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Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. February 8, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness.

Many people, my parents included, hang on to remnants and relics of the past out of fear that they will forget the memories represented by the objects.

I’m just the opposite . . .

I fear getting lost in the past and missing this moment more than I fear a few misplaced memories down the road.

After all, none of us know how long or how far the road will take us.

Over the years, I’ve whittled my memorabilia down from an enormous moving box (filled to the brim with letters,  cards, correspondence, clipped articles, knickknacks, and paddywhacks) to two clear shoeboxes filled with the crème de la crème (notes, letters, and children’s artwork of “import”).

Before our last move, I pulled apart 60 photo albums and jettisoned photos of people whose names I no longer recalled as well as many unflattering photos of both friends and family.  I used the best photos to create 20 photo albums of truly meaningful and memorable Kodak moments.

When we moved, we left the bookcases that had stored 60 photo albums behind, and had to find a new home for the whittled collection of photos.  Through the magic of synchronicity, the 20 remaining albums fit perfectly on a repurposed antique ladder shelf . . . with not an inch to spare.

When weeding out our possessions, we kept only what we used, loved, or could not bear to be without and jettisoned the rest:

* We donated unwanted clothes, books, art, music, movies, and housewares to Goodwill, Libraries, Salvation Army, and other non-profits in the business of recycling stuff.

* I bequeathed trinkets, jewelry, and cherished Crackerjack Toys to nieces and nephews for them to use or lose, to trash or treasure.

* I even composted the remnants of my wedding bouquet.

For years, faded petals from the once beautiful bouquet filled a jar on my dresser.  Every time I looked at the jar, I saw dust and decay from the now dead blooms.

In wedding photos, the flowers I carried remain fresh and vibrant ~ exactly the way I want to remember them.

At first, we parted with items reluctantly ~ afraid that we might one day regret not having them.  Now, we gleefully rush to Goodwill whenever our attention lands on something that we no longer need.

The more we shed, the lighter and happier we feel:

(1)  The fewer the distractions we have in life, the sharper our focus on the possibilities inherent in this moment.

(2) Hanging too tightly to the past holds us back, keeping us moored to the shore, rather than floating freely.

(3) We travel best when we travel light.

Over time, fragments from the past consume our hearts and minds, claiming  time, energy and attention.  When we let go of all but the essentials, we are no longer encumbered by the past, and realize that we have more than enough to make us happy.

Quote:  Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify. ~ Thoreau

No rules.  Just write!

Recent posts by Suzicate (Cleaning Out the Closets of Life), Janna (Toy Story 3 Linked to Self-Diagnosis of  Disposaphobia), and Sandra ( Minimalism v. Moderation), and the comments to each, address the benefits we gain when we “weed our gardens”  to enjoy the flowers blooming right here, right now.

What about you?  Do you let go easily or hold on tightly?

Related posts:  Clearing Clutter * Simplify Your Life * Between The Wish & The Thing * Forward, Ho! 

Ten For Tuesday February 8, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Word Play.

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~ Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” ~ Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970)

“Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water!” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (1882 – 1962)

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~ Walt Disney (1901 – 1966)

My favorite? 

It’s a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Walt Disney. 

One reminds me to be honest and act with integrity.  The other reminds me to reach for the stars and believe in the miracles and mysteries of life.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Any of these quotes strike a chord with you today?

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For more like these:  Great Quotes from Great Leaders (Simple Truths)