What is Essential?

When you are simplifying, things are very individual. Someone may want to simplify their lives by making many meals at once and freezing, while another person may want to block off time to unwind with some cooking every day. Some people may like a minimalist desk with no clutter. While someone else works better with color and mementos.

Much of simplifying is learning about you and your family. Finding out what it vital to your life.

In this month’s Yoga Journal there was a sidebar of “How Do You Know What’s Essential?”

Some ideas they included:

  • Ask yourself what gives you energy? Are you energized by home care or drained? Do lots of outings energize you or overwhelm you? Jot down notes throughout the day based on how you are feeling so you can start bringing more of things that energize you into your day. And find ways to lose the energy drainers or at least do less of them.
  • Talk about what is important to you with friends and family so you can clarify it for yourself.
  • Slow down so you can understand whether something is just surface happiness or if it brings you deep satisfaction. If you are rushing through gardening, how can you enjoy the beauty and scents of your garden? Chomping chocolate instead of savoring makes it difficult to tell if you like milk chocolate or dark chocolate better.
  • Find out how much you are spending in different categories like housing, clothes, food, and entertainment. Now decide it if what you are spending in that category is worth the price. Do you get tons of pleasure out of your daily coffee or is it just a habit? Are you spending money where it gives you the most joy?
  • Create two lists. On one list, write what you wish you could spending less time, energy or money on. Create another list of things you wish you could have, do or be. Now brainstorm some ideas where you can “reconcile the two and create your authentic life, one that will bring you joy.”

Try some of these suggestions and see if you come closer to uncovering what is essential for you.