How I’m realizing that simplifying life brings abundance.
What pops into your mind when you hear the phrase: living a simple life? Do you think it means to live more frugally, or in poverty? Or, do you think it embraces the current trend of being a minimalist?
When I was in my late teens, I used to think living a “simple life” meant to live in a rural area with little access to technology and resources (which is not a bad thing, mind you). Not a concept that I was into, and especially not when I first moved to Chicago. I was able to snag a great studio apartment in the “Gold Coast” area and wanted to try all the restaurants and hotspots I could find, go shopping in all the expensive boutiques and decorate my apartment with all sorts of trinkets and home decor. Even though all of these things are resources and luxuries that our society is blessed to have access to, overdoing it can sometimes make us feel like nothing is enough.
Today, I want to share my epiphany on realizing that simplifying life brings abundance, and my opinion pertaining to the benefits of simplifying one’s life, and why I think a lot of us need to rethink our “wants versus needs”.
Why am I bothering to write about this? Well, this past week had been a real eye opener for me and at the same time gave me a sense of peace and happiness with what I already have. If you follow any of my social outlets, you may already know that I’m traveling in Asia and have been in Cambodia for the past week.
We’ve been meeting various locals with interesting backgrounds (one that I’ll forever remember: a survivor from the S-21 secret prison during the communist Khmer Rouge “killing fields” regime), visiting schools, silk and copper workshops, and villages that consist of wooden homes on stilts. I learned that the primary source of capital for each family is their cattle, and that government employees make around $200 a month. Community shops in these villages are compared to “7-Elevens” by the tour guides. The difference? These shops are built in simple tin barns that boast 2 small coolers filled with chilled drinks, a few pots and pans, and a handful of home items for sale.
In each village we visited, children ran up to us eager to practice English and say hello. Generally, everyone we came across was quite happy. Whether they’re hanging out on each other’s front steps, or washing their cattle in the river, they seem to have a sense of inner peace and contentment.
This made me realize something of great magnitude. Here I am, sitting in a comfortable hotel room with a comfortable condo back in Chicago waiting for me…where most of us have an abundance of various types of foods stocked in the fridge, clothes hanging in the closet, and products that have been ordered with a push of a button on a fancy iPhone.
Meanwhile, communities around the world in countries like Cambodia are still developing and learning about such simple topics such as bringing more trashcans to their communities so there isn’t trash strewn like decorations along the dirt roads. These communities spend their days working in conditions such as 106 degree weather, happy if some make a salary of nearly a hundred dollars a month, yet they seem to enjoy the simplicity of life. Being present, enjoying human contact and genuinely looking content with what they have. When I think of many people, including myself, and our society in general, a lot of the daily stresses/complaints we come across seem to be quite trivial. Especially when compared to what types of resources are accessible to people in third world countries like Cambodia.
Here in the States, we are out and about constantly looking down at our smartphones instead of looking up at what’s around us. Hoping to get invited to every “insider” event. Having “fomo” if you’re not attending a social gathering where all the cool kids are snapping their best Snapchat stories. Some of us are fretting about buying designer clothes, riding in fancy cars, obtaining the latest technology to make life even easier, and what seems to be consuming a lot of us: spending hours and hours on social media. From the looks of it, each and every one of us has access to incredible amounts of resources that help improve our lives, daily, yet we still want more. It’s easy to get caught up in this since we are constantly bombarded with data on how we compare to others, and what others have.
We’re also trying to do it all (because we think we CAN do it all): start businesses, grow families, make the most money that we possibly can, and maintain a likability among all we meet and we try to make everyone happy. We want to have it all (because we can) which I’m afraid leads us to feeling like we never have enough.
Simplifying life brings abundance
My whole point of talking about this is to share the importance of simplifying, and ridding yourself of all that you stress + worry + strive for, which can eventually lead to true abundance. This is no new trend. There are tons of books and articles written on the subject of decluttering, both mentally and physically, being read by thousands looking to simplify their living space and searching for answers on how to maintain more harmony between their homes and mental well being.
I invite you to consider that, maybe it’s time for you to mentally declutter and change the expectations you put on yourself, the stresses you decide to fret about, and simplifying what you want in life? Living simply has different meanings and values for all of us. Take a look at your life and think about some areas that you can simplify and declutter. Could this be in the form of eliminating some relationships? Are you trying to be friends with everyone instead of really cherishing the friendships that are most valuable to you (quantity versus quality)?
It’s also important to remember that simplifying your life can not be done in a day, or even a week. It takes time to create new habits and sustain new mindsets. Simplifying areas of your life can be an ongoing process, and that’s OK.
I hope that this post inspires you to find more peace with what you already have in your life. Your relationships, your health, your ability to create, and your freedom to do anything that you put your mind to. Be grateful for your freedoms, your potential, and your choice to live life as you want.
Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing various ways that you can simplify various parts of your life so that you can also achieve true abundance! This will be a 3 part series that you won’t want to miss. In the mean time, share how you simplify your life to experience peace and harmony in the comments below!