Declutter Day 10! Progress!

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It’s day 10 of the Minimalism Game…how’s the decluttering? Hope it’s great! I’m sticking with it. If it doesn’t bring me JOY, it is out of here! 30 things are GONE so far! Woohoo! If you haven’t joined the fun, start where you are. Here are the instructions…

https://smp19671.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/30-day-minimalism-game-come-out-and-play/

Mo

Image courtesy of Ericadhawan.com

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30-day Minimalism game! Come out and play!

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I love the Minimalism guys! Let’s play their game for September!  I welcome  your comments on your progress throughout the month! Inspiration to simplify is on the way, one day at a time!

30-Day Minimalism Game.

Here’s how it works …

Find a friend or family member: someone who’s willing to get rid of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

It’s an easy game at first. However, it starts getting challenging by week two when you’re both jettisoning more than a dozen items each day. Whoever can keep it going the longest wins; you both win if you can make it all month. Bonus points if you play with more than two people.

Ready? Go!

Mo

Let’s Play a Minimalism Game

Us and Them -My reality shift

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My sadness over the reality of our divided society overwhelmed me today as old lyrics rang in my ear, in the form of an old favorite song, Us and Them, by Pink Floyd. I used to listen to this song, hour after hour, with giant headphones, with my best friend, Leslie, back in the 70s. We loved that song’s ability to take us to another place. Its ethereal sound soothed us. The words were, well, just words, back then.

Imagine my surprise today when the same song, the same sounds and the same words ripped me out of relaxation to a horrific state of revelation. These words embody my greatest fears and disappointments in our current society’s state of affairs.

Take a look at these prophetic words:

Us and Them 

“Us (us, us, us, us) and them (them, them, them, them)
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me
And you (you, you, you)
God only knows
It’s not what we would choose (choose, choose) to do (to do, to do)
Forward he cried from the rear
And the front rank died
And the general sat
And the lines on the map
Moved from side to side
Black (black, black, black)
And blue (blue, blue)
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up (up, up, up, up)
And down (down, down, down, down)
And in the end it’s only round ‘n round (round, round, round)
Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There’s room for you inside

“I mean, they’re not gonna kill ya,
So if you give ’em a quick short, sharp, shock,
They won’t do it again. Dig it?
I mean he get off lightly, ’cause I would’ve given him a thrashing
I only hit him once! It was only a difference of opinion, but really
I mean good manners don’t cost nothing do they, eh?”

Down (down, down, down, down)
And out (out, out, out, out)
It can’t be helped that there’s a lot of it about
With (with, with, with), without
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about?
Out of the way
It’s a busy day
I’ve got things on my mind
For the want of the price
Of tea and a slice
The old man died.”

A blog commenter, “SkinnyD,” put his two cents in, eleven years ago, giving his best interpretation of this, “oldie but goodie.” He wrote:

“Timeless poetry such as this has many levels of meaning.
Laid out before us by the artist so succinctly, yet so sublime.

All of us can see the reference to the nature of war, its cruelty, and futility.
However, I believe there is a more primal meaning to these words. It’s more about human nature, rather than the nature of war.

The “Us and Them” verse refers to how groups (tribes) of humans can be cruel to one another, but as individuals we like to think we would not act this way.

The “Black and Blue” verse refers to how, from the beginning of time and until its end, individuals are drawn to congregate and called to war. We like to think that as individuals we are called to war by our dehumanized leaders with their wicked words.

The “Down and Out” verse is the clincher that exposes one cruel aspect of human nature, greed. The greed of nations cause war and we can’t deny that is what the fighting is all about. Yet, in our personal lives, our greed can blind us to the suffering of the needy within our own society with people dying for the price of tea and a slice.

I believe the lyrics examines how we like to think of ourselves as individuals and how we truly act on a personal level.”

I agree, SkinnyD. If you’re still out there, props to you. Thank you for expressing what many were feeling then, and today.

