Are objects, commitments, worries too heavy a burden for you? Would you like to live more lightly?
Good news: you can do it by getting rid of the unnecessary burdens you carry with you.
A word is enough, lightness, to be used as if it were a mantra, to be repeated to remind you that if you lighten your life, your spirit rises. Stress and fatigue disappear and you can start moving in existence with grace, agility and effectiveness.
Lightness in what you have
If you let go of the things you have, you will feel lighter immediately.
Here are the three phases that you will have to go through in order to lighten up in the material world: let go, set aside and keep lightness.
- Let go . Start from a new beginning : completely empty drawers, wardrobes, boxes, sideboards etc. and you will find yourself with a wonderful empty space, a pile of objects and a new sense of possibility. Enjoy this moment for a moment and then choose what you want to keep, not what you want to eliminate. Imagine how beautiful that space will be occupied only by objects you desire and that give value to your life.
Put similar items together: you will see how many duplicates you have of the same thing, you may be shocked by the quantity. In the face of your excesses, be grateful for the abundance and relax: even if you eliminate some objects, you will still have enough.
Select things to keep: keep only what simplifies and makes your life more joyful. Enjoy this stage and remember the magical Pareto principle: we use 20% of our items 80% of the time. Choose that 20% carefully and remember that most of the things you have are not so special and important. You will realize how much easier your daily life will be to manage. Start with simple things to get rid of that you don’t use and don’t like. Eliminate duplication and keep only one item per genre that you love without guilt. Remember: free space is just as important as things. A little emptiness around the objects is fundamental; your home is not a warehouse, but a place to live, it must reflect what you do and not what you own. Your objects reveal your life, your dreams, your passions; selecting what you want to keep is an excellent opportunity to reflect, make peace with the past, embrace the present and shape your future. Make your items tell the story of the life you want to live.
- Set aside . Prepare a sort of out box , a box in which to put the objects that you do not use and that you would like to eliminate. This ploy helps you to lighten yourself gradually, day after day and leaving a margin of error. The more time the object will spend in the unused box, the more it will be clear to you that you don’t need it, and for this you will be happy to give it to someone who can serve it.
With the more difficult objects, which cost you more effort to eliminate, you can arrange a different box, some outstanding things, which you will hide away from view for at least six months. If in this period you have not needed to recover its contents, it means that you don’t need it and therefore feel free to donate it.
Finally, you will have to arrange what you have decided to keep, in a well organized way, giving each object its own space. Containers are excellent for this purpose: they help to keep things of the same kind together and limit the possibility of accumulating; the goal is to have smaller and smaller containers, to gradually eliminate what is not needed. This approach gives you the measure of how much your life weighs: less objects to fix, more lightness in everyday life.
- Maintaining lightness
Lightness is a process that needs to be refined and continuously improved. Look for versatility in things: furniture for multiple uses, clothes for every season, shoes and bags that match each other. Offer to make smart choices based on your real needs and not on what advertising wants you to believe.
You can rent or borrow what you rarely need and take advantage of technology to streamline your possessions. The house must be your kingdom: it is you who reigns and not your objects. As king or queen of the castle, you must keep order, monitor everything that enters, because the house is very vulnerable to invasions of external objects, difficult to eliminate once they enter.
Forget consumerism and give space to values such as conviviality, sharing, generosity, creativity, sustainability. Live in moderation, with elegant simplicity, aiming to possess only the essentials.
To choose what really is useful to you and adds value to your life, browse everything you own: clothes (work, informal, formal, technical), shoes, bags, accessories, glasses, dishes, dishes, dishes, cookware, tools kitchen, household appliances, stationery, documents, digital tools, technology, linens, towels, books, souvenirs, games, children’s items, furnishings.
