Don’t Cling: Let it Go

Free Spirit, Letting Go, Minimalism

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We all have so much that we have acquired: people, possessions, experiences, memories – and sometimes we feel like we own it all. Once we have it, it’s ours and we are responsible for it forever.

Perhaps it is our ancient, primal survival tactic of hoarding, hunting, and gathering, or maybe it’s just that it’s hard to let go sometimes.

It is hard, but for us to grow we need to understand that we must let go of yesterday.

We have permission to move on, learn, release, and grow.

We only have so much energy so we better not cling to everything. We must choose where our time, focus, and energy go wisely because we certainly can’t do it all.

Today, I will not cling to negative energy, drama, excuses, or mind games. My emotional well-being is on a pedestal as far as I’m concerned. I will choose not to be involved. My energy is saved for more important matters such as

love, relaxation and fun.

And it’s true: we can’t lose what we don’t cling to. Cling to the important, unmovable things that are seen and unseen. Let all that doesn’t truly matter go into the breeze.

Tell it thank you. That it served it’s purpose and it’s time to let go. Then move on.

Multi-Season Capsule Wardrobe: A Clean Slate

Capsule Wardrobes, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

Sometimes along our journey we have what I like to call a good problem to have. Those are the best types of problems even though they require a little finagling to work around.

You see, I’ve been living with less since the beginning of the year. Slowly but surely, I am weeding out the unnecessary so that I may enjoy the best of the best.  Three of my simplifying focuses have collided and require attention:

  • Weight Loss
  • Capsule Wardrobe
  • Spending less

The good news is that I have lost 40 pounds! The bad is that all of my clothing in my current summer capsule no longer fit. I’ve been donating my clothing throughout this last year: got down to the bare bones, created a capsule and now, I have worn them as long as I can. In an effort to spend less, I have been enjoying my clothes and wearing them as long as possible. But it got to the point where I was overall frumpy. My capsule wasn’t cohesive enough to be practical, and my clothes were swallowing me whole.

Since my solution is not to gain the weight back, I had to dip into my ‘spending less’ focus.

This is a good problem and I handled it the best way possible by getting rid of the majority of my current too-big frumpy clothes, starting over, and most of all:

buying second-hand.

This has allowed me to stay in line with all that I am trying to accomplish.

I spent $80.00 total and now have a complete, cohesive, workable, multi-season capsule wardrobe.

I present to you my new multi-season capsule wardrobe! I plan on this carrying over into fall by adding a few pieces here and there to battle the cooler weather in the near future.

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I am really excited about this capsule. It shows my personality along with a palette that is a neutral, with just enough detail and color to not be so monotone and boring. It is also easily functional throughout most of the seasons; only needing to add warmer pieces when needed.

Last night I felt so free letting go of the old me. I was able to rid myself of the clothing that no longer served me with absolutely no hesitation. I kept a few pieces that I love and added new second-hand pieces giving those thrifted items a new and fabulous second life!

Minimalism isn’t about deprivation and rules. It is about functionality and loving what you have. It’s also about spending wisely and being your best self. It’s OK to edit your life – clothing, relationships, hobbies, careers – as a matter of fact, it’s imperative because human beings are ever-changing.

What’s important is knowing that it’s OK to let go to the past. You have no obligation to keep everything you have ever acquired.

Welcome a clean slate.

You have permission to start over however many times you wish so that you may fully live, enjoy, and love all that was meant for pure joy.

You Have Permission

Clarity, Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

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As human beings we want to connect to others and use words to describe how we feel.

This is hard for me sometimes, because some things that I feel inside my heart are so profound that I can’t find the right words to bring it to life.

It doesn’t seem right to say that I’m just:

  • De-cluttering
  • Simplifying
  • Becoming minimalist
  • Going natural
  • Making room for priorities
  • Spending less
  • Saving more
  • Getting out of debt

and most of all

Living daily for who and what is most important in my life.

I found the word that describes my journey and I want to share because perhaps you feel it gyrating deep in your bones too.

METANOIA

We don’t have to be who we were yesterday. We don’t have to live on auto-pilot anymore. You have permission to let go, spread your wings, and be who your heart is telling you to be.

How-To and What to Expect with No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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We all have done experiments and changed our behaviors at some point or another. So, we know we can do it, it’s just a matter of doing it.

