Thursday, September 03, 2009

just have to post this

Sweep It Clean, Inside and Out
by Wayne W. Dyer

For a moment, let’s imagine what it would be like to be fully alive without a physical shell or any of the stuff we need and desire for maintaining life on Earth. We’d have a mental energy that allowed us to move forward or backward, up or down, instantly creating whatever we desired. We’d be free to wallow in an exquisite existence without time or space as we know it. We’d be in a state of pure bliss, in love with everything and everyone. We’d have no duties or bills to tend to, no fear of losing anything, no one judging us, no possessions to insure, no demands on our time, and no goals to achieve.

What we’re envisioning is actually the world of Spirit, which we experienced before we came here and will return to when we shed our body (or as William Butler Yeats poetically called it, our “tattered coat upon a stick.”)

Inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.

This doesn’t mean that we should sit around doing nothing, awaiting Spirit’s arrival; instead, it means having faith that our spiritual connection flourishes in a life dedicated to joy, love, and peace. If our daily activities are so overwhelming that we don’t make these things our priority, then we’re disregarding the value of living a simple life.

My 12-Step Program To Simplicity

Here are 12 very specific tools for simplifying your life. Begin using them today if you’re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.

Unclutter your life. You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life:

If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization.

Get rid of anything that keeps you mired in acquisitions that contribute to a cluttered life. In the words of Socrates, “He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.” So the less you need to insure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, the closer you’ll be to hearing inspiration’s call.

Clear your calendar of unwanted and unnecessary activities and obligations. If you’re unavailable for Spirit, you’re unlikely to know the glow of inspiration. God will indeed work with you and send you the guidance—and the people—you need, but if you’re grossly overscheduled, you’re going to miss these life-altering gifts. So practice saying no to excessive demands and don’t feel guilty about injecting a dose of leisure time into your daily routine.

Be sure to keep your free time free. Be on the lookout for invitations to functions that may keep you on top of society’s pyramid, but which inhibit your access to joyful inspiration. If cocktail parties, social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or even drinking-and-gossiping gatherings with friends aren’t really how you want to spend your free time, then don’t. Begin declining invitations that don’t activate feelings of inspiration.

I find that an evening spent reading or writing letters, watching a movie with a loved one, having dinner with my children, or even exercising alone is far more inspiring than getting dressed to attend a function often filled with small talk. I’ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.

Take time for meditation and yoga. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and make conscious contact with God. I’ve written an entire book on this subject called Getting in the Gap, so I won’t belabor it here. I will say that I’ve received thousands of messages from people all over the world, who have expressed their appreciation for learning how to simplify their life by taking the time to meditate.

I also encourage you to find a yoga center near you and begin a regular practice. The rewards are so powerful: You’ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what you’ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.

Return to the simplicity of nature. There’s nothing more awe inspiring than nature itself. The fantasy to return to a less tumultuous life almost always involves living in the splendor of the mountains, the forests, or the tundra; on an island; near the ocean; or beside a lake. These are universal urges, since nature is created by the same Source as we are, and we’re made up of the same chemicals as all of nature (we’re stardust, remember?)

Your urge to simplify and feel inspired is fueled by the desire to be your natural self—that is, your nature self. So give yourself permission to get away to trek or camp in the woods; swim in a river, lake, or ocean; sit by an open fire; ride horseback through trails; or ski down a mountain slope. This doesn’t have to mean long, planned vacations that are months away—no matter where you live, you’re only a few hours or even moments away from a park, campground, or trail that will allow you to enjoy a feeling of being connected to the entire Universe.

Put distance between you and your critics. Choose to align yourself with people who are like-minded in their search for simplified inspiration. Give those who find fault or who are confrontational a silent blessing and remove yourself from their energy as quickly as possible. Your life is simplified enormously when you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone, and when you receive support rather than criticism. You don’t have to endure the criticism with anything other than a polite thank-you and a promise to consider what’s been said—anything else is a state of conflict that erases the possibility of your feeling inspired. You never need to defend yourself or your desires to anyone, as those inner feelings are Spirit speaking to you. Those thoughts are sacred, so don’t ever let anyone trample on them.

Take some time for your health. Consider that the number one health problem in America seems to be obesity. How can you feel inspired and live in simplicity if you’re gorging on excessive amounts of food and eliminating the exercise that the body craves? Recall that your body is a sacred temple where you reside for this lifetime, so make some time every single day for exercising it. Even if you can only manage a walk around the block, just do it. Similarly, keep the words portion control uppermost in your consciousness—your stomach is the size of your fist, not a wheelbarrow! Respect your sacred temple and simplify your life by being an exerciser and a sensible eater. I promise that you’ll feel inspired if you act on this today!

Play, play, play! You’ll simplify your life and feel inspired if you learn to play rather than work your way through life. I love to be around kids because they inspire me with their laughter and frivolity. In fact, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Wayne, you’ve never grown up—you’re always playing.” I take great pride in this! I play onstage when I speak, and I’m playing now as I write.

