Tuesday, July 05, 2011

free your mind! (and the rest will follow...)

I couldn't believe it - there in my news feed today, a blog I read has a post on simple thought (http://mnmlist.com/) - the very topic for this, part 3 of the 'stuff it!'series.



I made a decision about 10 years ago to stop drinking instant coffee. There were several reasons - one, I felt I was drinking too much coffee and figured if I cut out instant it would be more effort, and therefore less frequent, to drink espresso.  Secondly, it doesn't actually taste very nice. And thirdly, it quite appealed to me to have just that one option when it came to coffee.   I've refined that even more now and only ever drink plunger coffee at home, and a simple flat white when I'm out.  

I agree that it is good to try new things, and that there is pleasure and adventure in experimenting with new thoughts, tastes, experiences, - and that it is easy to get 'stuck' when doing the same things day in day out.  But the appeal of the simplicity of narrow choice holds great appeal for me too.  Again, not at the cost of being boring, or inflexible, but certainly for the freedom it affords.

For example, by just only ever drinking one kind of coffee, I like that I know what I'm going to get, I like that i don't have to umm and ahh in a shop.  I am scarcely an alcohol drinker, but invariably choose Pinot Noir - it goes with most things, I know what I'm getting, it takes away the umming and aahing!

I've simplified lots of things from the '├žonsumable"" part of my life (which of course still leaves plenty of room for adventure and experimentation elsewhere!).   The same brands of certain foods over and over again.  Makes for a quick shop!  The same petrol station, ditto.  I follow '"Trinny and Susannahs'" ( rules when shopping for clothes - boy does that make life simpler! http://www.bbc.co.uk/lifestyle/tv_and_radio/what_not_to_wear/whattowear_index.shtml

It's about being smart.  taking the boring, mind cluttering stuff away so that your time, thoughts and energies can be focused on the things you love.

Some other ideas I've heard of - always buying the same colour towels.  Deliberately avoiding newspapers and  (especially) glossy circulars - a right royal source of TMI if ever there was one!  Get rid of all your cookbooks bar the one or two you actually use all the time.  Put all bills on automatic payment/direct debit so that's one more thing that doesn't have to be thought about.  Paying everything by the week or fortnight can work too - as well as being able to budget better, there's no worrying about massive annual insurance or rates bills.

I've long held to the view (and obviously Oprah heard it from me...) that if you have lots of stuff in your physical life, it can be representative of the stuff in your spiritual/emotion life that needs sorting.  Conversely, having a sorted head (metaphorically speaking) may well show itself  as an orderly outer life.  (Yes this is a broad generalisation but I'm just putting it out there....)

And so, the fewer unnecessary decisions we need to make about trivial things on a day to day basis, the better i reckon!

I like mnmlist.  I love the idea of living simply.  I do my best and I reckon I'm doing an OK job (although there's always room for improvement...just keep away from my sock drawer....).

3 comments:

LG Under the apple tree said...

Living simply and drinking good coffee: One can live simply and choose the best. For me quality is the key. Personally I would rather go without than have a cheap substitute for some essentials like coffee, matching towels,good shoes and handbag. During periods of enforced simplicity;ie poverty. I only bought the same brand of quality coffee. How can you put a price on food for the soul.

LG Under the apple tree said...

Living simply and drinking good coffee: One can live simply and choose the best. For me quality is the key. Personally I would rather go without than have a cheap substitute for some essentials like coffee, matching towels,good shoes and handbag. During periods of enforced simplicity;ie poverty. I only bought the same brand of quality coffee. How can you put a price on food for the soul.

Broot said...

I'm moving in that direction, too. I'm finding that having stuff just creates problems - I'd rather just have a few quality things that I use frequently and happily. :)