I have a friend who is a wiz at decluttering her house. She has removed objects that no longer matter to her. Walking into her house feels like taking a breath of fresh air. Her art adorns the walls, and the furniture is arranged so that you want to sit, relax and have a long chat. The best part of a visit is opening the door to the back yard into a lovely garden with a 180-degree view of bay waters, hills, and Mt. Diablo in the distance.
I haven't learned her art of decluttering. I tried the trendy method of holding an object to see if I still feel any connection to it. No luck for me. Not only do I have a response to almost everything, but the object becomes a new distraction as I sit down and look through its pages or rub the sides of the teapot to bring back fond memories or wander through the stacks of art materials in my workroom. I can always find something interesting that keeps me attached to the object.
Do you work at simplifying your life in other ways? I found one helpful idea from The One Hundred Hours Project, which offers a card to manage time. The card has circles that I can fill in each time I spend an hour on my designated interest. When I have 100 hours accumulated, I can give myself a reward for the time I've spent doing something meaningful to me.
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I spent a week one summer at Scripps Camp, a retreat for alumnae from Scripps College. We stayed in the simply-furnished dorm rooms with just a bed, desk and chair. To my surprise, I accomplished a lot, even forfeiting opportunities to take workshops and to attend get-togethers with other alums because the room opened my senses to the quietness and stillness of the world around me. I wasn't thinking of a million different things like I do at home. I had time to listen to the silence.
I still struggle with how to carve out that kind of space in my daily life. Going to our local coffee house, sitting outside, and sketching people at other tables gives me a little of that freedom. Cleaning out my workspace helps too. Walking on the Iron Horse Trail opens my eyes to the natural beauty around me. Occasionally I work somewhere else in the house instead of my workroom, which offers me another perspective.
What do you do to live a more
simple, more fruitful life?
Two good websites to explore:
THE ONE HUNDRED HOURS PROJECT http://www.100hoursproject.com