Simplify Your Life – Part 1
An uncluttered, simple life and an unburdened, clear mind are both very key for spiritual practice and the practice of meditation. Such a life tends to allow one the leisure needed for inner exploration and promotes a mind which has the essential inner space needed for such an exploration to be deep and significant. So how can one go ahead and simplify one’s life and un-crowd one’s mind in order to set this platform for spiritual evolution? in part 1 of this series on how to simplify your life, I share 3 tips to help you do this.
How to Simplify Your Life
1. Simplify Your Finances:
When someone asks me about financial success, I always assert that to me financial success is not a goal in life, but financial freedom sure is valuable. I think this is an important point to understand. As I pointed out above, for meditation and inner growth free time is needed, and financial freedom can be instrumental in helping you obtain this precious free time.
Financial freedom means, not needing to work, work, work all the time in order to support your lifestyle or to just keep making more and more money. There is no end to how much money you can earn, and for some, unfortunately, there is also no end to how much money you can spend :-). So be aware that what you are looking for is maximizing opportunity and energy for spiritual growth, and anything that takes away from that is a waste of time.
Of course many of us have to work and earn a living, but if you keep financial freedom as a goal you will not adopt a lifestyle which then demands you to work all the time to keep it up. So this is the first thing. Don’t make lifestyle decisions which will create a crushing financial liability. Don’t buy expensive homes and cars, which you cannot reasonably afford, and don’t go on endless vacations and shopping sprees, which increase your indebtedness further and further.
Once you are under a mountain of debt and large financial commitments, it can be difficult to climb out of that and financial freedom will become just a distant dream. So don’t do it.
The second important aspect of financial freedom, is as much as possible try to set up streams of passive income. I know this is easier said than done, but if you are true in your desire for uplifting the consciousness of humanity, which is of course your consciousness too, then life will give you opportunities. You though will have to take them. It will not happen magically. A billionaire is not going to leave you half his inheritance and chances are you are not going to win the lottery, so be prepared to do what life requires you to in order to accomplish this.
Keep in mind that even small sources of passive income can be helpful in offsetting expenses and bring you closer to financial freedom and the rewards of leisure time which it bestows.
Avoiding overextending financially and easing your earning requirements by setting up passive income, will also help you free your mind from endlessly worrying about finances. In today’s world, with all the excessive focus on materialism and stupidly keeping up with the Jonses, many minds are inundated with money worries and anxieties. This adds to the over crowded state of your consciousness and makes meditation and spiritual living more difficult to achieve. So be intelligent in the lifestyle you choose to live and don’t end up old and grey wondering what happened to your life.
For those interested in exploring the relationship of money and finances to spiritual living further, you may wish to explore the following articles as well:
2. Have Peaceful Relationships:
I have observed that one of the most disruptive forces for people are relationship conflicts. Whether these are conflicts with our partners, or fights with friends or coworkers, or even disagreements with complete strangers, these conflicts can totally disturb our inner equilibrium and worse wreck havoc in our lives for prolonged periods of time. These disturbances can totally complicating things and dominating our thoughts and feelings day after day.
Life is of course a movement in relationships and, let’s be honest, we are not yet an enlightened society, so there is bound to be some conflict and disagreement. That is fine, conflict in relationship is actually an opportunity for growth (read The True Purpose of Relationships), but prolonged conflict which stirs constant inner storms is unhealthy and unproductive.
So you need to find peace in your relationships. This may mean developing a more forgiving nature, embracing compassion (read How to Be Compassionate) and also, in some cases, dropping unhealthy relationships altogether.
Having peaceful relationships will greatly help free your mind from worries and stress, and help your mind find the calm and space within for meditation to blossom.
3. Balance Entertainment and Stimulation:
We are starting to become stimulus junkies. All the time looking for some way to get pleasure through stimulation. Whether that is physical pleasure or psychological pleasure, we are constantly looking for stimulation to deliver this pleasure to us. To me this is most alarming for the next generation especially, who seem to have no down time whatsoever and are in a constant state of hyper stimulation from all the technologies that they have access to from an early age.
What this constant stimulation does is make the organism insensitive and dull such that the simple and ordinary beauty of life is lost. In addition, since one is always occupied the mind ends up dominating one’s day to day life, leaving no room for the heart. Every moment of your life is filled with stimulation so there is no opportunity left for simple observance and communion with life. The wonder of life is lost.
Again stimulation and entertainment are an essential part of daily life, but they have their place. The pursuit of entertainment should not become a dominating force in your life. When one is over entertained, it makes one lazy and incapable of doing what is difficult and uncomfortable. Meditation and spiritual evolution is the growth of being ok with “what is”, especially when the “what is” is uncomfortable, but the constant pursuit of pleasure erodes this potential more and more.
So live simply and don’t over indulge. Just try it. If you are not eating ice cream all the time, you will really enjoy it when you do have it as a treat. In the same way, the entertainment will be really entertaining, when it is balanced with simpler living. And, as an important consequence, your ordinary life will become special once more. The moment will be enough, will be appreciated and it will be full. Meditation will then be possible.
Ways to Simplify Your Life Summary:
Above I discussed some techniques you can try to help you uncomplicate your life and free your mind. This kind of living promotes inner growth and meditation, thus making it possible to uncover your True Nature. If you have any tips for simplifying your life, please do share them with us in the comments section below. Also stay tuned for the next part of this series for more helpful ways to simplify your life.