I am not a simple person. I am complicated, I am a hot mess most of the time, and as I am sitting here typing this blog post on my ever so trendy IPAD, I am drinking a $6 Starbucks cafe latte, wearing expensive designer shoes, and stressing out about my “chaotic” weekend plans. I am not simple. But I want to be. I really, really do. Will and I decided around new years that we wanted to try to live a more simple life. And to not worry about stuff so much. The comedian George Carlin has a great stand-up routine about how Americans worry to much about their “stuff” (check it out on YouTube here. Its pretty funny). But both in the literal sense and figuratively, we want to live a life with less stuff. Less baggage. Less drama. And so today I want to share with you some ways that we have been trying to live a happy healthy simpler life. And as with any of my advice, remember to do what I say not what I do 🙂
Rule #1: Worry Less, Laugh More
Life is so much more enjoyable when you can sit back and enjoy the ride. An old motto from my younger years used to be “You can’t get upset if you just don’t give a damn” (I’m pretty sure this was in regards to waiting tables and my customers were all getting upset wiaitng for their 5th refill of half sweet-half unsweet tea, while I sat in the kitchen eating day old croissants). But it is still so true to this day. To me, being worried about things means that you have set yourself high expectations that you think need to be met. Or that you are thinking too much about things that are out of your control. Their are no expectations in life just things that happen and things that don’t. So just sit back, grab a drink, and let God or destiny or whatever you believe in, take control of the situation.
Rule #2: Surround Yourself with People that Make you Happy
This quote above is in regards to not only material stuff you might have but also with relationships. Will and I have both gone down that road of having a friend who is condescending, puts you down, makes you feel bad, causes you stress out (see rule number one). And while old friendships are hard to let go, at the same time, there is only oh so many hours in a day. You need to spend those hours surrounded with people that make you happy, people that bring you up, and people that will make you smile and help you out with all that laughing from rule number one.
Rule #3: Eat less Man Made Products and More Organic Foods
Photo via Skinny Mom
This is a big one in our house. If will can catch it or grow it, we will eat it. Now don’t get me wrong, if you see me out at happy hour and you order some cheesy nacho deliciousness…you can bet I will be sneak attacking some of your chips. But for the most part, in our home we try to rid our bodies of any added preservatives, chemicals, pesticides. We do this first of all because there have been links between infertility and the foods we eat (I talked about that here). We buy only organic eggs and milk, buy only grass fed beef and cage free chicken, and 90% of the fish we eat, Will caught it himself while fishing. At the same time we try not to over think it. If we want pizza, we order pizza. But if you think about it, this body already has 32 years of mileage on it, so it can’t hurt to choose wisely when choosing what will fuel me up.
Rule #4. Declutter Your Life
What the heck do you people need with all that junk you buy? All we really need in our house is a few good books, some music, my sewing machine, and each other. we can fit all that into the back sunroom. All the rest of the stuff is just junk. Junk that we don’t need. Americans are so consumed with buying stuff we don’t need and then turning around and complaining that they’re all out of money. My sister and her husband are true minimalists. Her two-year old son has like 3 toys – a wooden train set, a basketball, and box of Legos. And honesty he would have more fun running in the yard picking up sticks and rocks. She doesn’t buy him electronic toys. She never owned a rocker or a bouncer or a baby swing or any of that stuff. And he turned out just fine. Better then fine, he’s probably the smartest two year old I’ve ever seen. So next time you are making your wish list or baby registry, take 2/3 of the junk off that list and delete it. You don’t need it. Pick up a book and go sit under an oak tree instead.
Rule #5: Do Yoga, Breath, Stretch, repeat.
photo via Robert Sturman
I could go on and on about the benefits of yoga not just on the body but also its benefits for mental health, anxiety, relaxation, mind-body control and on and on and on. I know it sounds like a bunch of granola eating mumbo jumbo but it’s true. I have seen my husband get home from a stressful day at work and his whole chest feels tight. He is anxious and exhausted. He starts into his evening yoga routine and he comes out of is like a different person. Yoga is also the kind of workout that allows you go to at your own pace. There is no competing with others. Everyone is a winner. There isn’t some big jock bootcamp man yelling at you to work harder, go stronger…forget about all that. My yoga instructors have all taught me that you are here to service your own body, your own self and that is enough. (and on a side note, one of my favorite most inspirational yogi’s that I have met is Dice Iida Klein. Check out him out at Yogaglo.com. I practice with him at least twice a week and he is fantastic.)
So here’s to hoping we can all continue to just live and breath and show gratitude for what we have. Spend some time outside in the sun with the people we love and let life just take its course. I wish everyone a happy happy Easter weekend! I will spending the day with the four individuals that keep me laughing and smiling.
Until next time! xxxooo Priscilla