Monday, April 11, 2016

A Minimalist's Way to Being Zen In Times of Chaos

When people think about a minimalist or someone who enjoys simple living, there's this idea of a very peaceful, quiet person.  At least that's how I always pictured it.  Think Gandhi or the Buddha, Siddartha Gautama.  They were these people who were definitely minimalists and who seemed to handle things with an incredible peace.  So, how can an everyday person like you and me, emulate that?  Well.  It depends on each person, really.  Some of us are quick tempered and it will take more work.  While others, such as myself, are a lot slower to anger and so it seems a bit "easier."  But, at the end of the day, we can all become overwhelmed in times of chaos and have our balance quickly disturbed.  What would a minimalist ask themselves when things seem to be getting out of control?  Here are some ideas:

  1. Is this really worth getting upset over? (the situation, the person, the bad experience, the traffic, being late to something, etc...)
  2. What, if anything, can I do to change it? 
  3. If I can't change it, can I change my perspective on it?
  4. What is the worst that can possibly happen? Imagine that and then let it go (this one is one of my favorites).
  5. Why am I really getting upset? Is it xyz or is it something entirely different and I'm just taking my anger and frustration out on xyz?  Get to the root of the issue, then work to rectify that.
  6. And lastly, (but, should ALWAYS be FIRST)... Pray and let God take care of it.  He'll always know best.  This is a matter of surrendering, letting go and being okay with whatever the circumstances may be.  Being able to do this, is incredibly peaceful and liberating.
What is bothering you today?  Ask yourself these questions.  As Descartes would say, "An unexamined life is not worth living."  Therefore, examine your thoughts today, for they lead to your life.  So, think carefully.