15 November 2012

How to Slow Down and Enjoy the Simple Life

Wanting to slow down and enjoy the simple life is half the battle. Knowing how to slow down and enjoy the simple life is the other, and probably most important, half. When going about the “how to” part of enjoying the simple life, turn to your senses. Your sense of sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch all come into play when you are about to embrace the joy of the simple life.

Slowing down and enjoying the simple life could be as simple as being and not doing. The old saying "stop and smell the roses" becomes your mantra when you want to simplify and slow down. Stop and take a deep breath before you react to your surroundings. It will calm and relax you, and give you time to think about your actions.

When you stop and take a moment to look at the awful mess your family has made, take a deep breath before you react. Recognize and realize that you are blessed to have that family and their mess is a result of that. When you look through eyes of gratitude, you can see simple joys. Then gather your family and in a firm but positive manner ask them to each to clean up their individual messes. Seeing the blessings in your life before you react can help you to react to the whirlwind in a more positive manner. Nine times out of ten when you confront someone (even if they are wrong) you will be met with defensiveness. That takes time, effort, and energy out of your already busy schedule.

Feeling is believing, especially when it comes to the simple life. The next time you are tempted to load the dishwasher to full capacity and run it only to find that you have to run it again because you overloaded it, try this simple trick. Take some of the dishes, glasses, and utensils out of the dishwasher, fill the sink with warm, soapy water and begin to wash them by hand. As you are washing them by hand, feel the warmth of the water, inhale the scent of the soap and concentrate on the task at hand. Enjoy the feeling of doing one thing at a time. Not only will you be enjoying the simple life while you hand wash, you will save energy by not running water excessively and using your dishwasher a little less each time.

Many, if not most, of us multi-task while cooking. Try taking one meal a week, perhaps a Sunday, and just enjoy the art of cooking. Try something new or be creative with some leftovers. If you are simply focusing on preparing a wonderful meal for your family and utilizing leftovers to create something new, you will be enjoying the simple life and saving money. Take time to savour the aromas and taste along the way. Invite a family member in to sample. You could fill your home with the aroma of a simple baked bread that requires very few ingredients and cost. The aroma of baking bread is warm and welcoming, and will set the tone while costing next to nothing.

Take time to smell a flower before entering your car or looking at your surroundings as you drive instead of thinking about your to do list. Small changes such as these can help you slow down and enjoy the simple life that was given to you.

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