Conscious Simplicity, is a phrase that I stumbled across recently.
It was one of those moments where the words leap right off the screen and almost smack you.
I immediately wrote them down in my planner, not wanting to forget the phrase, because it just felt that important. One of those moments when the universe is telling you to pay attention.
The more that I looked at those words over the next couple of days, the more clearly I knew that I needed to know more!
So what did I learn?
"Simplicity is not about deprivation. Simplicity is about greater appreciation for things that really matter."
Conscious Simplicity, is about combining simplicity with the practice of mindfulness; conscious choice rather than autopilot or worse indifference. Choosing all of the people, experiences, and stuff that you bring into your life with intention. And embracing meaningful actions, experiences and encounters.
Like minimalism, it is partially about clearing the clutter – both physical and mental. But, unlike minimalism, it’s not about how little you can live with or how sparse your home décor is.
Rather consciously choosing to keep what brings you Joy. If a collage wall of your travel photos brings a smile and reminds you of all your wonderful travels, then hang them. If a giant bowl of rocks reminds you of all the places you collected them, display it, If your grandmother’s tea cup reminds you of her, bring them out of the cupboard and place it where you can see it.
“When we remove the clutter, we make room to be creative, inspired and productive.”
Clear out anything that you find distracting. If it’s not something you can remove completely, then find a place for it out of sight - out of sight, out of mind.
"The absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things."
While you are at it, declutter your email and social media notifications … hit unsubscribe.
Nothing will ruin the moment faster than a dinging phone!
Conscious simplicity is also about simple, uncomplicated relationships with people you love to spend time with; people who lift you up, light your soul, and are perfectly happy just being with you – no matter where you are.
It’s about cooking simple meals with whole foods for the people you love because it will nourish them (and you); it’s about not rushing through life, but slowing down and enjoying every moment.
It’s about putting a stop to over committing yourself; strive for less busy-ness. Block self-care into your calendar; set aside 1-2 hours everyday that are completely wide open and unscheduled – free time. Learn to say No. Delegate – you don’t have to do everything yourself.
Start single-tasking, put your focus wholly on one task at a time. Being completely present and enjoying that task with your whole heart.
It’s about having time to enjoy a walk outside, curl up with a good book, or watch a movie with your family; meditate or move your body in a way that brings you joy.
Making deeper, more joyful connections. Choosing quality over quantity in ALL aspects of your life. Seeking experiences that are deeply meaningful.
Remember to start small – pick 3 areas of your life to focus on first so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Practice mindfulness along the way.
Expect some discomfort – if free time is causing you anxiety because you feel like your “should” be doing something, choose self-care.
“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”
Don’t overthink it – there is no “right way” to do this. It’s what feels right for you, and aligns with why your wanted to move towards a simpler life in the first place.
I don't know about you, but this definately sounds like part of holistic living to me ... and it sounds like a positively wonderful way to live my life.
Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
It is making a conscious effort to express your appreciation for what you have as well as the people in your life and why they are important to you.
Gratitude generates feelings of goodness, warmth and positivity; feelings that fill up your heart & soul and radiates out to others as well.
Sometimes, however, when life is challenging it can be hard to focus on the positive and recognize what you are truly grateful for.
So, how do you start practicing gratitude?
It starts with paying attention and noticing the goodness in life.
“Every day may not be good,
Start a gratitude jar. Find a pretty jar and place it in a special spot where you can see it and be reminded of what the jar holds. Cut strips of paper and place them and a pen with the jar (I like to use pretty scrapbook paper, but anything works … even a piece of an envelope). Everyday write something that you are grateful for on a paper and place it in the jar. You may find this hard at first, but it gets easier I promise (when I first started this practice, I was really thankful for tea hahaha). At the end of each month, or at the end of the year, empty the jar and read through all of your notes.
Keep a journal or calendar where you can note the big or little joys of daily life. There are even photo journal apps where you can have a mix of photos and words to remember the things that you are grateful for, sometimes a picture speaks louder than your words ever can.
Try practicing “3 good things”. At the end of every day, before you go to bed, write down 3 good things that happened that day. Doing this can put you in a more positive headspace and reduce your stress right before bed and should lead to a better nights sleep.
Write thank you notes. We tend not to actually express how grateful we are to the people in our lives. This practice serves 2 purposes … it fills your heart as you write to someone important to you and it warms the heart of the recipient as well to get your expression of gratitude and love. Plus, who doesn’t love getting good mail? And you never know how powerful it can be to tell someone they are doing a good job or that you appreciate what they do. Your words will probably hit them just when they need it most.
Why should you practice gratitude?
There are actual health benefits to practicing gratitude, but like anything it takes consistency (not perfection) to feel the benefits.
Benefits of Gratitude
One final note …
Remember, like everything in life, practicing gratitude is not about perfection. No one cares if you only sit down once this week to practice or if all you were grateful for today was a cup of tea. This practice is just for you.
Find the type of practice that resonated most with you and then mix it up every once in a while.
Expand from “I am grateful for …..” to “I am grateful for ….. because …..” This can add a world of enlightenment for you and help you to search your soul to figure out what really does make you happy and grateful.
So, what are you grateful for today?
Brien-anne RMT, CA
I am passionate not only about Massage Therapy & Aromatherapy, but also living a holistic lifestyle and empowering others to do the same!