Category Archives: simplifying life

Simplicity is Calling

Simplicity is calling

Sometimes the world feels like a bit much.

I’m sure I am not alone in losing friends to cancer; having to start over repeatedly; being threatened by extreme weather or wildfires; and the list goes on.

We all go through it. Life has its unexpected turns. Coming around a bend can be scary.

As I walked my dog this morning and looked at leaves covered in soot. I could feel the stillness. The depths of love and life that hold steady for our acknowledgment.

It’s like rising above the clouds or diving below stormy waves. There is a depth to being.

A peaceful, undisturbed calm. It’s always there, even in the midst of chaos and fear.

I love the feeling of being able to connect with a deeper truth. Something beyond change. Beyond the body. Beyond circumstances.

As I get older, I see the importance of spending more time there.

I have this deep urge to visit it more often and dedicate my life to it. Not sure how yet. But the thoughts and desire are there.

Simplicity is calling. I feel it.

It’s waving at me. Beckoning me to design a life with it in mind. Telling me to trust a higher truth. I love that it’s patient with me.

I’m getting closer to accepting its offer.

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Filed under reminders, simplifying life, sunday is for lovers

Refining & Rewilding My Life

refining and rewilding

This morning I walked around my home with new eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Every single thing seemed to stand out. The dish soap, the dish soap dispenser, the dish sponges, the dish rack, the dishes, the glasses, the small glasses, the big cups, the little cups, the utensils, the chef knives, the paring knife, the watermelon knife, the knife sharpeners, the sink cleaner, the scrub brushes, the recycling can, the trash can, the recycling bags, the trash bags, the broom, the dustpan, the dustpan’s brush, the, the, the — the list goes on & on in great detail. The reason I see my home in far greater detail than ever before, is because I am moving soon. I’m moving into an Airstream Argosy (see last week’s blog post). Everything in my life will become tiny and minimalist. I’ll have a tinsy tiny closet, a tiny sink, a tiny shower, a tiny everything. And in this tiny space, every thing matters. Everything is important, and only what is cherished most will have its designated space.

Throughout the day my wardrobe was rolling through my mind; plaid blazers with velvet elbow patches, flowing skirts that I only wear once or twice a year, shoes saved for special occasions — there will be no room for such things. But how can I give them up? They were a financial investment that I wouldn’t want to make again. How will I know what to take and what to leave behind? I’m moving to such a small home, I feel like I must get rid of everything. The feeling is overwhelming. It’s not just an editing of my wardrobe, kitchen, workshop, or entire home — it’s an editing of my life. It’s a severing of my past. It’s a sobering realization of what is important, what is essential.

I may not know what to keep and what to get rid of at this moment, but I am clear about one thing. Without a doubt, and with all certainty, I can tell you about the happiest time of my life. It’s a very simple & direct answer: It was camping alone in the Bahamas for a month (it might have been longer) in 1999. And the other times that run a close second were also camping trips alone. While on these trips, I was only able to bring what I could comfortably carry. So I always packed with the understanding that I would be carrying most of my things while walking distances, flying in planes, taking trains and hailing cabs. Having only the essentials, and bringing everything down to the minimum, was bliss. So refreshing, so sobering. I was able to see my life clearly, and see myself clearly. It was just me, and the things that I most wanted with me.

If the happiest times of my life where when I had next to nothing, and lived alone in a small vinyl tent… why is it so hard to pare things down, to minimize my life, and move on? It’s a good question. My guess is that this time, it’s for real. I won’t be returning to my things, or to my former life. But again, I have to look at the fact that I was most happy with very-very little, away from an overstuffed home and an overstuffed social calender. Without those things, I felt better than ever, I slept better than ever… and I was happy. Not one of the things that I am wondering and stressing about whether or not to keep has brought me lasting happiness. Not one.

So what is there to fear? The fear of the unknown? The fear of re-buying stuff? The fear of a new experience? The fear of letting go? The fear of starting over? So what! And what is not doing those things costing me? It’s comical. It really is.

The risk & the cost of not living fully & freely is far greater than any bold decision to simplify one’s life and move on from the past. How can one not benefit from a little refining & rewilding?

What would be a wild choice for you? What would your life look like if you edited it and refined it to the bare essentials — essentials that you loved? What would it look like? What would it feel like? What would you look & feel like? Doesn’t it sound like something that deserves a little exploring? For me, without a question, it does. And no matter what fog or fears creep in my mind, I’ll remember that my heart is leading the way. It knows what I love and what I need. It knows me best.

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Filed under minimalism, simplifying life, tiny home

Overpacked? Where do you think you are going?

It’s very clear for me that whenever I leave for a short trip, I overpack. (And I am known amongst friends to be a light traveler.) The trip could be a weekend getaway or a month overseas, it really doesn’t matter. But I can be pretty sure that I will return with things that went unused, because they simply were not needed.

Are you the same way? Do you return from trips with articles of clothing still washed and folded in your bag? Just like they were when you packed them?

What about life? Are you overpacked for that trip too?

Life is a wild and unpredictable ride. But what I am learning is… so little is needed.

Here are 7 tips on how to simplify your life, along with 3 questions to keep in mind. Don’t rush through them with a sweeping glance. Really sit with them and open yourself to what you are reading. Listen to thoughts and answers that come up for you.

How to Simplify Your Life

Look at how your time is spent. What are you doing everyday? Are you doing what truly suits you, and what matters to you most? What’s most important to you? What makes you happy in a lasting way? Value each day, value your life — it only happens once.

Learn to say no. Be honest with yourself and with other people. Say no to what you really do not want to do. Do not waver. Be clear. You’ll respect yourself for it (and others will to!) Be a stand for how you want to live. Don’t be a flickering candle, be a steady light.

Purge, simplify and organize your stuff. What do you really use? No really, what do you really use, like on a daily basis? What do you really love? Keep what you value most, get rid of the rest, then organize what is left.

Downsize your responsibilities. Downsize your home and car, downsize your bills and expenses — downsize your obligation to maintain and live for stuff. Don’t let your life become a game of keeping balls in the air.

Focus on the day and that day only. Start the day with clarity. Know your priorities for each day. Forget the rest (until it has its own day & time for action).

Relish and appreciate time spent doing nothing. Consider scheduling true downtime. Learn to value time spent decompressing and relaxing. This does not mean zoning-out, it means simply being or being simple. Trust me, it’s the most important thing on a to-do list.

Go for the best in life, not the most in life. What is best for everyone is not the same. Find out what it is best for you. Keep it as your benchmark.

Questions to Keep in Mind

  • Will this food cleanse me or clog me?
  • Will this item simplify my life or clutter it?
  • Will this arrangement stress me or relax me?

We make life so complicated, when it really doesn’t need to be. Just maintaining a sense of clarity can make a world of difference — it can actually transform our life. Being clear about what is important (what we truly love, and in what environment we thrive), allows not only others to experience us at our best, but we get to experience ourselves at our best.

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Filed under life is simple, simplify, simplifying life