I have a challenge for you. This will be your first step toward minimalism and a simpler life. Pick one surface in your home that seems to collect clutter easily. For us, it is the top of our cabinet near the front door. When we get home, the things in our hands and pockets tend to get placed there. Keys, pens, mail, change, and water bottles are the typical culprits. For one week I want you to focus on only having 3 items on that surface at all times. If you have a dish to put your keys and such in, that counts as one item. All other things need to be taken care of or put in the space that they belong. If you can accomplish this for 1 week, you are on your way to a less stressful life.
Today I want to talk about minimizing your stress and responsibilities. If you are like me, you have a hard time saying no when people ask you to do something. There is nothing wrong with that. If you have the ability to do something when someone asks for help, it’s great that you are one of the first to say yes. But I want you to learn that it’s also okay to say no sometimes.
Overwhelming yourself with commitments that you don’t actually want to partake in is a sure way to burnout. For years I have found myself working full time jobs while juggling school, my own businesses, and events that I felt obligated to attend. Eventually, I felt myself spread so thin that I wasn’t able to give my all to the things that I valued most. I didn’t have time to spend with the people I love. I didn’t have time to clean the house regularly and I definitely didn’t have time to take care of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I loved doing most of the things that I was doing, but when I was overwhelming my schedule, I started resenting those things that I loved because they became less of a passion and more of a task.
This is what happened to my photography. It started as a curiosity in high school.Then I became passionate about photography by the time I graduated. It began to take over any free time that I had. I loved how busy I was, but I eventually stopped photographing the things that I loved and only photographed what clients requested. Eventually I lost my artistic passion for capturing moments and began thinking of it only as a business. About six months ago I decided that I needed to take action. I have taken a break from my photography. By doing this, I had to say no to countless opportunities. But it felt good to say no. I was taking back my time and filling it with things that I loved (like family time, writing, and taking care of myself.) More recently I have had the yearning feeling to photograph again. Not as a business, but as a passion. I am now in the beginning stages of a project that I will be doing for my photography. Not because I have to or because I was asked to, but because it something that I want to do. I want to continue to have passion for the things that I love most and I am excited that I am on the right path. No matter how many times that path may mean saying no.
Fill your life with things that you are passionate about and that you want to do. It is okay to help people or fulfill commitments, but never feel obligated to say yes if it means that you will regret your commitment or overwhelm your schedule.
Take care of yourself and find your passion.