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?

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Tending to Your Soul

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Simplicity

Yoga isn’t about executing the poses perfectly or having the best balance. Yoga is connecting with yourself. Yoga is like learning to breathe again, or that moment when you jump out of bed in the morning, rush outside to do the sun salutation, and you’re utterly blinded by how brilliant the world can be. Yoga is taking a moment from your stressful, up-beat life and remembering you have a soul that needs tending to. ~ Unknown

The world truly can be beautiful and brilliant when we take the time to slow down and enjoy it. This has always been so hard for me: just as it is for so many people.

I feel that it is selfish and un-productive if I stop to breathe and do a few stretches.

Since I have began my yoga journey, I see how important it is to take the time to look within yourself. Yoga is not about being a pretzel, it’s about being deliberate. Being deliberate in loving on yourself every day. It’s about letting go of house chores realizing that it’s OK to take a break, get healthy, and press on within. When sticking through yoga, the to-do list shows up in the mind, but you learn to see it, and let it go. You begin to understand that the dishes will still be in the sink when you get done. They will. And it is perfectly fine.

It’s a daily practice of peace.

Whether you do yoga or not, it’s important you find something that allows you to be still, get healthy, and focus on yourself. It could be a walk, a bubble bath, a jog down a trail, gardening, drawing, watching the sunset. If it means you check in with yourself for at least 20 minutes or so to allow your self-worth to come forward: then you have found it! When you find it, do that and do it every day.

Don’t Let Happiness Depend on Something You May Lose

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

One thing that is for sure: everything in life changes.

How often do we depend on routine, other people, jobs, money, and stuff to make us happy? I found myself doing this pretty much my whole life. I was happy if my circumstances were, as I viewed, happy.

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I felt like my life would be complete when I got a job out of college.

I lost it.

I felt like my life would be better if I got married.

Almost lost it.

I hoped I would be a true grown-up when I bought a house.

Nearly lost it.

I thought that my clothes and hairstyle would make others love me more if it was current and ‘in.’

I am getting older and losing it.

I thought that furnishing my home with cute stuff and wall hangings and furniture would make me happy.

It breaks, runs down, and I lose it.

These things do not make you happy. Happiness comes from within. It comes from the way we view our circumstances. It comes from being content with what we have already been given, and it comes from the brave ability to let go of things we can’t control.

And if you are like me and have tried your dangdest to control your life, you have probably already found out:

You can lose it.

It’s time to take a real account of our stuff and people in our lives and determine if our priorities are in order. It’s too easy for chaos and confusion to rule our lives. But, what’s the most important things?

  • Family
  • Health
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Wisdom
  • Relaxation
  • Clarity

None of which comes from a perfect situation in which your mind dreams up. Life’s lessons, experience, and the ability to flow and enjoy make a person rich. Rich in heart and rich in spirit.

We are not guaranteed tomorrow. There will be trials but there will also be joy. Don’t be afraid to look within and to take change and discomfort with grace. Find your priorities and do that. Forget the rest.

That’s what I am going to do.

How to Pack Light for Less Stressful Travels

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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Sometimes traveling and packing can seem overwhelming. There is washing clothes, cleaning house, buying products to take, making sure everyone in the fam has what they need, considering the weather and an outfit to match each and every possible scenario. Just thinking about it is enough to cause a stress-out.

Over time, I have tried to minimize the way I pack for getaways and I have recently came up with a philosophy that works perfectly when I have a hard time deciding what to do.

It’s the Half Philosophy.

Whether it be laundry, packing, grocery shopping, my closet, what I purchase, or what I think about…I just cut it back to half to bring in some equilibrium and free up some space.

Why packing light invites peace and freedom during travels:

  • Less to lug around
  • Freedom to spend time at the destination instead of worrying about stuff
  • Fewer thoughts put into wardrobe choices
  • Less stuff to unpack and wash when returning home

All four of those bullets is enough for me to pack lighter. I have learned plenty of stressful lessons in the past. Traveling becomes less daunting when you realize you don’t need as much to bring with you while away.