I’ve changed my behavior approximately 9,000,000,000 times in the last thirty-something years. Some of my changes stick, other’s don’t. We all change minute to minute throughout our lives, and that’s totally OK.

In recent posts I talked about my no/lo poo journey. This clearly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does to me. It’s something worth experimenting because:

  • I want to save money instead of wasting it on beauty products
  • I want to spend less time primping in the mornings
  • I want to be OK with my natural, authentic self

That’s really the main motives behind this.

A lot of other’s are experimenting with the switch to no/lo poo as well. This is why if your interest is peaked and you go to research, there is so much information available that, quite honestly, makes it seem intimidating.

That’s because what works for one person, doesn’t for another. One person has xyz result and not the other.

So you are kind of frozen not knowing where to start because you simply don’t know what to do and are afraid of the outcome.

What I personally didn’t read a lot of was the honest-to-God truth about what to expect when doing the switch. It made me very leery at first because I know good and dang well that not everyone who does it has that much success, right?

I mean, I have lived long enough to just know better.

And so have you, which is why you may be scared to even try it.

How to start and what to expect:

Decision: You have to want to do this. It’s different from what you’ve always done. Years worth of sudsing up with commercial shampoo has created an exhilarating showering experience every, single day of your life for as long as you have known. If you go no ‘poo – you will not have this experience. You won’t be using shampoo so there won’t be any sudsing or bottled scents wafting in the shower any more.

If you decide to plunge, can you handle it? I mean, it sounds silly but seriously? Can you handle it?

If you are stuck in your decision process and just can’t make up your mind but still want to try it, there’s only one thing to do at this point:

Say eff-it and do it.

Get in the shower and don’t wash your hair.

Expectations: Please don’t expect to fall in love with your hair on this day. It’s going to feel grimy and oily and unmanageable. That’s because you aren’t used to having hair unwashed. Your hair is in shock because it’s actually being left alone for the first time in your life. It’s wanting to run free and roam the meadows.

Let it.

Just like any other change, getting used to unwashed hair takes time. It’s going to feel weird like you ‘forgot something’ and it’s not going to feel the same. You may feel self conscious because you are rocking some unwashed locks.

Don’t expect to style it the same way. At first, it would be wise to have a plan B on styling that day. For me, I twist it back with some bobby pins and go about my business.

After a few days of not washing your hair, don’t be surprised if you realize that you have never gotten to know your hair at all. It’s like a strangers head of hair and you will not know how to deal with it. Again, have a plan B until you figure it out – and you will, and I will too.

For some people, the unwashed hair stays oily for a week and for others months. You will not know how your hair will do until you try it.

Don’t be surprised if no one else on Earth even notices that you aren’t washing your hair. That will be a lightbulb moment when you realize you have been stressing over getting ‘perfect hair’ and no one else has ever cared but you.

Get excited that you will feel free and rebellious like a child that isn’t minding over-bearing adults. It’s like you are getting away with something you aren’t supposed to do. Because, after all, doesn’t everybody over-wash their hair? Doesn’t everybody continue to make commercial shampoo companies super rich while we spend hours a week primping in front of a mirror and spending oodles of our hard earned money unnecessarily?

No. Not everybody.

Don’t be surprised that after not washing your hair for several days that you start to love your natural self and question why you have ever put that kind of time in effort into your hair. You may question why you’ve been manipulating circumstances so much that you have totally ruined a perfectly good set of hair by constantly messing with it.

You may even realize that you are wild and free at heart and it’s not your problem if other people have an issue with what you do with your hair.

Best of all, you may just learn to love your beautiful, primal, loving, gorgeous, authentic self and just be happy with the way things are un-controlled.

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And sometimes, having crazy hair – don’t care is the best way to have it after all. Wild and free. Rebellious and empowered. Loved and loving.

Take a Chance, Make a Change

Capsule Wardrobes, Clarity, De-Cluttering, Debt, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simple Life, Simplicity, Yoga

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We have a chance to make numerous choices every, single day. There comes a point though, when maybe our auto-pilot life becomes comfortable. Boring, stagnant, and comfortable. We realize beneath it all something is lacking. Our joy has been squelched due to the day-to-day demands that we dictate to ourselves. We measure our worth based on checking off the to-do-list and then beating ourselves up when we simply can’t accomplish it all.

