What’s The Matter with Pondering What Matters

“I live a pretty simple life.” – Tom Selleck

Hey beautiful soul, this is from my Hopeful heart to yours…so check it out.

Yeah…so it’s no secret I love take out Chinese!

Terrible but true.

Oddly enough, one of the things I love most about getting take out Chinese is the little fortune cookies at the bottom of the box. I mean how simple are those little jokers, and yet they bring me so much joy.

I don’t even particularly care for the cookie itself but there is SOMEthing about breaking open that cookie to pull out those little slips of paper to read a few words of good fortune or zen like insight that seems so fascinating and fun to me.

Never mind that they didn’t originate in China but rather, here in the states…the fact is, you never know what you are going to get and if it may (or may not) be something relatable.

Recently I got…

“Things in life should be simple rather than complex.”

Now when I first read it, I thought…”oh boy – when hasn’t life ever been complex?” but then after pondering it for a moment, I had to give myself some credit to the fact that I have been a student of self exploration and attempting to keep life simple for almost two and half decades.

I think most all of us can agree, when things in life start getting complex, it can be overwhelming to deal with.

If one part of life gets overly messy, the equilibrium gets thrown off and everything else seems THAT much more complex.

Yet when I look back, I have had a life time of self discovery where I have studied, read and attempted to steer my life in a direction that intentionally simplifies rather then makes it complex.

I think my mindset began this subtle shift after my stint studying, living and teaching abroad in the early 90’s. I returned with an awareness that Americans love choices. Choices are fun and often exciting but they can also lead to great confusion.

Other countries simply don’t have the same amount of excess we have, and as a result, even the little choices are easy because there just isn’t anything else to pick from. The result, a more harmonious mind set.

I mean for goodness sake, we have half a grocery store aisle dedicated to just PEANUT BUTTER! If that doesn’t illustrate how much we love our choices over even the simplest of products, I don’t know what does?!

Who hasn’t ever caught themselves pondering away the moments over a product or something so minuscule and then thought, “why am I doing this?” Well guess what? If it’s not there, you brain doesn’t entertain pondering over it.

My mindset further shifted after a couple major transitions that resulted in grief journeys. The most extreme being the passing of my father. He was 57 turning 58, and I was turning 39, when he tragically passed from Pancreatic Cancer. After watching a beloved person in the prime years of life be struck down, it truly sets your priorities right.

Let me tell you with assurity – heart and soul shattering grief can really teach you how to let shit go…quickly!

You quickly realize life is complex enough. My brain was so actively grieving, it couldn’t even make a decision. So by actively pare down the daily nuances that I made choices over and further simplifying life, yeah…I was all about that!

As a result of those two and half decades, and many experiences, I now intentionally choose to keep life simple with my daily routines and most anything/everything materialistic for a reason!

From the color on my nails and toes (always red), to the towels we use (white only), my career (15 minutes from my house), the clothes I wear (always black), the humble house I own (requires less time to clean) and the products in it.

Now – at 50, I know what works for me and my family, what I like, and what things bring me the most joy…so by eliminating the extra choices about ALL those little things – it actually lends balance to a potentially teeter totter world!

It frees my head space from decisions that not only clutter our dwellings, but clutter our minds – as a result, I am free to be present for those in my world and gives me time to ponder the things that truly matter!

Because in truth, while we don’t realize it…all those little moments belaboring choices, are a daily time and energy suck!

It’s a black hole we throw time and energy down.

On the daily we create superfluous complexities in so many little ways, we hardly recognize we are doing it. Yet all those little moments are adding extra stress, and sucking time and energy from us. We throw ourselves out of whack daily!

Think about this reality, you spend 15 minutes sniffing scented candles deciding which to buy, or six minutes in an aisle perplexed about toilet paper, ten minutes deciding a new polish color, 20 minutes reading and rereading an email, 15 minutes deciding what to wear, 30 minutes distracted by ads on social media…etc, etc, etc…the list is endless…yet, without even recognizing, WE ALL DO IT!

Only you know how often this occurs but I see and hear people doing this on the daily! Myself included, despite being a student of my own mindset and over two decades of self discovery.

My goodness it is SOOO easy to get sucked in to ALL those little mindless moments of indecision, all the while potentially manifesting little anxieties over truly nothing.

This is a HUGE waste of our own precious time and energy!

  • Try this exercise in self awareness:
    • Go about your day, as usual, do not alter anything…yet pay special attention to every moment you make decisions.
      Tally up the moments you spend making those decisions, in each moment.
      At the end of the day, reflect back and ask the following questions…
      How much time did I spend on each decision?
      How often was it?
      How much time was wasted?
      What little bit of stress did those moments create?
      Are there decisions I could eliminate?

    Now here is the big question…

    • Did I accidentally create a complex moment for myself over something that should be simple?

    ASK THAT AGAIN!

    • Did I accidentally create a complex moment for myself over something that should be simple?

    REMEMBER!

    This is all mental and emotional energy and physical time that could be spent on something you actually love. Like maybe your favorite hobby, time with your family that normally is missed, or even enjoying a quiet moment doing nothing. Let’s be real, this list can be endless too!!!

    After-all, life can get REALLY messy and complicated. Things aren’t always easy and clear-cut. So once you know what works for you, why make things more complex? Just go with what you know and eliminate the rest! The key to this: if it’s not there, your brain doesn’t entertain pondering over it.

    This is a simple way to quickly and easily create time and energy that allows for greater balance and harmony as part of your personal flow.

    I’m not saying don’t try new things…but if it’s causing a quandary, for longer then four minutes, let it go and maybe revisit it at a later date…or maybe not.

    We have way too much on our plates, through no choice of our own. No one said life was going to be easy, but no one gave us the heads up that we MAKE life WAY more complex then we have to!

    So don’t waste your time and energy on those little things! Shove them off your plate and save your time and energy for the true complexities in life that deserve our focus and for more opportunity to enjoy the good stuff in life!

    At the end of the day, it may seem dull or boring. Yet to me – it is my way of keeping life simple and flowing!

    I’m ALWAYS looking to connect with people interested in finding HOPE in all areas of life, including how to keep life simple! What are some of YOUR thoughts on keeping life simple?

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    A place to find HOPE everyday!

    As always…

    Go in love,

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