Lighten your footprint
You can show love for the planet by lightening the sign of your passage, with little effort, but making a difference. It is easy to live in harmony with the land, small gestures and habits are enough:
- waste less : reduce your impact as much as you can, buy only things that can last over time, with minimal packaging. Don’t waste food and worry about composting waste. Keep only one rubbish bin at home, to increase awareness of how much waste you produce every day;
- eat lightly : every meal is a wonderful way to be in communion with nature. Be aware of the food you eat, favor locally produced things, according to seasonality, giving priority to vegetables. Eat less meat, because farms have a devastating impact on the health of the planet. Try to eat organic, wholemeal and stop when you feel satisfied and not when you’re full;
- clean gently : instead of using chemicals, it uses natural and biological substances. You can use oatmeal and olive oil to cleanse the body; bicarbonate, vinegar and Marseille soap are excellent for cleaning the house. The key to everything is to clean often: a gentle daily routine helps to avoid the accumulation of dust and dirt;
- buy less : many of the things you buy are not really necessary, try to reduce your purchases and remember that more than seven billion people live on earth with you. By buying less you also produce less garbage, for the joy of the planet that hosts you;
- buy used things : the longer an object remains in circulation, the better for everyone. Clothes, furniture, sports and garden equipment, the car are just a few examples of what you can buy second-hand;
- ethically buying : every item you buy has a history and before making a purchase, evaluate well and be informed. Consider in particular who produced it, what it is made of, how it was produced. To appear lightly , you must demand transparency in the supply chain: look for companies that deserve your full trust. Although buying ethically may cost a little more, it is worth it, because when we spend little it means that there is someone else who is paying in terms of sacrifice or working conditions;
- buy things that last : as our grandparents did, aim to buy quality things destined to last over time. Better to buy objects with a classic style, which do not follow the current fashion and prefer versatility in use;
- do not buy : evaluate the possibility of simply having access to the use of something you need. Even if you find it easier to go to the mall instead of asking the neighbor, consider taking out loans or renting items that you rarely use;
- move lightly : use public transport, carpooling with colleagues to go to work or ask your boss, if possible, to work from home. Use your bicycle and walk whenever you can: of course, it will take longer, but consider it an investment in your well-being;
- live lightly: a smaller house can have many advantages, consider whether it is worth it. Consider these factors: energy savings, the health of the planet and your wallet, the need to have less furniture and objects inside, less cleaning to do, less land stolen from green spaces.
Lighten your stress
Replace the fatigue of the daily routine with pleasure, eliminate unnecessary chores and digital distractions and focus on what really matters to you. A day with fewer commitments and more free time allows you to move with balance, precision and a sense of purpose. Some suggestions:
- do less : reduce and choose your activities carefully, because time is the most precious asset you have. The more focused you are, the greater your impact on what you do, you will feel more peaceful, with the situation under control and able to better manage your activities;
- declines gently : even if saying no is not beautiful, it is important to learn how to do it lightly, gracefully and simply. When you reject a request, don’t feel compelled to apologize or find elaborate reasons. Believe it or not, a simple “I’d like to, but I’m too busy at the moment” will be understood and accepted willingly. Express gratitude and enthusiasm for the proposal, desire to help and communicate that unfortunately you just can’t manage to reconcile it with your commitments. In rejecting something of little importance, you are saying yes to what really matters to you;
- don’t plan : overdoing commitments is one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives. To live more lightly, free your time from commitments, starting with little. Life is not measured in minutes and hours, but in moments. Create empty moments between one commitment and another, which give you the opportunity to rest and re-center yourself. Having breaks in the day is a way to always keep your energy high, to give you a way of being , rather than continuously doing . An empty space on the agenda opens you to the world of possibilities and frees serendipity: that unexpected encounter, that happy discovery that you could never have planned;
