Monthly Archives: October 2016

motivation to declutter

It takes making a mess in order to have things clean and tidy.  I know this, and perhaps sometimes that’s the deterrent to decluttering.  It’s already feeling like a mess, but I’m going to be making a bigger mess.

Keep the end product in mind though.  Decluttering and removing those unwanted, unloved, unneeded items will clear your space for those things you do want, love and need.  Removing those items that bring back hurtful memories and the past that you want and need to part with will also clear physical space for the joyful pieces, but more importantly, it removes the negative items from your head and heart, allowing you to move forward in your life.  One of the most liberating things I had done was finally removing my old wedding dress and wedding cake topper from my home.  Removing those key items from my house was in a way, permission to move forward with my life.  To say yes to my new path, and to be excited about it.

We all tend to collect stuff.  It’s a result of living in a consumer driven environment.  We end up with too much.  It becomes overwhelming.  We look at the mess, knowing we need to clean, but it becomes too much.  The mental work is exhausting.  Let’s put it off for another day…but that looming overhead creates mental clutter.

The mess you make today will serve you for tomorrow.  Don’t wait to get started.  The result is worth it.

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the art of minimalism

I have been doing a lot of reading lately. A lot. Much of it has been blog posts and articles on minimalism.  I need that extra encouragement and motivation to get back to some simplicity, as many of us do from time to time.

When my exhusband and I first parted ways, I bought a home for myself and my sons. We didn’t have a lot to put into our home, and it seemed rather bare.  I wanted to buy quality furniture that would last for a good long time, but I also wanted it to fit into our lifestyle. I also didn’t want to go into debt just to furnish the house.  So, some pieces came from Ikea, or ikea-esk shops.  Relatively inexpensive, but will do the job needed until I was ready to get the real deal.  And it was fine to start with.  We were just incredibly happy to be moving on with life in a positive note. 

After about five months, I found the dining set that spoke to me.  It had a rustic style, was made with refurbished wood, and the hardware was handmade.  It spoke to me on so many levels.  The style, the reuse of resources, the handmade personal touches.  It felt very earthy and helped me feel connected to nature the way I like to be.   I had saved the money needed which was great because that meant I wasn’t going into debt to buy this gorgeous piece of furniture.  

This was the only piece of furniture I have purchased for the house.  In all fairness, we don’t need anything else at this point badly enough to warrant the spending.  But where we did go wrong was the little spending.  The toys that add up but don’t get played with.  The extra craft supplies that we bought without specific purpose but had grand ideas for.  The extra stuff for Christmas that really wasn’t needed, wanted, or used, but was bought for the sake of volume for Christmas morning. 

Clutter affects us in so many ways.  It affects us mentally because there’s this mess looming over our heads that we know needs cleaning.  The dust that accumulates because we can’t properly dust around the extra stuff.  We just feel better when there is less around us.  I know that, yet I still fell into the trap of having stuff.

So, over the next 50 days, I am embarking on a personal challenge to declutter my home, and prepare a healthy and welcoming environment.  What I am hoping to achieve is mental comfort, a clean home that houses simply what we need or truly want.  Those things that are no longer necessary need to go.  Those things that hold negative feelings and negative memories must leave the premises.  These things create mental clutter, which is just as harmful.  Once this is done, my creative living can have the freedom to expand into the open spaces. And for me, this is very important. 

I encourage everyone to consider how the things in your environment affect you…both good and bad.  Minimalism is not for everyone, and it looks different for everyone too.  What is the same is the stress relieving effect it should provide. 

life is lived in the mundane

I’ve pondered this statement all week. Life is lived in the mundane.  Such a simple statement that holds oh so much truth and wisdom.  Live is lived in the mundane!  We live our lives day by day.  Some constantly live in the past.  Others live in the future.  Who truly lives in the present?  My Buddhist side tells me to live in the present, to believe that it is important to be present and mindful in order to bring joy and happiness to our lives.

Life is lived in the mundane.

This is what it is to live in the present.  We should consider the daily joys of life.  The little things!  When we are constantly considering what went wrong in the past or how we could have changed our present if only we had done this, or hadn’t done that, we are not living in the present but rather living in the past.  When we are constantly looking forward to that next vacation or that next new adventure to get us out of the drudgery of daily life, we are not living in the present, but rather living in the future.  These things steal the joy from the now.

Life is lived in the mundane!

Consider today.  Consider where you are right now.  What joy is present in your life?  It doesn’t need to be expensive or dependent on anyone but yourself.  Find the joy in the now.  Life is lived day by day.  Be present in the mundane.  Find the precious in the every day.  Observe.  Ponder.  Watch the young and impressionable humans discover the beauty in a dandelion.  Relish those little conversations while stuck in traffic on your way to dance or soccer.  Breathe your lion breath in yoga practice today and really consider how wonderful it feels.  Meditate.  Dance.  Create.  Live.  Because one day you just might look back into the past to see that you never truly lived.

Live your life in the mundane.

 

 

thanksgiving

My own personal challenge was to post a weekly blog post every Sunday for a year (at least).  I have been quite good with keeping up with it, but today has been a challenge.

Today is Thanksgiving Sunday here in Canada, and while I do try to be a positive person, I am having a very difficult time with today.  It is difficult to be miles away from family on the holidays.  And it is even more difficult to say goodbye to your children on Thanksgiving Sunday because they have to go to their father’s house despite where they want to be.  To send them off with tears in their eyes because all they really want is to be home is heartbreaking.

ode to my grandfather

My grandfather was a very special person in my life.  Both my grandmother and my grandfather were key people in my early years.  I loved both my grandparents dearly.  My grandfather was quite an individual though.  Things I had not known about him I have been finding out so many years later.  My grandfather passed away ten years ago, and I thought I knew so much about him then.  He was an avid model train enthusiast.  He liked to garden.  He tried out new things, and even in his elder years, bought himself a computer and tried learning how to use it.  He did quite well at keeping up with lifelong learning.  An inspiration for me.

It wasn’t until recently when I went home to visit my parents that my mother told me how much my grandfather also enjoyed photography.  She told me about how he had his own darkroom set up in their tiny post-war house, and how he was always to be found with his camera.  Why hadn’t I known this when I was 15 and spending days in the school darkroom developing roll after roll of film?  I would have had something else to ask my grandfather about when we had those summerlong stays at their house.  Oh how much could I have learned from him then!

Still, knowing these things about him post mortem is so keenly interesting.  To know that somewhere in the genes, there was the key to that hidden door.  The one that opens up to the passions I have in life.

And I like to think my grandfather is watching me.  My spirit guide, watching over me.  I am sure he is smiling.  My grandfather was nicknamed ‘Bear’, I think by my father.  It is one of the ways I fondly remember him.  While out on the Worldwide Photo Walk yesterday, I happened upon this stone bear statue.  I have seen it before, but yesterday it seemed to take on a whole different presence.  It needed to be photographed.  And as I have been thinking of my grandfather so much over these past few weeks, the image spoke to me so very much.

So, The Stone Bear, the image featured this week, is dedicated to one of the absolute most important men in my life.  My grandfather.