That’s a rut. It’s a tough one to admit to, and a stickler to dig out of.

That’s where I was just a few short months ago. I started running – not walking – in the opposite direction.

It was time to take a risk: I have to change and take some risks, here. 

This realization and admittance that I am in fact, not Super Woman was a little hard to come to grips with, but there was truth beneath the surface.

I don’t want to be Super Woman.

I don’t want to be living in chaos. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed and full of anxiety. I want peace and joy.

The contrast between the two are pretty drastic.

That means I have to open my mind and try different solutions to my struggle.

Day by day, my slow changes are really easing my anxiety and happiness is finally creeping in. I do things a little differently now by:

  1. Getting rid of excess and clutter for clarity and less wasted time on organizing and picking up.
  2. Removing social media from my life so I can focus on myself and what’s important.
  3. Thinking positively by meditating and appreciating what I have and where I’m going.
  4. Letting go of other people’s behavior and my past.
  5. Changing daily chores: I hang clothes to dry, use less dishes and hand-wash when done, put things back where they belong, and let it go when I want to do something else.
  6. Eating well helps me feel energized and lose excess pounds.
  7. Paying off debt by getting my finances in order and stop useless spending.
  8. Daily Yoga helps my body stretch and tone as well as a great way to integrate balance in my life.
  9. Being conscious of my beauty routine where less is definitely more.
  10. Creating a capsule wardrobe so my style is consistent and less stressful when getting ready and wasting money filling the gaps for sake of fashion.

These 10 changes have taken time. I began slowly and deliberately and have really tried to understand myself and my past along the way. It’s been my saving grace in the stickabilty to a major life change like this one.

Knowing you need to make a change and then taking the plunge can be scary. But there is nothing to fear. You can always go back to the way things were before. I mean, what’s there to lose?

A Random De-Cluttering Weekend

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism

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The de-cluttering process continued this weekend at my home. I didn’t set out to do a big purge like I have been doing, because I’ve already gotten rid of so much clutter.

It seems as though there are still so many useless items that I am still hanging onto, and I can’t ignore the fact that I want it removed.

My daughter likes to climb onto my bedside table onto the bed because she thinks it’s fun (even though she’s not supposed to, of course.) Her “ready, set, go….weeeeeeee!” as she jumps onto the bed is too much excitement for her to resist.

Well, she pulled off the lamp and broke it yesterday.

That was my hint and reminder that this bedside table had only two purposes in my home:

  1. To display a lamp.
  2. My daughter to jump through the air

My thought process at this point was simple.

This table really doesn’t serve a true need, here because:

a. I have another lamp that would serve the same purpose in the same room.

b. My daughter is safer by not jumping through the air or getting in trouble for doing something she’s not supposed to do.

So, I’m donating the nightstand and the old window I was storing behind it.

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along with 2 other garbage bags full of random stuff I collected along the way from cleaning house this weekend.

I can’t deny, it feels so amazing to get rid of the excess. It’s a little scary at first, but day by day my home is easier to manage and I can gain more clarity on what’s important in my life.

Financial Boss: Part 2

De-Cluttering, Financial Boss Series, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simplicity

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This is Part 2 of the Financial Boss series.

Within 24 hours I went from reactive to PROactive about telling my money where to go.

Because there are so many internet articles on how to budget, and how people deal with their personal finances, I want to tell a little bit about my history.

I opened up my own checking account when I was 19. Before then, I only made a little money at odd jobs and spent it all on clothes, of course. With time, my account would fill up with money, whether from work or from student loans through college. I never had a budget, I just knew I would be getting this much and could only spend so much.

This left my account empty for many, many years.

As I got older, I started working full-time and slowly began making more money, but also paying bills. I got a car, student loan debt, cell phone, gas, and insurance. I managed my bills the same as I always did: I received so much money a week, and owed so much money a month. I just knew not to spend more than I made.

Easy enough.

Then, time went on and I switched careers, got married, had a baby, and bought a house along with more bills on top of my ‘early years’ bills. I continued making more money, but increasing the money that I owed by buying more stuff. At this point, my credit card debt was minimal, and if I ever used credit cards, I paid it off quick. I knew how much I made, how much I owed in fixed bills, and then I wouldn’t charge more than I could pay off quickly to credit cards.

