Today was the day we were supposed to put our cat, Bluebell, down, but fortunately, we’re trying some simple things that might make that unnecessary. That’s good because I’ve been bummed about Wednesday looming for several days.
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Enjoy today’s post!
Me: So how else can you simplify? Let’s talk about some steps of how you can go about simplifying your life. You wake up in the morning and you say, “I WANT A SIMPLE LIFE!” Step one.
Erik: Step one: I would look at the environment first. I would start clearing out the physical items, the physical shit. I would look at clothes, knick-knacks, shoes, shampoos, fucking everything, and go, “Do I use this? Yes or no?” “Have I touched it in the last six months? Yes or no?” If you’re popping up with no’s, get rid of it.
Me: Yeah, my deal is if I haven’t looked at it in 15 years, it’s out of there. We got Got Junk? to get rid of so much stuff in our attic. Oh my god! We’re just packrats. It’s amazing.
Erik: And, Mom, it’s in the attic so it’s hanging over your head.
Me: I know. But you think, “Oh my god, no. This is their crib when they were little.” “I wanna hold onto this bib with the baby spit-up on it.” Actually, I did hang on to things like that.
Erik: If you’re holding onto things like that, then you need to organize them in your storage. Who is it going to go to? You put it in the proper container and care for it. That’s not hoarding. You’ve simplified it. You know that when Lukas gets older and has a baby, you’ll go, “Come on over. Hit the attic. I’ve got this corner for you.” And you pull it out and give it to him.
Erik: That’s totally different, but if that crib, the shirt, the shoes and all that shit is still in the bedrooms in the house, and you don’t have the place for it, and you can’t afford a place for it, go ahead and let that go. It’s okay. It’s not something more important than having a healthy and productive life. Most people think, “I’ll regret that.”
Me: Yeah, I know! That’s what it is.
Erik: Then you take a picture of it, and you write down the story behind it. Collect pictures of your children in the crib and the outfit. Then pass that shit on or sell it, and put the pictures in an envelope instead of a photo album.
Jamie looks puzzled.
Erik: Like how the kid would really want it, but the mom was too busy.
Jamie (laughing): All right.
Erik: So that’s a healthier way to do it. I would start with physical items because if your environment represents where you want to go logically and emotionally, it’s easier to do it. So much easier to do it. If it’s all cluttered and junked up, fuck that. You’re not going to clear up your friendships and then come home to that shit!
Me: Not going to work.
Erik: Not going to work. Start at ground zero. Tend to it, maintain it, make a promise to it that if you’re keeping it, you’re going to take care of it. If you’re going to let it rot, give it to someone else. Yeah, it’ll probably suck and you’ll cry, but you don’t have a place for it, so get rid of it. Some of you might find you need a storage unit!
Me: Big mistake. Nature abhors a vacuum. We’ve had one forever, and we’ve never used anything in it. It’s costing us a fortune every month, so we’re going to totally take everything out of it, give it away, you know, save us a couple of hundred dollars a month! Okay, go ahead. Step two.
Erik: Step two. Then I’d look mentally and logically. Is your workload too much? How many hours do you put into your workload? How are your finances? Are you hoarding money? Are you spending money? Simplify your budget. Simplify the cost of things just like Mom was talking about the storage unit. Do you really need to pay that monthly? She’s simplifying even in the budget, not just the material items. Simplify.
Jamie: Either you didn’t say anything or I didn’t hear anything.
Jamie (laughing): You’re thinking? He just went quiet!
Me: Oh, okay. Spirit thoughts!
Erik: Simplify your roles, your description.
Me: For example?
Erik: If you’re the fix-it person for everybody, let’s say the carpenter, and you really don’t want to be the fix-it guy for everybody, but they call you all the time. Start saying, “Hey, I’m actually busy, but I know somebody who can help. Let me refer Ted to come over, taking those tasks off and the description of being the fix-it guy off your plate.
Erik: Become the matchmaker to free up your time. Once you have that in place, then I’d look at emotional simplicity. What’s creating anxiety? What’s creating chaos? What’s fucking with you? Is it that you really want to be heard but are never heard? Then I would remedy that, or I’d walk away from it. Most people think that to remedy something, you have to come up with some sort of result when it actually could be to let it go. Letting go is a remedy.
Me: In other words, not caring if you’re not heard?
Me: That it’s just their problem, and they’re missing out.
Jamie (chuckling): That’s exactly what he said. “It’s their problem.”
Erik: Those are the steps: environment, logic, and then emotion. Then after that, I’d look at simplifying what I eat and how I take care of myself. I think if people went there first after environment, then when they get all hooked up with too much to think about, too much to do, they’ll sacrifice what they’re feeding themselves and how they’re taking care of themselves and go back to complex eating styles. You gotta set up the dominoes so that they fall in the easiest way.
Me: So environment first and then eating habits and health?
Erik: Nah, environment, logic, emotion, then eating and health.
Me: Oh okay.
Erik: If you do everything else first, then there’s nothing to trigger you to go back to unhealthy habits.
Me: Oh, I see. So, in the end, the value you get out of it is?
Erik: Freedom. Most people don’t know what that is. You get to learn how to [unintelligible.] You get to learn how to learn how to enjoy life. You get to discover what your hobbies and likes are, not based on anybody’s description of you but just yourself. You get to enjoy relationships you always wanted to enjoy but you didn’t have enough time. You get to tend to what life is for you. (Saying in an echo) Travel, travel, travel.
Me: And you probably have more space to listen to your heart, your intuition.
Jamie drums her hands on her left side, then her right.
Me: What’s he doing?
Jamie: I don’t know. It looks like fake basketball moves.
Me: Oh, okay. I thought it was a hula girl dance or something!
Jamie (giggling): No!
Erik: I get so excited when you talk about being able to connect to your emotions because we are emotional beings. That’s the basketball lay-up. Okay, thank you. No more. Ding!
Me: All right!
We close with goodbyes and I love yous.