About a year ago I took a vow of simplicity. I started before the health scare took place and am picking up where I left off.
What is it? What’s the point?
A vow of simplicity is one where you vow to live (for a time) a more simple existence which includes freeing up time wasters, money wasters and drama for the purpose of mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing and balance.
I think simplicity has cleaner lines of thought and action. I think life can be filled with distraction and clutter and I’d like to minimize the affects the outside cluttered world has on me.
The vow is personal and spiritual, and has nothing to do with how others live or thrive.
Being a personal vow, it is specific to my needs.
This is in fact a vow before God to live a simplified life for a time. Its new and official start date was September 1st of 2018. Because the vow is before God it is more than a goal. It’s a spiritual obligation. I really want this in a large way which is why I did a vow instead of a goal. I wanted the obligation to fulfill it.
How is this a spiritual goal?
If I mentally simplify my life and declutter it, I am available more mentally for spiritual things such as Bible reading and teaching others about the Bible. Simplifying my life so there’s not so much damage control, not so many distractions to muddle through will allow me to be more available to assist in a ministerial way.
What is it not?
It’s not a judgement on anyone else’s life or a recommendation for others to change. A vow of simplicity should not be mistaken for a vow of poverty, sterility or artless living. A vow of poverty has to do with living with few possessions as well as releasing the goal of seeking a higher financial standing. Also, I’m not a nun. This is not a nun’s life I’m talking about. I’m talking about cleaner, freer, easily navigated life with fewer outside and inside distractions with the goal of being more focused and happier.
- Distractions come from watching the news too much.
- Taking on too many projects at once so that there is no down time to breathe is unhealthy.
- I need to listen to my body and stop when it says to stop. To tax my brain and body unnecessarily is a total no-no for simplified living.
- Self awareness will help me leap forward in simplified living.
I need to declutter. I need to make decisions that don’t add drama to my life which means asking myself questions about consequences and natural reactions. How will this decision affect my overall stress load? Will passing up this opportunity derail my life of simplicity or will accepting it bog me down unnecessarily? Will this complicate any part of my life in an unnecessary way? This means I need to know what is necessary. What do I need emotionally, physically and spiritually to be happy and thrive?
- I need quiet time so I can gather my thoughts and relax.
- I need living things around me like frogs and plants and people to fuss over.
- I need a strong spiritual life.
- I’m big on ambience.
- I need to give my inner Chef more play time in the kitchen. This is a big thing for me.
Another important aspect of this vow of simplicity is that I need to surround myself with people who don’t add unnecessary drama and hurt in my life.
I’m striving for freedom of thought with little garbage in as possible, and as much garbage out as possible. Journaling online and privately will help in this matter as will art and keeping with my psychotherapy.
Clearing away bills so that I have more financial freedom is also part of the vow of simplicity. Spending $4 at a fast food restaurant, tossing away $2 at the gas station, and other nickel and dime situations need to be curbed. This way I free up money for more of my needs and true wants.
Many of the steps were started before my health crisis. I’m just picking up where I left off. I didn’t make the vow permanent because I wasn’t sure how I’d do. So far I haven’t felt any different, but I expect it to pay off.