Many years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The man who took a chance on me, booking me even though I was an unknown at the time, was a talent coordinator named Howard Papush. It was my first big break, and I went on to appear on The Tonight Show 36 additional times. Now it’s my turn to say thank you to Howard. He’s written a wonderful book titled When’s Recess? Playing Your Way Through the Stresses of Life, which I encourage you to read. (Howard also conducts workshops that teach people how to play and have fun in life.) In the book, Howard shares this great quote from Richard Bach: “You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.” I couldn’t agree more—by all means, get back in touch with your real, playful self, and take every opportunity to play! Notice how it makes everything so sweet, and so simple.

Slow down. One of Gandhi’s most illuminating observations reminds us that “there is more to life than increasing its speed.” This is great advice for simplifying your life—in fact, slow everything way down for a few moments right here and now. Slowly read these words. Slow your breathing down so that you’re aware of each inhalation and exhalation...

When you’re in your car, downshift and relax. Slow down your speech, your inner thoughts, and the frantic pace of everything you do. Take more time to hear others. Notice your inclination to interrupt and get the conversation over with, and then choose to listen instead. Stop to enjoy the stars on a clear night and the cloud formations on a crisp day. Sit down in a mall and just observe how everyone seems in a hurry to get nowhere.

By slowing down, you’ll simplify and rejoin the perfect pace at which creation works. Imagine trying to hurry nature up by tugging at an emerging tomato plant—you’re as natural as that plant, so let yourself be at peace with the perfection of nature’s plan.

Do everything you can to eschew debt. Remember that you’re attempting to simplify your life here, so you don’t need to purchase more of what will complicate and clutter your life. If you can’t afford it, let it go until you can. By going into debt, you’ll just add layers of anxiety onto your life. That anxiety will then take you away from your peace, which is where you are when you’re in-Spirit. When you have to work extra hard to pay off debts, the present moments of your life are less enjoyable; consequently, you’re further away from the joy and peace that are the trademarks of inspiration. You’re far better off to have less and enjoy the days of your life than to take on debt and invite stress and anxiety where peace and tranquility could have reigned. And remember that the money you have in your possession is nothing but energy—so refuse to plug in to an energy system that’s not even there.

Forget about the cash value. I try not to think about money too frequently because it’s been my observation that people who do so tend to think about almost nothing else. So do what your heart tells you will bring you joy, rather than determining whether it will be cost-effective. If you’d really enjoy that whale-watching trip, for instance, make the decision to do so—don’t deny yourself the pleasures of life because of some monetary detail. Don’t base your purchases on getting a discount, and don’t rob yourself of a simple joy because you didn’t get a break on the price. You can afford a happy, fulfilling life, and if you’re busy right now thinking that I have some nerve telling you this because of your bleak financial picture, then you have your own barrier of resistance.

Make an attempt to free yourself from placing a price tag on everything you have and do—after all, in the world of Spirit, there are no price tags. Don’t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do; rather, simplify your life and return to Spirit by finding the inherent value in everything. A dollar does not determine worth, even though you live in a world that attempts to convince you otherwise.

Remember your spirit. When life tends to get overly complex, too fast, too cluttered, too deadline oriented, or too type A for you, stop and remember your own spirit. You’re headed for inspiration, a simple, peaceful place where you’re in harmony with the perfect timing of all creation. Go there in your mind, and stop frequently to remember what you really want.

A man who personified success at the highest intellectual and social levels would hardly seem one to quote on simplifying our life, yet here’s what Albert Einstein offers us on this subject: “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury—to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”


  1. Oh Teesha, that is exactly what I am trying to work towards, it is a long journey at times. I am really using September as a fresh start to renew how we want to live.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Except for the "spirit" part which I'm very willing to overlook, Wayne has written an inspiring article.

    I'm really enjoying your art and will be featuring you on my new blog soon when I talk about art journaling.

    I did my first art journal page and well, the best thing I can say, it was horrible. But what the heck - I had fun! Isn't that what it's all about?

  3. Thanks soo much for posting this.
    It is great food for thought and well worth paying close attention to.
    Lots of good advise and a direction worth striving for.

  4. I can see the value in this for folks who can afford their rent and don't have to dither between buying food and keeping the phone hooked up.
    However I must admit that I myself am currently looking forward to a time where being "simple" and uncluttered is my choice and not a financial necessity.

  5. wow. lots to ponder. next step is the hardest though - taking action. looking forward to journey, albeit a very long one.

  6. Teesha!
    I just finished reading Wayne's newest book- Excuses be Gone! and it was great advice and steps to get away from creative blocks (or making excuses to keep yourself from doing anything that you want to do.)
    Thanks for posted this. I haven't read too much of his stuff before and I found it inspiring.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, Teesha. This is a wonderful goal that many of us struggle to achieve. Great reminder. BTW, I follow your blog, but haven't commented because you're the famous person in the book- I guess I was a little intimidated. I really admire your work.