Insert AWESOME credit score here.

I didn’t have a hardcore budget in place at this time. I just made sure I wasn’t going in the hole. This made it possible for me to pay all my bills on time, with just enough discretionary to get what I needed. However, no money was leftover at the end of the month and I had no idea where my money was going. But, I continued on in a reactive approach. My bills were autodrafted on time, and I just didn’t spend a lot on frivious things. Still, I had no idea where my money was going. I just knew I had zero at the end of the month and nothing to save.

Insert JOB LAYOFF here.

Oh man.

I got laid off last year. Since my finances were stretched to paycheck to paycheck I certainly couldn’t pay my bills. I don’t know if you are familiar with unemployment income…but it’s not enough to pay the basics such as a mortgage or car. It’s better than nothing or you would surely starve to death, but beware: if you have debt over $800 a month you are about to spiral down to a hot mess just like I did.

Insert CREDIT CARD purchases here.

Because I couldn’t afford diapers for my child.

Now, this is extreme and I don’t take fault for this part, but it changed the way I view my current expenses.

Insert TRASHED credit score here.

If we are not prepared for the worst, the government will not cover your expenses even if you live ‘modestly’ as I do. By modest I mean: a modest house, car, and insurance. Forget it.

So, I am now trying to pay off my debt, reduce my expenses, and find out ways to survive on my own should this ever happen again. Like, gardening, savaging and the like. Sounds extreme right? Well, not really.

What would you do if you lost your job? Or, if you stay home and husband/wife supports the fam, what would you do if he/she left?

It’s something to think about, for sure. I always put those thoughts out of my mind so I wouldn’t be scared about my future.

But if disaster strikes, we need to be prepared.

This is what inspired me to boss my money, instead of letting it take on a life of it’s own without my direction.

Part 3 will discuss my first steps in de-cluttering my wallet/credit cards and getting a game plan in order.

What a Minimalists Makeup Routine May Look Like

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Natural Beauty

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We all have to define our simplifying journey for ourselves. Each of us are different. We have different passions, motives, and reasons. For me, I am simplifying many aspects of my life to create clarity and joy. My clutter, spending habits, and schedule are taking away the most valuable thing in my life:

Time to do what I love doing.

This lifestyle that I created is stealing away what I want most. It’s finally taking it’s toll on my health. I’m suffering from true, shameless burnout. My stress is the worst it’s ever been. My emotional and mental health is a struggle.

My de-cluttering efforts are paying off and I am finally thinking more clearly. It hasn’t happened over night. As a matter of fact, it’s taken me months of fierce, ruthless, savage change. It’s primal, and it’s serious.

There are small things I do that seem like no big deal. But when it’s all compiled into one day – it is a huge deal over time.

I’ve changed a bunch of things, and one of my favorite changes is my beauty routine.

A few things that have helped ease my dependency on commercial products are:

1. Caveman Regimine: I only wash my face with a baby rag and water. Facial washes were stripping my face of natural essentials leaving me clogged, rashy, reddened, and dry. Now my face does it’s on thing. My face thanks me, has cleared up, and I’m not wasting money on chemical filled products.

2. Natural Body Soap: For the same reason as my facial cleansing routine. My body was patchy, bumpy, and dry from body washes and chemical soaps. Now I use all natural goat milk soap. My skin has cleared and is moisturized naturally.

3. Makeup: If I could have all the money spent on makeup I would be sitting pretty. Perhaps I believed what the commercials told me about makeup making me more beautiful? Maybe I just bought new products because I felt like I deserved it? Regardless, it’s expensive and wastes good space and time. I got rid of all the products that I rarely used and now I keep the essentials.

1. Bronzer

2. Bronzer Brush

3. Mascara

4. Eyeliner: I only wear on special occasions, not everyday anymore.

My makeup routine is a drastic change from the past. I got rid of concealers, fake lashes, colored eye shadows, eyeliner shades, foundation and an eyelash curler.

I realize now that the bronzer highlights just enough and mascara opens my eyes and it’s all I really need for every day wear. No one else has commented on my makeup change. It takes me 1 minute to do my makeup now.

