I’ve just downsized the home I love, the car I drive, and memories of a lifetime. All to be jolted alive with spirited lessons that will likely steer my last good years on this globe. Here’s hoping that lessons I learned by downsizing everything, may shed new light on your valued treasures too.
- Love is kind.
Who hasn’t heard it implied that kindness and love can interchange. Far fewer though have stepped beyond stuff, let go of baggage, and made a mindful pledge to turn their mental dials toward kindness. I’m talking about that mental storehouse for all we value and plan to give back.
- Kindness cannot be bought, and grows by giving
Kindness grows in value with regular and genuine efforts to give it away. Stuff that isn’t worthy of our benevolence, on the other hand, may bully its way in to try and fill a void of care we crave, or as a pre-programmed part of our humanity.
- Hearts grow happier with a glimpse of wonder ahead
Daily regrets stick like grime and mud sucked up into moving wheels during rain storms. Remorse leaves us unfulfilled, barren, and even depressed. We feel bogged down, alone and headed for scarier swamps, while wonder remains a hidden treasure just a glance away and a few steps ahead.
- Progress is often perspective
It’s easy to see advancement in terms of what we have or do that pleases ourselves or others. Put a few miles between you and trappings of your perceived triumphant world though, and you’ll trade embellished treasures that trip you up, for timeless truths that inspirit magical realities. See where downsizing can lift your vision onto new peaks?
- Place passions ahead of problems
Passion’s not organic, yet passion tends to outgrow difficulties with deliberate steps in a clear direction toward your hopes, dreams, and ethical aspirations. Scale back and trim down stuff and you’ll likely seize a new trajectory; one that seemed beyond your reach when possessions and their problems robbed your focus.
- Go plastic to reboot your brain
Only recently have we discovered the power of plasticity, which is simply the brain’s ability to change and grow itself. Once relegated to the young, mental change and growth is now seen as the stuff of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment rewireable into brains of all ages. The problem? Change leap-frogs over open-mindedness or desire alone and looks for the doing of. It obliges you to tackle new adventures head-on. Change takes action! After nerve endings kick into gear, plasticity weaves its wonder into revved-up actions such as play.
- People exchanges count
Every bond, link and connection holds possibilities for wellbeing. Relationships offer up-to-date openings to toss hope, love, and trust into the ring of mindful give-and-takes that many crave yet fewer find. Wellbeing’s alive in people – engage them to spot it!
- Learning is daily
There’s nothing wrong with feeling skilled in a thing, as long as that doesn’t get in the way of new passions, people, and purpose. Daily challenges nudge us out of lazy comfort zones to teach us diverse and deeper meanings of almost everything.
- Downsizing drives us deeper inside
Tears came when I first decided to downsize. It simply seemed too difficult to part with memories of a lifetime. After more reflection, I recognized that our finest recollections aren’t in things, but inside us. The most cherished human treasures dance and play ever evolving tunes deep within each of us.
- Tell it to mean it
Loving is telling or it may be nothing at all. My lifelong friend recently passed, leaving me with daily memories that I was much loved. In simply spoken statements, yet in meaningful ways love became my assured reality. To tell people outright that they are cherished, only adds grit to the Velcro powers of spoken love.
- Tone’s underestimated.
Communication’s more vital than most of us recognize or use it. Without tone that treats differences as valued, we’re doomed to misunderstandings that result in gridlock at best. Good tone affirms others, thanks people, shares respectfully, asks more than tells, and inspires shared goals.
- You don’t need to be best at everything
We all want to be somebody who somehow makes a mark. Sportsmen get idolized from the stands, singers earn standing ovations, and sales personnel win trips to Timbuctoo for beating competition. We see winning valued everywhere! But to chase success is rarely to find mindfulness that brings you to that better place today than you reached yesterday.
- Jealousy tends to disguise itself
It may come disguised as hard-working, hidden behind a smile, or woven into deceptive statements about simply doing one’s best. But succumb to jealousy over other people, events or things, and we literally grow new neuron pathways for more jealous tendencies. Don’t let it happen, it shuts down humanity. Check jealousy at the door by cheering on others, or contributing to their success, and the brain’s amygdala grows personal confidence that enables us to enjoy more of what we do well daily.
- Money’s misleading
Define personal riches in money or material wealth and misery causes you to miss the magic of your true treasures. No, your car’s not your worth! Just as memories are not reliant on things, lasting wealth’s not tied up in monetary belongings, regardless of what’s flashed across financial screens daily.
- Everybody chooses between problems or possibilities
It cannot be both though. Our brains operate differently when fueled by serotonin to choose possibilities, than when fueled by dangerous cortisol chemicals that cause stress, shut out contentment and escalate problems. Truth be known, one precludes the other.
- Fear carves out its own reality
Afraid you may not have enough money in the bank to get by. Then you likely do not. Fear that other family members are more likeable than you? Then you likely present as less likeable? You get the point. Fear literally shuts out curiosity. It barricades you from discovery or playing with new possibilities. It rewires your mind for a new normal – one where you’ll burn out rather than burn strong.
- Mindfulness offers more fun and freedom.
Without trappings such as regret, blaming or unforgiveness we avoid obstructions that tether our focus to misgivings of the past. Without anxiety, stress or preoccupation about the future you free your focus for attention on what’s now. Mindfulness is that awareness of your current time, place, people, or possibilities. See why it’s also a place of fun and freedom?
Where would you begin to downsize, as a way to try out these spirited life lessons on the other side of stuff?