- disconnect : being always connected means never having a moment of respite. Messages, emails, notifications and updates are the right recipe for dissatisfaction; always knowing what others are doing makes you feel inadequate, always in competition. To lighten this weight, simply log off. Turn off notifications, watch emails and messages at certain times and ignore them the rest of the time. Turn off your phone and computer, take a walk, talk to a friend, read a book. Decide you like to spend your time instead are social media, advertising or marketing to do it for you;
- proceed in small steps : divide the projects into many small actions, many small steps that will bring you closer and closer to the finish line; in this way, you will increase productivity. Goals can also be divided into smaller, easier-to-reach goals. You will be able to move with a regular and continuous step, and you will have the opportunity to rest and reflect on the situation, to assess along the way if adjustments or changes are needed;
- it creates protection nets : life is unpredictable and we cannot always prevent unwanted things from happening, but we can nonetheless provide protection nets that help us face difficult times (savings, good relationships, healthy diets, insurance). When you have a safety net, you don’t depend on situations and people. By understanding that everything is constantly changing, you can deal with crises lightly and gracefully. Once these nets are set up, continue to feed them and make them grow: they will give you the courage to take risks and aim higher and higher without fear of falling;
- study a choreography : to do things more lightly, with minimal effort and in a short time, help yourself by creating a routine of your fixed commitments, manage them as if they were a choreography in which you dance gracefully. It may seem boring, but this strategy allows you to live more lightly, varying a few elements on the basis of a sort of predetermined canvas;
- you do things perfectly well : pay attention to the trap of perfectionism, which can unnecessarily weigh down your life. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim to do things perfectly well;
- lighten your idea of success : define which job, home and lifestyle make you happy. We each have our own idea of success: being a good parent, helping others, improving the community; the important thing is that you feel that your goals are aligned with your values. Then you will have great satisfaction, regardless of the misleading idea that a successful person must necessarily do extraordinary things;
- live your light : we all have it within us. It is our purpose, what makes our existence special. Once your light has shown itself clearly, focus all your energy into living it, dedicated only to things that are in harmony with it. Forget the expectations of others, when your life has taken the right direction, you will no longer need distractions: you will no longer be a consumer, but a creator.
Lighten your spirit
To move in life with greater joy and awareness, you must lighten your heart, soul and spirit, transcend your ego and manage your emotions with equanimity and grace. In particular:
- savor every aspect of your life with awareness : food, work, relationships, objects, leisure, emotions;
- rejoice in a measured lifestyle : it is the Greek concept of sophrosyne , which is based on awareness, self-control and harmony;
- stay cold and composed even in difficult circumstances : practice equanimity, try not to be too sensitive or emotional, take some time before reacting, think before speaking, try to be imperturbable;
- feel lightly : let go of negative emotions. When they present themselves to you, observe them, as if they were on a screen, with awareness letting them flow without attachment;
- speak gently : words have a lot of power, think carefully before giving voice to your thoughts. If you have nothing beautiful, useful and true to say, better keep silent. When you speak lightly, a sort of magic happens: you can listen to the thoughts of others;
- walk : it is a very simple gesture and immediately raises the mood. Walking still takes you to the earth, it focuses on your humanity, clears your mind, is an excellent form of meditation. Walk aimlessly and enjoy the journey. Imagine at every step of letting go of a worry, a fear, a burden;
- give up your ego : the ego is touchy, proud, worried, insecure, easily offended. It is that little voice in your head that keeps you engaged in a continuous monologue, between anxieties and worries that exhaust you. When you disconnect from your ego, you reconnect to the universe;
- be fluid : nothing is permanent, everything is constantly changing, instead of wanting to block this flow of existence, follow it, accept it with curiosity and a sense of humor;
- be gentle: kindness is one of the easiest and most effective ways to achieve spiritual lightness. Be kind to everyone, anytime, anywhere. Practice kindness with strangers, a gesture that can have an amazing domino effect;
- stay calm : find time every day to stay calm and do nothing, practicing meditation. Choose a quiet place and focus on breathing. When thoughts come, don’t reject them, watch them and let them pass like clouds. In meditation there are no goals, all you have to do is be in the present moment.