It’s easy, cheap, and I feel ‘done’ enough for work and still feel good about myself.

When I run out of my current stash, I am going to replace with more natural ingredients. I feel this will help further reduce redness and dryness with a little time.

It works. The more time I have in the morning to watch the sunrise and meditate, or do a little yoga before work, the better. I can do that instead of using my face as a canvas. Simplifying my beauty routine has changed my mornings. Less stress, and more time to ease into my day.

One Item Favorite: Living Room Wall Art

De-Cluttering, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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I seriously donated numerous SUV car loads of wall art to the donation center a few weeks ago. Yes, car loads of wall art.

My de-cluttering process has been a complicated one over the last few years. I would de-clutter, and within weeks be right back where I started. This time is different because I am very deliberate and intentional.

Several years ago, I got into thrift shopping and refurbing my home decor. It interested me and I had the time to piddle with it. I would bring home carloads of frames, pictures, knick knacks and then refurb. For some reason, even if the decor didn’t work for a space; I felt obligated to use it.

I can’t really explain why, I just did. Now, I don’t think that way. I will only use what I love and that is all. The rest is just clutter, unfinished projects, and the notion that we must use every, single thing we have ever brought home in our home, somewhere.

The old me felt that way. The new me, not so much.

After many carloads of taking down all the wall art invisible obligations, I kept my favorites.

The photo above shows the one piece of art that I am in love with. It doesn’t need partners surrounding it to distract, or other pieces I feel obligated to hang up for no real reason. Those old items are no longer welcome in my home. They are gone.

What’s left is a statement piece and that is all.

So, one last tribute to my obligated, wall art attempts in the past. As you can see, it never felt right to me. I kept changing it trying to make it ‘work.’ But it never did because I didn’t love it.

Now, my single artwork makes me happy and the only obligation I have now is to enjoy its beauty all by itself.

Here’s the wall art pastlife. So happy to not have to obsess over it anymore:

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Obligatory family photos. I never loved the frames. What I do love is squishing and kissing on my baby girls real face.

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Obligatory chalkboard frames when I went overboard putting chalk on everything thanks to Pinterest. And the ‘must’ initial that has to be displayed in a home, thanks to Pinterest. Oh, and that’s my favorite snack: melted-cheese-on-a-plate as I call it.

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And again, repainting, trying to find inspiration in quotes, and yet again: more basket storage.

See, I realize now that I have been a stuff manager. Constantly moving my stuff around all the while collecting. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving home design, but for me personally, I’m tired of trying to be like everyone else. I want to spend time doing things I love in a clean, uncluttered home.

That’s where I am today. So my favorite piece of art, thank you. Thank you for sitting so simply alone on my wall. You work perfectly now and I can be free from my imaginary obligatory clutter presentations.

I can now sit on my couch and relax.

Traveling Light; Suitcase Solution

De-Cluttering, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist

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My de-cluttering journey has really been incredible this time around. Of course, I’ve attempted to minimize a million times in the past and always ended up right back where I started.

This time is different because:

1. I am intentional about my process. I’ve outlined the true reasons for my de-cluttering journey and committed to making it stick.

2. I am focused. I’ve removed a lot of distractions so I can dig deep into my heart and change my behaviors. No more Facebook, society chatter, or mindless shopping for fun.

3. I have defined MY definition of success. Success for me is following my heart, not what society tell me I have to do to be successful. Not surprising: my definition of success is a complete 180 from what society is telling us to do.

So, these three things have made me take a long hard look at my stuff.

I’m constantly still weeding out my unnecessary items and one of the newest things to go is my massive suitcase.

For one, I travel light now. Perhaps it’s that I’ve traveled enough to know that I never need everything that I usually pack. Not to mention there is a freakin’ WalMart on every corner if I so happen to forget something.

The suitcase that is now dropped off at the local charity is humongous. It comes up to my chest! It had to be stored on a ledge going down to my basement it was so big.

I will never, ever need to make that much stuff because:

a) I don’t want to be weighed down when traveling

b) It’s simply not necessary

It was time for this item to go so that I will not be tempted to feel like I have to stuff this sucker full on my next get-away trip.

I will continue to travel light and free up space in my home.