How to apply the half philosophy and pack less:

  • Pack as you normally would starting out (if you are a first-timer). You will learn to pack less and less each trip in the future if you apply this as the norm
  • Let it sit in your suitcase and extra bags for a day or even a few hours
  • Come back to it with a fresh eye before your leave
  • Analyze your items: think about the weather, where you are planning on going, which events are a must
  • Unpack half, leaving only the necessities

My recent pack in photos:

unnamedI started out thoughtfully believing that I had packed just what I needed. It wasn’t overbearing and was fairly light to begin with. I let it sit for a day.

When I came back to it and began moving my stuff around I realized that it was entirely too much for the lax weekend getaway that I would be traveling.

I unpacked half leaving a few causal, comfy outfits and only one extra pair of shoes (besides the ones I would be wearing). Everything was versatile, mix and match, and comfy.

Then, I switched over to a smaller duffle shoulder bag, rolled up my outfits, and was ready to go!

But, did you have enough while you were away?

Yes. I had plenty. I was comfy, cute, and went about my business as usual. I even had an outfit that I didn’t even wear and swimsuit that didn’t get used.

When I returned home, I dumped my dirty clothes directly into the washing machine, barely taking up a load and put away my clean clothes.

I was unpacked and had laundry clean within an hour of returning home.

When we analyze our necessities, take what we need an discard the rest, we can enjoy our time in the present without stressing over all our ‘stuff’ and ‘work’ required in taking care of our stuff.

Moving on From Mistakes

Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

In our busy, chaotic lives we sometimes forget to pay attention to the lesson in our mistakes. We are inherently reactionary to our to-do lists, family, kids, jobs…life. When we get to the point when we are so overwhelmed, we make mistakes. Our clear-thinking self disappears. Life become autopilot. Living with the aftermath of our past mistakes simply becomes the norm.

Some may think that we have to live and thrive in our mistakes, but I say we are afraid to own up to them, practice change, focus on the present, and become our best self.

We are afraid that…

  • we are out of control of our choices
  • we have to much to do to follow our heart
  • we can’t beat addiction
  • we are stuck in our ‘ways’
  • we can’t be better

This is bologna! Our minds constantly cloud us with negativity and criticism. So much so that we actual believe it.

It’s true. We all have made mistakes, after all we are human. The point is in the lesson in how we react to our mistakes and if we move forward in a positive way.

How to let go and learn from mistakes

Own up to it: You made a mistake. You are in debt. You are addicted. You are not happy with your situation and lifestyle. Well, that was yesterday. Each day we are given the gift of a clean slate. You actually do have a choice in what you do with your life today. Get busy acknowledging what happened and get serious about letting it go and starting over each and every day.

Create a passion statementIt’s so important to know your heart. What are your passions and musts in life. Not what you wish you could be – who are you? Who are you right this instant. You are compassionate, eager, skillful, useful, and beautiful. When you create a passion statement of your priorities you can better hone in and focus on what you want out of life.

Meditate: Sit in quiet with your thoughts hippily. It’s not as wacko as it sounds. Sit still and breathe. You won’t stop your thoughts at first. Just acknowledge them without getting sucked into the drama. See them for what it is. It’s chatter; not truth. Watch them float away into the sky, letting go. Be gentle with yourself. Breathe deeply. Do this until you are finished or until you fall asleep. The more you practice the better it is to control the negative thoughts.

Focus on your heart: This is where I missed the mark so many times. I do things so as to not disappoint people. I totally deplete myself trying to take care of everyone else. There is a time and place for that but it is vital to take care of yourself. Listen to your heart. Are you living the life you are supposed to? Or have you gotten so caught up in the mess that you have forgotten who you are? It’s time to get that happy person back. You and everyone else in your life deserves you. The real you.

Forgive yourself: Let go of the guilt that you are carrying from your mistakes. If it was a harsh word, an angry look, going in debt, feeling like you aren’t measuring up to others…let. it. go. The guilt being carried is as heavy as the mistake itself. Ask for forgiveness. Get a game plan to get out of debt. Focus on you. Do something nice for others. Eat a home cooked meal. Get extra sleep. Change up your routine. You are only human and you have lots to offer. Don’t lose that feeling sorry for yourself, worrying, or feeling guilty.

There are many other ways to move on but take the gentle approach. Take care of yourself for once. Do something fun. Let go. Rest.

I know that I have carried guilt and the feeling of not measuring up for long enough. It is another reason I am on a hippy, carefree, simplified journey. It’s time to be light. It’s time to give back. It’s time to be authentic and celebrate the here in now. Life is way to short.