There is beauty in simplicity. When complications and unnecessary details are removed, life is free to flow, allowing us to find our rhythm, and even our freedom. The shackles of complications, trying to keep up with the Joneses, and negative emotions keep us from seeing the beauty of life.
This year, creating simplicity has been my goal. And as odd as this may sound, the journey to simplicity has been complicated. Learning to live with simplicity has meant change, compromise, and identifying what is truly needed. I have always enjoyed the simple things. I lost sight of this when I allowed others to dictate my life. Taking ownership of my life back, choosing to define myself and my life, has been the greatest decision I have ever made. Every moment of pain, the tears I have cried, and the loneliness I feared would never leave have all been worth it.
I followed a few very basic steps to create simplicity. I went through every room, examined every item in the room and asked the following questions:
– What purpose does this serve?
– Can this item serve more than one purpose?
– Does another item serve the same purpose?
– Do I need the item? Do I want the item?
– Does the item give me pleasure? Meaning do I enjoy what the item produces.
After hours of cleaning and piles of donations, I tackled each room one more time. I found that by going through each room multiple times, I was able to assess each item with clarity.
Once I was down to what I needed, used, and wanted, I asked myself the following questions:
– What was my goal? This answer was based on the room I was in. For example, in the kitchen, the answer is a well stocked kitchen with items that serve multiple purposes and allow me to cook my favorite dishes, and new dishes, easily and quickly.
– What did I need to add to achieve my goal?
– What aesthetic look was I trying to create?
It took me days, sometimes weeks to answer these questions. As I searched for inspiration, reflected on what I was striving to achieve, and planned, I slowly created an image for each room.
I assessed my wardrobe and makeup the same way. I also eliminated anything that was for only one use, especially things I was saving for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion, deserving of beauty and celebration.
The results have been a simple life and existence. Instead of spending time looking for something, I am able to spend my time creating and living. Having less means less to clean, and less to think about.
It’s funny how changing one’s environment can make such a difference. For me, this journey has allowed me to let go of hurt, forgive, and find joy. If you find yourself in a place of stress or unhappiness, try changing your environment. I promise you will enjoy the results.
Sara Orellana lives in Oklahoma City and writes a weekly column for The Lawton Constitution.