9 Principles That'll Help You Simplify Your Life In A Big Way
Megan Dalla-Camina is a best-selling author of three books, women’s mentor, founder, and speaker passionate about women’s empowerment. She completed two Masters degrees, one in business and one in wellness and positive psychology, and started her entrepreneur career after 18 years as an award-winning marketing director.
Let's be honest: Our lives are complicated, and they can be furiously fast and busy. Of course we want to live fulfilling, meaningful lives and create the time and space for what's most important—but it can be difficult to get started.
Over the past 25 years, I have worked in corporate America as a senior leader in strategy and gender diversity, founded an award-winning women's leadership company, and written three books on women's empowerment. I've also completed two master's degrees in wellness and positive psychology and undertaken Ph.D. research in feminine power and women's leadership. And in that time, I've discovered core areas that can help people (specifically those who identify as women, but everyone has something to gain here) lead the lives of meaning they're really craving. I outline them in detail in my new book, Simple Soulful Sacred, but here is a peek into how to start to integrate them into your life:
Everywhere you turn, someone is Marie Kondo'ing their home—and for good reason. Simplicity often leads to clarity. Bring more of it into your days by clearing the clutter, streamlining your routine, and creating simple structures and rituals that support calm and ease. Spend time clarifying your vision for what you want to create in your life.
Try this: Every day for the next week, remove one thing from your morning routine. That could be nixing a makeup product or preparing your breakfast the night before so you can grab and go. Notice how light and spacious you feel at the end of the week, and decide what you want to add back in and what you can live without after all.
Where is the purpose and meaning in your work? Are you doing your job or running your business because you feel you "should" be doing it, or because you are "called" to do it? Follow the "breadcrumbs" of your curiosity and interest and see where they lead you. What is lighting you up right now? Spark that interest. It may lead to a side project, a passion hobby, or maybe even an entirely new career.
Try this: Write a list of 20 breadcrumbs you could follow right now to bring more joy and purpose into your life. Make sure every item on the list sparks your curiosity. It could be taking up salsa dancing or getting a book on a new topic. Pick up one breadcrumb at a time and commit to following it to see where it leads you.
It's important to embed simple and sacred practices into our days to support optimal wellness. Decide what matters most to you: It could be your morning meditation, a walk on the beach, your green smoothie, or dancing around the kitchen with the kids.
Try this: One well-being practice we could all use more of? Sleep. Get as close to eight hours a night as you can, and if you can track your sleep through a device so you can see when you're going into deep REM sleep, then that's even better. Make this nonnegotiable. Really.
What's in your comfort tool kit? What are those things that replenish your spirit and fill you up on a soul level? It might be a few chapters from your favorite book, a soak in the tub, sitting under the oak tree in your backyard, applying essential oils, phoning a friend, an early night or a Sunday sleep-in, or a cuddle with your dog. Knowing what brings you comfort after a long day or some stress will restore you and bring a sense of calm when you need it most.
Try this: Pick three things for your intentional comfort kit and use them every day for the next week when you need them. Keep essential oils like lavender or chamomile in your handbag, have bath salts ready for a long soak, or schedule time for dog walks when you need a break.
When we're living a soul-aligned life, we're connected to something deep within ourselves that is guiding us, as opposed to constantly being driven by our mental chatter and our ego. Spiritual author Jean Houston calls the soul "The lure of our becoming"—a source greater than us that is leading us on a path to become the truest version of ourselves. We get there, I believe, by sitting in silence, tuning in, and trusting our inner guidance to walk our highest path.
Try this: Do a daily five-minute meditation. Sit at the same time each day. Tap into your inner guidance and see what messages come through for you. You may choose to journal about them.
Consciousness is about waking up. It's about expanding our awareness and being more conscious of what's going on around us and inside of us. Some ways to be more conscious in your life right now include being where you are (even if it's not where you want to be), practicing deep gratitude for all that you do have, removing distractions from your day as much as possible so you can be truly present, and realizing where you're creating chaos and drama in your life, knowing that you have the power to choose something different for yourself.
Try this: Before bed every night this week, bring in a gratitude practice. You can write down three good things from your day or share with your partner, your kids, or your best friend. Pop a reminder on your phone 10 minutes before bed to prompt you to do so.
What is sacred in your life? Is it your relationships, your self-care, your purposeful work? Is it your home, your boundaries, or your spiritual practice? Claiming what's sacred is a pathway to more intentional living. To begin, look at aspects of your daily life that you would like to make sacred: Your morning routine, time with the kids, or your evening practice might be good places to start.
Try this: Create a sacred altar. On a small table or any surface, place items of meaning. It could be a picture of a spiritual teacher or loved one, an inspiring book, fresh flowers, a candle, or some incense. Each time you pass the altar, check in with yourself, take a deep breath, and be present. You may choose to do your five-minute meditation practice at your altar as well.
We often miss out on great opportunities because we lack the confidence to put ourselves out there. Sometimes as we learn to build our confidence (just like we would a muscle), we need to tap into our courage reserves to get into action. If you were just 10% braver today, what would you do? What would you say, where would you go, what different choices would you make?
Try this: Breathwork might not be the first thing you think about when building courage, but breathing deeply into your belly calms your overwhelm, helps you think clearer, and boosts your mental resilience. Open up your posture and airways and imagine yourself grounded, rooted into the earth to evoke physical power and presence.
9. Womanhood & Sovereignty
The last two principles are about redefining womanhood and stepping into our sovereignty as women. Where do you stand in your feminine power as a woman? Where are you empowered, and where are you still seeking liberation? Reclaiming our womanhood is about knowing our truth, owning both our softness and our strength, and living life our way. And it's a journey we can take in our own time and on our own terms.
Try this: Tune in and listen to yourself. Next time you find yourself asking someone else's opinion about what you should do, I invite you to pause. Breathe. Tune in to yourself. What do you think and feel about the situation? What would you choose to do next? What stories are coming up that might stop you from taking action? Listen deeply. Take baby steps if you need to, but start to follow your own wisdom. It will lead you home.
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