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The busy holiday season is approaching and there is no better time than now to simplify. When we eliminate the unnecessary, it allows us to reconnect with our highest priorities. In the last few years I have found myself regularly coming back to the concept of simplifying. I think it encompasses everything. It’s not just about personal possessions. We can simplify our schedules, our relationships, our home and the path to our goals. Less truly is more. I think it’s even more important during the busy seasons. Start by asking yourself regularly if you can simplify the process. We spend so much time making things too complex. We often equate busyness for self -worth. Some of the greatest minds knew that the ability to simplify is one of the best ways to enrich our lives. My hope is that you find inspiration and easy techniques in this blog to improve and simplify your life. Starting now, especially with the holidays approaching.

Simplify Off the Mat

  • Clear your calendar

When I started my Restorative Yoga training with Judith Hanson Lasater, our homework was to take 3 things off our personal calendar and take 3 things off our to- do list for the next day. When I find my calendar overwhelming, I hear Judith’s voice in my head telling me to simplify and I follow her advice. It’s simple but effective. Married with three kids, my calendar looks like a complex NASA mission. Managing the needs of a family of five is a serious life skill and I am still working on it! I encourage sports, hobbies, and activities in our family, but I am constantly striving for the right balance for our whole family. Sometimes it means saying NO. Saying NO even to things you may want to be involved with, but at the same time knowing that it just doesn’t fit in your life right now. It’s okay. NO is a complete sentence. Learn to say it. Then learn to say it without guilt.

  • Clear your physical space

Donate 3 things from your closet.  Decluttering our physical space and our personal belongings helps to simplify our lives. Don’t stress yourself with the daunting task of decluttering everything at once. Start simply with just 3 things from your closet.  Some people like to use the rule: add three things to the closet, then donate three things from the closet. As you start to prep your house for the holiday season, make a spot for donations. As you go through your seasonal decorations, get rid of what you don’t need. As you open the cabinet with all your entertaining dishes, pick a few you haven’t used in years and put them in the donation pile. Let’s be honest, you likely use just a few of your favorite pieces most of the time anyway. So make space and donate those things you don’t use. I recommend Keep This Toss That , author Jamie Novak .It’s an excellent resource to help you declutter in just a few minutes at a time.

  • Effortless cooking

Simplify your cooking especially on those days when you have less time. Try cooking a dinner with only a few ingredients, or pull out that crockpot and do a one pot meal. When I need a simple meal, I love making slow cooker shredded chicken. It doesn’t get any easier! With just two ingredients, organic chicken breasts and chicken stock, you can make a delicious chicken that can be used for soups, salads, sandwiches, barbeque, burritos and tacos. The options are endless. I generally make a big batch and freeze half of it for another easy weeknight meal.

Simplify On the Mat:

  • When I am in need of simplifying, I like to go back to the basics on the yoga mat. I prefer to keep the sequencing slow and steady with deep breathing. Here are a few of the poses I like to focus on when I am reminding myself to slow down and simplify. Enjoy!

On the yoga mat or off the yoga mat, come back to the basics this holiday season and embrace simplicity. Slow down, give yourself permission to do less, and embrace the beauty of the season. What are some of your favorite ways to simplify during the holidays?