  8. amen! so true. thanks for the reminder. ;)

  9. Thank you for posting that. I should read that, if not everyday, at least once a week!

  10. LOVE LOVE L-O-V-E IT!!!!!

    FABULOUS advice... I especially feel so much more connected when i am engrossed in nature... I miss it... I yearn for it!


    See you soon Mz. Teesha for JournalFEST!!!!

  11. I've been a Wayne Dyer groupie since high school or was it junior high when his first book came out. Read that first book many many times and it helped me through a lot during my lifetime. But then life gets in the way and you stray. This article really spoke to me, much like his first book did so many years ago. I have been in the process of de-cluttering my life and my home and still have a long way to go before I get where I want to be. Thank you for posting this article. Was it from one of his books? If so I'd love to know which one. Thanks again Teesha I'm getting back on my path.

  12. Anonymous9:19 PM

    ohhhh my...If you only KNEW how much I needed this today.
    Stephanie t.

  13. Thanks for this, Teesha! These are some things I've been thinking on a lot lately - realizing I need to make some changes for my physical and mental health. Spending time wondering what my motivation for doing so many things is and how I can simplify and be happy. Now is the time I need to make the change. It's absolutely necessary. I remember now my dad reading his books when I was younger. thanks for bringing this back to me now. The universe sends us what we need when we need it. amazing!

  14. emmy jay6:41 AM

    This came along just when I needed it -- thanks.

  15. Thanks,Teesha, for sharing this wonderful reminders about LIFE...these are so easy to forget sometimes!

  16. And that's EXACTLY why I'm going on an art cruise next month for 8 days! No more excuses. As the kids would say, "Slow your row!" I am actively practicing and trying to get it right.

  17. Me too, I have loved Wayne Dyer since high school. He's got it figured out. Thanks for posting this lovely reminder.


  18. This is an AMAZING article!!!!!

  19. thank you, teesha...

  20. Thank you very much for posting that! Really good...

  21. Thanks so much for posting this, it's exactly what I'm feeling the need to do, and I'm a total hoarder! I've been feeling a call to do a major 'spring' clean at my place, in the Fall :) Lots of inspiration there, thanks again.

  22. thank you .I love wayne dyer .
    I have already forwarded this to the people i love.

  23. You know as I was reading your first paragraph to this post, I was thinking "we do have that, and it's our soul, and we will go back to that one day." But then of course as I read on, I realized that was exactly what you were saying. Which was nice to read by the way, so many people do not think spiritually anymore. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of the Wayne Dyer books but they do sound interesting and helpful to a point. You have to be careful in my opinion when you are telling others how to live their lives. Everyone is different (thankfully) and we all have different things to deal &/or contend with. As easy as some of that sounds, not everyone can comply for one reason or another. For instance, I am very arthritic, so as much as I want to exercise daily, I cannot. But I do believe the main message here is a good and healthy one. I guess all I'm saying is that because you are such a recognizable artist and people really look up to you, you have to really be aware of what you say to them, and I'm quite sure you are. Again, I do think the message is a good one. It's very clear to me now that your artwork which is so soulful and beautiful comes from that deep beautiful soul that you have within. Keep inspiring, you do it very well!!

  24. Yes, yes, and yes! My son and I talk about connecting with Spirit often, especially how opportunities to do so abound. He asked me how I connect so often, and I answered him, "I pay attention."

  25. Validation, inspiration and a kick in the pants all at once - thanks I needed that.

  26. Thank you....I've been having an issue at work and this was just what I needed to read.

  27. Ah, the syncronicity. Your post is so timeley for me as I started purging to simplify and unclutter my home and my life awhile ago and it's become a daily goal.
    It's also something that will take awhile as I have years of accumulation and much of it not my own. I'm throwing out, giving away, donating to charity, reusing, and offering some great items on eBay so help fund a trip to Paris.
    Life is good.

  28. thank you Teesha!! I really needed to read this today. It comes at a perfect time in my life. It is so inspirational I'm printing it out for myself.

    Thanks again!

  29. Teesha~ I loved these words. Serendipity brought me to them this morning (I needed to hear them!). I'm a first-time Artfest attender this year and to say I'm excited is an understatement. I'm having the creative awakening of my life and I'm ready to jump---can't wait to see where all of the classes take me. THANK YOU for organizing such an incredible group of artists.
    Best~ Lara Blair

  30. Teesha, you are WISE! Thank you for connecting with this and for posting it!

  31. Printed this out and it's hanging on the wall in my "studio"

  32. Thanks for sharing Wayne's words....I heard somewhere this simple mantra that I've taken as my own...if it's not beautiful or useful set it free...It's certainly helped me to move some things down the road and who knows, maybe someone else will find them beautiful or useful.

  33. Thanks for the great reminder!

  34. Well I was going to respond to each step and relate my story but that would be rather long , cluttered and time all I have to say is..yes.Thankyou for the major reminder :)