Add Some Nature to Your Life

Gentle winds, blue sky, warm sun. Wherever you live, city or country, Northern Hemisphere or Southern Hemisphere, there is an instant appeal to being outside on a nice day. You don’t have to be a nature lover or outdoorsman to recognize the good feelings we get just by walking out the door. A city garden, the forest, a lake, nature appeals to us.

There’s something about the vast openness of the sky that brings space and lifts your boundaries both mentally and physically. The sun makes everyone smile and bask in its glow. The colors of nature help soothe my mind. Interestingly enough, we try to replicate these colors inside our homes, but they just don’t have the same effect.

Lately, I’ve noticed how being outside helps all the things in my mind just dissipate. It's almost like the wind, the sky, the trees and the grass help declutter my mind. I'm able to just empty my thoughts or let them float around but not dwell on them. The breeze is blowing around me. I can hear the win…

No New Ideas Month

One thing I have a really hard time with is sitting still and just being. My mind never seems to shut off, jumping from one topic to the next. What I find to happen most often is that whenever I sit down to rest, all these ideas start flowing through my brain. Should we tear up the carpet and put down wood flooring? What is a new meal I can make for dinner? Can I watch the news on demand? How can I make money from home? What should my next quilt be? Oh, my iPad is sitting right next to me, I should look up how to ..... And so it starts.

Whether it is a quick fix, something to create, or just a new way of doing something, I am usually hooked.

Researching ideas is also something I like to do. I am a student at heart, a life-long learner who enjoys learning about new things. Researching new ideas is actually fun for me. I'd be more than happy to fill a notebook with notes on different topics. In fact, I have taken three internet classes (fortunately all three) to collect the informa…

More is Better, Right?

More is better, right? More food, more clothes, more room, more money.

It seems our society is driven by the word “more”. Commercials tell us what “more” we need to have and the products that will help us get “more”. Even if it isn’t a product.

Want more excitement in your life? Buy this. More friends? Buy that. More for your money? Use this service. More beautiful of a vacation? Go here. More luxury? We have it. More service? That’s us. Dissatisfied with your clothes/furniture/kitchen? You just need more things!
Our grocery stores are packed with isles of more. New products come out each day and we need more. There are so many stores to purchase clothing from, with more are added each day. There are more stores period. When I compare the choice of stores we have today, including online shopping, to what was available when I was a child, it is staggering.

Psychologically, we want more. We want more things, more options, more choices. Some people feel if they don’t have all these cho…

The Beach

We are a beach family. Our vacations center around the beach - camping, renting a house on the beach etc. Whenever we have a chance, I like to go to the beach. It is so relaxing and enjoyable.

However, I can’t get to the beach every day. And even though I could go in the winter, it isn’t quite the same. So what can I do? Close my eyes and imagine I’m there. This is a great relaxation tip.

You know that feeling you get sitting on a beach? It's like the waves carry all our cares and worries out to sea. You are instantly relaxed. The blue, blue of the sky. The teal blue of the water, the sun, the white sand. The sand is warm and eases into your body. The seagulls squawk overhead. 
The beach, so relaxing even if you aren't on vacation, you feel like you are. You can breathe in air, lots of air. Your eyes focus on the horizon which never ends. Your mind wanders, but doesn't settle on anything, it just wanders. 
There is the blue, blue sky going on forever. White, airless clods…

Multitasking to Save Time

My wellness a-game is to reduce stress. It has been like peeling an onion. I keep finding new layers within myself that I can change to help me reduce stress. As I peel some layers, I have found I do too many things at once. At home, at work, everywhere. And I don’t care what anyone says, when you do more than one thing at a time (currently called multi-tasking), you are not efficient. You are prone to mistakes. Dinner burns (yes, it does!) and your mind feels stressed in the process. 
I really feel that when you're multitasking, you are really trying to race to do two things at once. This causes your mind to think that you have to get more things done faster. Two things happen. First whenever I go too fast with anything I make mistakes. I drop things, I type the wrong word, I do something wrong, you name it I've done it. Second, the “race” causes stress. Your body tenses in anticipation of the physical effort. Shoulders hunch. Mind squeezes into gear. Adrenaline starts pumpi…

Stop the Race

When you look around you, what do you see? Usually lots of people racing around trying to get somewhere, or get something done. How often do you see people leisurely strolling along? How often do you get to travel an empty road?

The mall parking lot is full. The shops are crowded. Streets have an endless stream of cars hurrying somewhere. City sidewalks are a throng of people heading somewhere. At work, people are walking determinately through the hallways.
Last weekend, I drove into the city to pick up our daughter. In this part of town, streets built decades ago were not meant to hold so many cars. One car garages meant one car, not three per house. Navigating them meant pulling over to let others through. 
People were rushing all over to do their chores, jaywalking between cars. Cars lined up in the street to get into parking lots. Left turns were only for the fearless. 
The grocery store was built up instead of out. The five story attached parking garage is confusing to navigate. T…

Simple Life Interview

So what is simple living? 
Honestly, there isn't one right answer. Instead, there are many variations each as unique as the people who practice it. I guess simply put, it is the pursuit to simplify your life. 
Many people I have come in contact with have included the practice of decluttering their belongings as a place to start simplifying their lives. This decluttering helps not only lighten the physical load we carry, but allows us to evaluate our life and the possessions that fill it.
Learning to be satisfied with what we have, or have left after decluttering, is another aspect of simple living. After all, who wants to go through the process of decluttering only to fill it back up again? 
This simplification of our things helps us simplify other areas of our lives, such as schedules and reducing debt, so we have time to pursue positive endeavors such as wellness, travel, connections and experiences. 
Angela over at Setting My Intention has been running a Simple Living Intervie…