A while back, I went on a huge, amazing journey to downsize my life.
Recently I got rid of about 70% of everything I owned. I moved into a small house and started a little garden. It's been healing, inspiring, and fulfilling.
Along my path to more simplicity and minimalism (still working on these, but have made huge progress), I've learned a profound, empowering lesson that applies to so many areas of life.
When it comes to that "thing" we desire, whether it's a piece of clothing, a house, or a new job... most times, at the end of the day, it's not the "thing" we're truly after. It's the feeling we will have when we get it.
Our true desires are about how we want to feel, not necessarily what we want to have.
Not that a new job, sweater, car, or even a new home isn't great now and then. It's just that many times we find ourselves unfulfilled when we finally get that "thing", so we buy more things or go after another job, or relationship, or whatever item we're drawn to. This can lead to being buried under way too much stuff, or being unsatisfied with a job or relationship.
The key to authentic joy and lasting fulfillment is to first recognize the feelings we truly desire. Look for ways to manifest those feelings of joy and satisfaction with what we already have, both from within ourselves and with our current situations and material possessions.
The place to begin is by focusing on the beauty of what is, and allowing feelings of tremendous gratitude to flow, even for the small stuff. Make it a regular practice to look around at all that's in your life and say to yourself, "This is freakin' AWESOME!" and allow yourself to really feel it.
When you begin to focus on the feelings instead of the things, two magical things will happen.
•First, you'll begin to feel a more sustainable state of joy in your life. Once you begin living from a place of gratitude and recognizing the incredible abundance and gifts that you already have, all of the things in your life from material stuff to relationships will become more satisfying and amazing.
•Second, you'll begin to have an automatic filter in your consciousness that will allow you to be more aware when you're making decisions about purchases or major changes in your life. You can ask yourself, "Is it the thing I really want, or am I just looking for the feelings I think may come from it." If the answer is the feelings, you can look inward for ways to create those feelings. You may even realize you didn't even really want that "thing" in the first place.
Using this advise will not only help you have fewer possessions and help keep you from making life changes based on temporary circumstances; but it will also make the things you do purchase and the shifts you do choose to make in your life that much more meaningful and mindful. You'll end up with possessions and circumstances in your life that you totally love. And, you won't have a bunch of stuff cluttering your life.
Focusing on the feeling you're looking for is also a great motivational tool.
If you're working on a big project that you really want to complete, but you're feeling a little uninspired and overwhelmed by the steps it will take to finish it, try closing your eyes and allowing yourself to feel the feelings of having completed it. Picture the goal accomplished and feel the fireworks of satisfaction going off in your heart. When I practice this exercise, I'm always inspired to get moving and get my projects done!
Since the beginning of this year, I've really been focused on incorporating these practices regularly into my daily routine. I'm grateful for everything and i hope to continue creating this joyful, simple, amazing life that I'm living.
Take a look around you, right now, and see the magic and light that is already in your life. Can you feel it?
If you don't feel amazing - then it's time to clear the clutter and get busy surrounding yourself with the stuff, the people and the life that make you feel positive, healthy and AMAZING!