A simple(r) life: the ins and outs

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My goal for 2016 has revolved around discovering a life of simplicity. What I’ve learned is that a simple(r) life doesn’t just happen. For me, it includes a heightened awareness: recognizing daily pleasures and meting out kindness in large doses. I believe kindness is a requirement for a simple(r) life for the simple reason that it takes little time and resources to be kind—and kindness begets kindness. I’ve also learned a simple life can be full, but requires an evaluation of where we spend our time—if we need to say no to the things that complicate our journey, or yes to the things that improve the lives around us. For Thanksgiving this year, I opted for a meal plan that allowed me to spread my time between an early-morning yoga practice to hanging up a few pictures to tidying up my home before sitting down to enjoy a simple, yet filling dinner and games with family. Three words: awareness, then practice.

Where can you simplify life?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Rx for a woe-is-me mentality

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RX woe is me


I’m not certain when I first noticed, but my heart seems to have settled into a state of continuous gratitude. But then a close friend texts me: a litany of woes in big bold letters followed by Life sucks. Another friend messages me: more discouraging news ending with I’m sick of all the crap. Can I be honest? It’s hard to remain sparkly in the midst of others’ trials without feeling guilty. And it’s not that I don’t experience trials. Because I do. On a regular basis, new or recurring health issues pop up—many of which require ongoing attention. Relationship issues—story of my life. Unrequited dreams—Someday is a promise I must stop making myself. But then I ran across Nisban Panwar’s quote: If you always see the negative side of things, eventually that’s all there is. Always look for the positive no matter how small. This means giving thanks for the ‘sweet and simple pleasures.’ Guilt free.

Which side of thinking do you gravitate toward?

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Guilt-free living

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[Image credit: Simon Howden]

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: life is too short.  At my age, I’m finally learning how to embrace this philosophy by giving myself permission to say “no” (or even yes) without feeling guilty — and without the need to apologize or make excuses for myself.  After a week of hitting the gym following time-off to allow my ankle to heal, I skipped my work out on the eighth day because I decided my sleep was more important.  Following a healthy dinner one night, I indulged in a few Girl Scout thin mints for dessert and enjoyed every bite, knowing I’d be in spin class the next morning.  And although I would have loved spending time with several sweet ladies this past Sunday evening, I also knew I needed to prepare for the week ahead.  Things, people and pleasures will always vie for our time, but we need to learn how to choose which ones will keep us moving forward.  Without feeling guilty.

Do you struggle with guilt instead of enjoying the moment?