Maybe I will cc my old BFF, Leslie, and get her opinion, after all these years. She probably feels the same…

Readers: What do you think about our world today? Has your view of reality changed for the better or the worse, since childhood?

Mo

Song lyrics by Pink Floyd

Comments by SkinnyD at  http://songmeanings.com/m/songs/view/2812/

She Let Go, the poem (my fave meditation)

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She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go.  She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.  She let go of all of the memories that held her back.  She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.  She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Want Success? Embrace the GRIND — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Thanks to Kristen for this timely piece. I am ready for the GRIND experience! Go grab those dreams!

Mo

What do you want? How badly do you want it? What are you willing to sacrifice? These are the questions we must ask not once, but daily. There is no success without the GRIND.

via Want Success? Embrace the GRIND — Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Hows your Sleep Hygiene?

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Do you sleep well? Having been an insomniac  for years, I am sleeping well now. Why? What changed? Let me share.

Several years ago, I read Dr Andrew Weil’s book, Healthy Sleep, and learned that my brain is not a computer that I can simply power down at will.  It takes attention to a bedtime routine, time, temperature, environment, and consistency to “shut ‘er down.”

I was at first quite skeptical. However, trying to remain teachable, I gave it a try. I now sleep like a baby. It wasn’t a quick fix, but after some time (about a 2 week commitment), I am a true believer.

My top three suggestions are daily exercise (a 25 min walk) before 6pm and no screen watching one hour before bed. It is a brain stimulant. I also meditate (love the free Insight Timer app) or read briefly, in low light, nightly during the hour before my established bedtime, and I use the “brain dump, ” in which l write out today’s problems and proposed actions to take for solution tomorrow. My phone sets to silent one hour before sleep. No calls, period. See below for more tips that changed my sleep for the better, ’cause if Momma ain’t happy…you know the deal!

What are your “go-to” rituals for healthy sleep? Please share!

Mo

Andrew Weil’s suggestions:

The following are some of the best possible insomnia remedies:

  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine. This is one of the most important factors in insomnia treatment and maintaining good sleeping habits. Routines may include taking a warm bath or a relaxing walk in the evening, or practicing meditation/relaxation exercises as part of your regular nighttime routine.
  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time each morning. This includes weekends.
  • Get plenty of exercise during the day. Studies have shown that people who are physically active sleep better than those who are sedentary. The more energy you expend during the day, the sleepier you will feel at bedtime. Just be sure not to engage in vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as that can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Reduce your intake of caffeine,particularly in the evening.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine and limit alcohol. Both, even when consumed early in the day, can affect sleep and inhibit insomnia treatment.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping and sex. Don’t use it to do work or watch TV.
  • Avoid large meals late in the evening.
  • If you can’t fall asleep within half an hour of going to bed, get up and read or do something calming until you feel sleepy.
  • Learn and use a relaxation technique regularly.Breathing exercises, meditation and yoga are not insomnia cures, but do lead to a state conducive to sleep.
  • Use “white noise” devices to block out surrounding environmental noise.
  • Take a hot bath before bedtime.Try a few drops of relaxing oil oflavender in the water.
  • Short naps are good. Try to get into the habit of napping for insomnia treatment: ten to twenty minutes in the afternoon, preferably lying down in a darkened room.
  • Spend some time outdoors as often as you can to get exposure to bright, natural light. If you are concerned about harmful effects of solar radiation, do it before ten in the morning or after three in the afternoon or use sunscreen.
  • Try to give yourself some time – up to an hour – in dim light before you go to sleep at night. Lower the lighting in your house and bedroom and if other members of the household object, wear sunglasses.
  • The two best natural sleep aids are valerian and melatonin. Valerian is a sedative herb, used for centuries. You can find standardized extracts in health food stores and pharmacies. Take one to two capsules a half hour before bedtime. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the wake/sleep cycle and other daily biorhythms. Try sublingual tablets (to be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve); take 2.5 mg at bedtime as an occasional dose, making sure that your bedroom is completely dark. A much lower dose, 0.25 to 0.3 mg, is more effective for regular use.
  • Don’t obsess about not sleeping.Not surprisingly, studies have shown that individuals who worry about falling asleep have greater trouble dropping off. It may help to remind yourself that while sleeplessness is troublesome, it isn’t life-threatening and there are insomnia remedies.

