Nov 17 2011

How to Let Go and Embrace Simplicity

Peggy McPartland

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
- Raymond Lindquist

Letting go isn’t easy.

It’s cold and the sun is setting. It’s been raining and the cedar boughs send their deep fragrance over me.

I stand alone, watching.

The gray SUV pulls out onto the road, the tail lights glowing in the darkening day. On top of it are two well used sea kayaks.

They used to be mine.

I feel a piece of my life heading down the road.

They represent who I am or was – a strong adventurous person. It’s as if I’m giving away my life piece by piece.

Letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.
                                                     -Unknown

Our belongings give us a sense of identity. We cling to them believing they represent our past, our history, and in some ways our life.

There’s strength in being able to let go. We can spend our lives acquiring things and never really feel as if it’s enough.

What you own is not who you are. It doesn’t define you as a person although it does feel like that at times.

Living more simply provides the freedom to open up to new experiences. If you’re less focused on acquiring, maintaining or hanging onto your possessions, you’re able to more fully focus on the things that bring joy and meaning to your life.

You’re not letting go of yourself; that stays with you. You’re only letting go of the things that no longer have a place in your life.

Imagine a future less cluttered and less encumbered. Imagine what life will look like living more simply.

Being settled in a simple space surrounded by your family, your friends and those things that truly have meaning will bring a deeper sense of joy than being in the most luxurious surroundings.

Rather than looking for external validation, strive to live fully and presently with a sense of openness. With that openness your creativity will flow more freely bringing a new clarity to your life.

Allow this simplicity to come from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. This isn’t about giving up anything, but making room in your life for what’s really important.

The familiarity of our things feels safe. Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything left. You’ll still have the things that are important yet feel freer and less encumbered.

Letting go brings a clearer sense of your authentic self. It adds lightness and joy, giving you more energy to fully interact with the world.

Ask yourself what your belongings represent to you. Are they enhancing your life or holding you back?

Discover what they mean to you and what letting go represents.

Let go bit by bit. Find creative ways to recreate the feelings those objects represent. Let go of the uneasiness of feeling as if you’ve lost a part of your identity.

You can make the choice to live a simpler life. The rewards are tremendous.

Today may be all you have. Do you want to spend this day crowded with excessive belongings or filled with rich experiences and the people you love?

 

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Photo credit: rickydavid, flickr

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Nov 14 2011

Travel Snapshot: Beautiful Young Musician

Peggy McPartland

Beautiful young musician at the night market in Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

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Nov 11 2011

Fall is a time of change and reflection

Peggy McPartland

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.                                                                                                                                                - Mohandas K. Gandhi

This time of year we turn our thoughts inward and reflect on our lives. We tend to reevaluate where we are and what we would like to see as we move forward.

We want to be filled with deep joy and passion every day – whether it’s in our career, our relationships or how we contribute to the world. Are you challenged and motivated every day? Do you feel passionate as you face your day?

We find what we’re passionate about by experiencing new things and searching out new experiences. Our interests then expand and grow and we learn more about what we’re passionate about and how we want to spend our time.

There are rich, stimulating choices to be made. Old passions to be reignited. All you have to show up fully in your life every day and be open to new possibilities.

Most of us have mixed feelings about change. We look forward to the newness of what’s coming but can be fearful of what it means.  How will it affect your life? Will you be leaving things behind as part of the change? Will you be able to embrace it or will it be painful and difficult?

If you’re going to make changes, why not completely open it up? Why not consider things you’ve never considered? It’s not possible to know what direction you want to take when you don’t know your options.

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~Frank Herbert

There are amazing resources available to tap into what makes us grow and flourish. The sheer amount of information online puts virtually everything we could want to know at our fingertips. Social media provides the platform to reach out to people of every background imaginable. We can share information, seek insight and learn from each other.

There are articles, courses, podcasts, blogs and webinars on virtually every possible subject. Even if you aren’t sure what direction you’re heading, explore it all. Take advantage of these rich resources.

I never would have thought I’d be learning about search engine optimization or freelance writing. But guess what I’ve spent my time reading this week?! That’s right – SEO and writing. The information is plentiful, free and at my fingertips.

As technology advances, the way we work is changing. Challenging options that didn’t even exist five years ago are now common. New fields, philosophies and insights spring forth every day.

Whether we’re reading books, surfing online or listening to podcasts, one connection often leads to another and we can continually move from one new thing to another.

I stumbled onto an amazing technology today that literally made my heart pound with excitement. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and its practical ramifications are overwhelming. I found it by reading a Google+ post, which led me to a non-profit that talked about a simple solar light technology developed at MIT and being used in the Philippines that literally changes the lives of people living in poverty.

What other magnificent things are out there that we aren’t even aware of? It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

It really confirms that we can turn our lives and passions in whatever direction captures our hearts. There are amazing ways to accomplish things that never existed before. Let your creativity run wild.

We were all born with amazing potential. It’s time for that creative potential to be explored rather than letting it continue to languish in daily routines.

Get excited about life and the opportunities just waiting to be explored. The world is open and waiting for you.

Can you bring a sense of wonder and aliveness into your experiences?

 

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