I could give you a list of a million reasons how simplifying your lifestyle is the best thing you can do for yourself. Let’s get real, I totally go on tangents about how this lifestyle change has done wonders for my mental, physical, and emotional health and all of the other ways that it has changed my life. But here’s the thing, it is not something that happens all at once. It is not a magical switch that you flip and suddenly your life is an easy, breezy simplicity haven. Nope. The work is hard and the changes are slow. There are still so many changes that I want to make in my lifestyle. But I am tackling them slowly, one at a time.
The first step towards success is to actually start. You have to start where you are right now and stop waiting for the perfect time. Because, friend, that time will never come. Simplifying looks different for everyone. There isn’t a roadmap that you can follow. Which makes it even more challenging for someone like me who craves the validation and assurance of being told the right way to do something.
For me the biggest secret to simplifying is this: take what you like and leave the rest. This is something that I first heard in high school and it continues to mean more to me as I grow. In the realm of simplifying it means that there is no one right or wrong way to simplify your lifestyle so do the things that work for you and forget the ones that don’t.
It is scary to start on a journey without a roadmap, not knowing where it is going to take you. But you have to make the choice to start.
That was the choice I had to make when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We were overwhelmed and scared but we knew that we wanted to do everything we could to help him. So along with chemotherapy, we looked into alternative healing. Something that caught our attention was the idea of a plant-based diet to starve out cancer cells. But we did not know if this was the answer or if other holistic practices could also help. We did not know the right lifestyle changes we could make to help my dad heal. We had no guarantees. But we decided to start trying anyway.
Members of my family were skeptical of the new diet that I wanted to take on. What does plant-based even mean? You aren’t going to eat any meat? How do you know that will improve your dad’s health? The question that was the hardest for me and the one I grappled with the most was, how will you know you are doing it right?
And I held onto that question for a long time. I was frantically searching for the right things to do: the right foods to starve out my dad’s cancer, the right practices to remove stress from our lives, the right way to reduce inflammation (most disease is caused from inflammation in the body-more on that to come). It took me a long time to realize that there is no right way. There is no one right answer. Mostly all we can ever do is try, and learn from what isn’t working for us, and have the courage to try again.
In our consumer culture we are tricked into thinking that there is one right way. This one product is the perfect answer. Just take this pill. Do this treatment. And the sad truth is that these are mostly lies made up by corporations so that we buy what they are selling. And that is a hard space to live in. But the silver lining here is that now you are liberated. You are free from trying to find the right answer to every problem and the right way to take on every new venture. Although, at times you will most likely find yourself continuing to search for the right way to do something, I know I sure do.
But in the end, all you have to remember is this: the secret to simplifying is to not look for the secret, or the right way. The secret is just to start, remembering along your way to take what you like and to leave the rest.
If you are ready to simplify but don't know where to start, get help building your roadmap to simplicity by taking my QUIZ!