Living with less Simplicity help you give more

Living with less: Simplicity helps you give more

One fascinating thing I have learned early in my life in the US is that there is no space while you have thousands of square feet in your home. The great business opportunity in this country is connected with storage unit.  Living with less and remember simplicity helps you give more. Possessions are an obsession in this country. How much is enough? The three powerful words in the english language is "JUST IN CASE." Just incase I need it. An average American family owns more than 300,000 items in their house. I had a friend whom I am closely connected with, has never allowed me to go to her house because she has so many things or stuffs and she is not yet ready to invite a guest and needs to deal with the stuff at her house first. Keep in mind according to my own knowledge she has two or three extra storage units. Having no children I wonder why she is holding on to her stuffs. Does this give you an identity? Yes for some people the stuff or the toys they hold on will give them the self-worth and identity. 

What does less means? Less clothes, Less decorations, less toy, less number of cars, less number of houses, less cooking utensils, less electronic gadgets,  less furniture, less rooms and less space. This eventually will give you more happiness, less bill to pay and more money to spend or give.  Have you ever thought the question how might your life will be better if you have less. Does your memories lies behind things or stuffs. As someone once said a definition about house: House is the place where you keep your stuff to get more stuff. What is in your living room? What is in your bathroom? What is in your closet, What is in your kitchen? What is in your office room? What is in your car? What is in your storage unit? Do you really need the things you hold on to? Or Is there any joy in sharing? 

Jesus' way is sell everything you own and distribute the money to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven and come and follow me. Luke: 18:22. This will lead you to have a radical reliance upon God. Living your life with the gift of simplicity in the world of possessions will help you focus on the gift and reliance on God.  You can't create life by what you get but by what you give. There is a great joy to receive answers from God for your prayers but it is more greater to be an answer to someone's prayer.  

In the Bible there are two water bodies which are very significant. One is the lake of Gennesareth or sea of Galilee. It is full of life, full of vibrancy. The second one is dead sea. There is so much salt content in the dead sea even though there is pure water coming in, but can't sustain life because there is no outlet. The Bible talks about Give and it will be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and running over. The minimalist comes with the idea of three piles. One is labelled; I love these items and they fit me well and I wear them often keep it. Second one is, I want to keep this but I don't know why? keep them in a box for 30 days and give them away. Third one is, the items don't fit me and my style and donate them. The fourth one is these items aren't in good condition and trash them. 
This is not only a material issue but a spiritual one. 

What you do to create space in your brain and mind by doing or living with less? When you work and live with an overloaded mind, you don’t sleep well, you don’t think clearly and decisions are made out of frustration, emotions and fear instead of facts, inspiration and contentment. Slow down, let the unimportant go, forgive and forget what you don't want. Open your mind and meditation and time alone will help you do that. Are you in resentment with someone? Love shopping at the used store or recycling place? The following are some of the practical steps to deal with more. Follow these simple steps and your will start living more, giving more and saving more. 

1. Be grateful for what you have. 

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles, said, William Penn. There are many ways to do this like keep a gratitude journal and being alive in the present moment. Replace complaints with gratitude and gratefulness. 

2. Dissociate and detach from consumerism. 

Many people live with this myth in life about ownership. Money can't buy happiness or recognition. Disassociation and detachment can be a learned behavior. Every one of us are in our journey towards disassociation and detachment. When we learn the eastern spirituality there is an innate understanding about disassociation and detachment especially in Hinduism and Buddhism.  Money is not about finance but about emotions attached with your resources. Will Smith said, Too many people spend money they have not earned to buy things they do not want to impress people they do not like. The media and advertising world talks or run with the philosophy that more is better or bigger is better. 

3. Think before you buy focus on quality not quantity.

The happiness or satisfaction is connected with quality and not quantity. It is better to be known for few things exceptionally well, rather than a menu of mediocre and possible muddled offerings. When you buy gifts please spent more time to pick the quality product than a quantity product. I remember a story a man who gave the same amount of money to two friends and ask them to fill the house with anything they buy. The first person bought many bundles of hay and stack the room and filled the room. The next person took enough time and bought with the money a sweet smelling candle and lit it in the room. The dark room was lighted by the light and smelled with aroma. The owner came and asked both of the servants what they did with the resources given to them. The first person's room was not livable and even can't enter because it was stacked with hay. The second person's room was filled with good smell and good light. He said I chase the darkness of this room with light. The light and aroma filled the room. 

4. Challenge yourself to pursue your passion and not your possession.

In order to create a legacy in this world you need to focus or follow your passion. If you are too heavy it is not easy to lift you up or fly. If you want to naturally fly you need to be weightless. There is a far better way to live life. The removal of excessive possessions and the intentional decision to live with less offers countless benefits and ultimately will help you reach your passion and you will never be buried under your possessions. 

A spiritual exercise start with asking this question; What is the one thing you can get rid of each day for the next 40 days. As we are entering into a season of lent please follow this spiritual exercise. 

Binu Peniel 


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