Sunday, May 11, 2014

Slower & Simpler - It's Not Always About Taking Away

Here's a thoughtful article on what to ADD to a simple life.  As some of us celebrate Mother's Day (for list of countries recognizing the day, see's_Day), and I personally see it as a day with permission for mothers to be slow in ALL things,  reading and reflecting are definitely priorities.

10 Things to Add to a Simple Life

When simplifying your life, the focus is often on decluttering and donating, but there is so much you can add to support a simple life, to build a good life.

10 Things to Add to a Simple Life

1. Value. Add richness and value to your own life by adding value to the lives around you. Look at the connections and interactions you have, and notice opportunities to add more to the relationship. Not more stuff, or more advice, but more goodness to elevate everyone around you.
2. Silence. Life is busy, but a few quiet moments every day can better prepare you to handle everything that comes your way. Declare daily quiet time an essential part of your life. Put it on your calendar and let your family know what you need. Even 5 quiet minutes can change the whole day. If you are ready for more quiet, try this simple experiment to change your view of words.
3. Laughter. Even while you are working hard to simplify your life and dealing with serious things like paying off debt, changing careers, and giving away your stuff, look for opportunities to laugh with your whole heart. Laughing offers great health benefits like lower blood pressure, and the release of endorphins, and makes you a better person to be around.
4. Art. Support artists. Make art. Give art. If you love to create and you aren’t creating, there is something missing. The world deserves your art and you so deserve to engage in activities you love. If you want your art to be your work, turn your creativity into a career with Designed to Sell, an awesome resource from Unconventional Guides.
5. Gratitude. Express your gratitude out loud. Be grateful for everything you have. When you turn your focus to being grateful for what you do have, there is very little time or energy to think about what you don’t have.
6. Patience. As you simplify your life, be patient with the people in your life who aren’t there yet. Be patient as you encourage simplicity.
7. Benevolence. Give, give, give and then give some more. Even when you think you’ve given all you have to give, just wait, there is more.
8. Joy. Find little things that bring you great joy. You can find joy in the simplest things like taking a walk. I took a walk earlier this week and found beautiful flower beds (shown above). Create joy, notice joy and celebrate joy.
9. Congruence. Always be moving closer to acting, living and working in a way that aligns with your core values. Be who you really are in thought, word, and deed. Danielle LaPorte says, “If you have to step outside of yourself, away from your values and soul to get your needs met, then you are not really going to get your needs met.” I know this to be true. It doesn’t mean I get it right every time, but I’ll continue to practice, because when I do get it right, the experience is sublime.
10. Love. I was doing a mediation from this series and learned that “love travels in all directions.” I’ve implemented this recommendation too: Anytime you notice love, say “this is love.”  Through this practice, I’ve noticed that love is everywhere and the more love you have and give, the more love you have and give.
When you add a few of these things to your simple life, you’ll quickly see that you don’t need all the stuff to have it all. The secret to having it all is recognizing that you already do.

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