Some additional suggestions reblogged are:

Having a set bedtime routine will allow you to go to bed with a clearer head and rest better knowing you’re already set to face the next day.

I know, you may be thinking I’m asking you to add more work and activity to your day when you’re barely able to get to the bed before you crash for the night. I get that. But what I’m suggesting is that you just start by adding maybe one or two things to your routine at night that will help to set you up for a better day tomorrow.

You’re bedtime routine has less to do with an actual list of set activities but rather how you clear your head before it hits your pillow. Sleep issues accompany so many chronic illnesses and the things you do in the last few hours of your day will impact the rest you get at night.

Start out by picking one or two of the following examples. Try it out for a few nights and see if it has a positive impact on your sleep and mental relaxation!

Here are a few examples of things you can include in your bedtime routine:

  1. Set time aside to read. Reading allows your brain to focus on a singular activity. Don’t use this time to catch up on social media – experts say that will only get your brain rushing through a lot of thoughts and stirring emotions that can actually hinder your ability to fall asleep. Instead, choose a devotional or fiction novel.
  2. Listen to a podcast or relaxing music. If you’re not able to focus on written words, try directing your thoughts toward a podcast or gentle music. Put in the earphones, close your eyes and allow your body to relax.
  3. Express gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal next to your bed and take a moment to find one or two things you’re grateful for. Write them out and take a moment to express your thanks to God for that gift in your life.
  4. Brain dump. Have a notebook or notepad by your bed and take a few minutes to think about what you need to do tomorrow or what upcoming events you need to plan for. “Dumping” all these thoughts onto paper has a two-fold purpose. First, it allows you to have a clear head as you fall asleep. Second, it serves as your to-do list for the next day. Remember to include your daily non-negotiables.
  5. Stop working! At least an hour before bed you need to step away from any work you have going on. Housework, work you’ve brought home from your job, etc. Let your brain turn off the hustle and bustle and begin to relax.
  6. Spend some time with your spouse and kids. When my kids were little I’d sit by their bed at night and ask them what was the best part of their day. Those were precious times! It allowed me to see the day from the eyes of my children and get a glimpse of what was truly important and impactful to them. It’s also a good exercise to do with your spouse. It allows you both to focus your mind on the positives of the day and end on an upbeat note.
  7. Decide what you’ll have for breakfast and make sure the kitchen is set for the preparation. This may sound like a silly step that adds a lot of work but it will really help you start each day on a good note. Quite a few of our meds and supplements need to be taken with food. Having the kitchen set up so breakfast is easy to prepare can let you get through the first few hours of your day without the stress of cleaning the blender or counter and deciding what you can toss in your belly.
  8. Take a bubble bath! Giving yourself a moment for pampering will de-stress your body and mind. Toss some Epsom salts or essential oils in the warm water and your now detoxing as well!
  9. Check tomorrow’s calendar. Whether you keep a bullet journal or day-planner of some sort, take a peak to see if there is something you have going on the next day.
  10. Set out your clothes. Making sure you have clean clothes that fit whatever is on tomorrow’s agenda will save you the stress and rushing about that happens thirty minutes before you have to leave the house.
  11. Meditate on a few verses and take time to pray. If you have trouble quieting your mind and focusing on the positive as you fall asleep this step may just be the key.

 

I’d love to hear what you include in your bedtime routine. Leave a comment below and share your best tip for relaxing and clearing your mind to ensure a night that’s as restful as possible!