try to follow in life. How many social norms are you ready to break away from today?

Find the strength to let go

We feel uncomfortable letting go of things and memories that we are emotionally connected to. This connection makes simplifying life very difficult. We feel responsible for keeping certain things (gifts from our relatives of friends) and holding on to memories. Over time it leads to enormous amounts of clutter and huge emotional baggage that does not let you move on in life.

Simplicity becomes very easy and enjoyable if you approach it with balance. Keep decluttering your life until you feel completely comfortable with the results and until you feel simply in balance inside and out.

Read more from Anastasiya at her blog, Balance In Me, and check out her upcoming virtual retreat Simplify Your Life with Balance: 30 days to declutter your lifestyle.

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