Start over Again,
and Do It Right
Elaine St. James

  

I've heard from and talked to many people who described how Mother Nature simplified their lives for them.  They'd lost their home and many or all of their possessions through fires, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, or some other disaster.  Losing everything you own under such circumstances can be devastating, but the people I've heard from all saw their loss, ultimately, as a blessing. 

"The fire saved us the agony of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of," one woman wrote.  And once all those things were no longer there, she and her husband saw how they had weighed them down and complicated their lives. 

"There was so much stuff we never used and that was just taking up space.  We vowed when we started over, we'd replace only what we needed, and this time we'd do it right.  We've kept our promise:  We don't have much now, but what we have is exactly what we want." 

Though we've never had a catastrophic loss such as that, Gibbs and I did have a close call shortly before we decided to simplify.  At that time we lived in a fire zone.  One night a firestorm raged through and destroyed over six hundred homes in our community.  That tragedy gave us the opportunity to look objectively at the goods we'd accumulated. 

We saw that there was so much we could get rid of and not only never miss, but be better off without.  Having almost lost it all, we found it much easier to let go of the things we knew we'd never use again.

Obviously, there's a tremendous difference between getting rid of possessions and losing them through a natural disaster without having a say in the matter.  And this is not to minimize the tragedy and pain such a loss can generate. 

But you might think about how you would approach the acquisition process if you had it to do all over again.  Look around your home and make a list of what you would replace.

Make another list of things you wouldn't acquire again no matter what, and in fact would be happy to be rid of.

When you're ready to start unloading some of your stuff, that list will be a good place to start.

   

If you've thought about simplifying, but don't know where to begin, Living the Simple Life is the blueprint you need. And if you've already started to simplify, it will give you new insights and ideas for what to do next on your journey to a more balanced, peaceful life.
In these pages, you'll discover how simplifying your life will:
* Give you more time to play and relax
* Make you more productive at work
* Unleash your creativity and open up new possibilities
* Free up time for you to face the challenges you've been avoiding.
Scale down. Enjoy More.

More on possessions.

  
    

It's possible to have too much in life.  Too many clothes
jade our appreciation for new ones; too much money
can put us out of touch with life; too much free time
can dull the edge of the soul.  We need sometimes to come
very near the bone so that we can taste the marrow
of life rather than its superfluities.

Joan Chittister

  


 
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