Living More with Less

I’m super excited about an inspiring book I am reading!

I recently discovered “Soulful Simplicity” by Courtney Carver which explores how living with less can lead to so much more.

This book doesn’t just pertain to decluttering one’s home (which is all the current craze). It takes the reader on a journey to identify and explore the emotions and motivation behind purchasing, holding onto surplus clothes/utensils/you-name-it, and finding joy in being less busy and more present.

I am absolutely loving this book, you guys!

I feel connected to this author as she seems to talk with instead of at the reader. It’s like a therapeutic pep talk from a good friend. To me she explains less about the how (although she gives plenty of pointers) and more about the why. Better understanding the reasons behind my emotions, thoughts or behaviors has armed me with tools necessary to shift toward becoming more healthy and purposeful.

Another reason I’m such a fan of “Soulful Simplicity” is because I feel the author’s heartfelt desire to share the peace and joy she’s found through living more intentionally. Being sensitive to the ‘tone’ of a book, I’ve found that some authors seem like they’re angrily shouting, are unrealistically peppy (aka, phony or forced), or just not engaging enough. Carver, however, comes across as supportive and genuine in her emotion, passion and purpose.

With that said, here are a few passages that have especially resonated with me:

“Take the time you need to retreat, refuel, and then go back into the world with a full heart.” (151)

“Your story doesn’t have to be perfect or complete to inspire others.” (81)

“Stop wishing or wasting time away and start engaging in the moments right in front of you.” (119)

“Sometimes you have to get rid of the things that don’t matter to let the things that do rise to the surface.” (xix)

“You have to do things you don’t want to do so you can do things you want to do and have the kind of life you really want.” (28)

“Getting by is not what I want for my life.” (148) (I ESPECIALLY LOVE THIS!)

“Good choices encourage more good choices.” (32)

“Instead of thinking about the opposite of buysness as laziness, consider that the opposite of a busy life is a full, intentional life.” (138)

“Instead of working so hard to make ends meet, work on having fewer ends.” (35)

“Once you acknowledge why you buy and what you think your stuff is doing for you, you will be more intentional about what comes in your home and life.” (55)

“With each thing I let go of, I took another step closer to the real me.” (4)

“Focus on experiences over stuff… Put presence before presents.” (73)

“I was stuck until I was willing to get uncomfortable.” (32)

“I need way less than I think to be happy.” (94)

“Enjoy your life through the intention and purpose you are creating habit by habit, day by day, and minute by minute.” (125)

There are plenty more amazing passages I’ve underlined, highlighted and starred. So many of these thoughts deeply connected with my heart and soul — so much so that I have been intentionally changing my way of thinking and behaving.

I want to be purposeful; I want a clutter-free home and life and head; I want to look around and see people and items I love and appreciate filling my space and time.

Now, I’m not going radically minimalistic here. I don’t think my kids would be thrilled to come home after I’d donated all of their stuff except for a bed, two outfits, and a book or a toy! Nevertheless, I have already started to teach by word and example to noticeably pare down our stuff — as well as our schedule — to things that are truly useful and worthwhile

What a valuable life skill to learn as children that more stuff and more activities do not actually equal more fulfillment or happiness!

I definitely recommend “Soulful Simplicity.” There are countless more helpful and enlightening points I didn’t even mention here. And while I’m not implementing every piece of advice she offers, I am taking what I need to reorient my life today for a more enriching and joyful tomorrow.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book or how you are finding joy as you simplify and live more intentionally!

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