Tag Archives: Simplicity

A Few Seconds of Happiness

8 Jul

It was a rare moment: wanting to say “I’m happy” out loud.

It lasted for just a few seconds with the perfect combination of circumstances..

ice cubes clinking in a cool glass,
soft skirt brushing against my not-so-pale thighs,
hair with that magical smell of sun and salt,
the earth damp with recent hose-pipe watering,
swallows circling overhead,
leaves nodding to the breeze,
Saturday evening silence.

What has made you say “I’m happy” recently?

Wealth for Comfort and Simplicity

13 Jun

“If you don’t have the money that you want today, it means you are lacking something within”
~  Suze Orman

I thought about this idea and asked myself: what am I lacking within? Well, I think my biggest ‘lack’ is not giving myself the right to have more. I feel that having more would be equal to being unjust – so many people would have less than me; how can I allow myself to be rich, happy and comfortable, when others are poor, miserable and suffering?

Listening to the interview with Suze Orman during the Hay House World Summit, I realised thatI had up until now had a selfish vision of wealth, seeing it only as a benefit to myself. I understood, however, that my wealth can have positive effects on other people – not only will I be able to share my wealth with others, but my happiness, my increased freedom and my fulfilment will also bring these things into the lives of my friends and family.

I also realised that I had always equated being wealthy with excess and superfluity, whereas in its best manifestation, wealth offers comfort and simplicity.

Wealth offers comfort and simplicity

Wealth offers comfort and simplicity

So I wrote out some affirmations, which reflect this new positive vision of wealth; one which will bring happiness, simplicity and comfort into my life and the lives of those closest to me. Here are a few of these affirmations:

I have the money to buy beautiful clothes.

I have the money to experiment with my style.

I have the money to get regular health and beauty treatments.

I have the money to buy a nice car and to use it.

I have the money to pay off my student loan monthly.

I have the money for Italian, yoga and dance lessons.

I have the money to study for an MA.

I have the money to help my close ones financially if they need it.

I have the money to give the things I do not need to charity.

***

What wealth affirmations could YOU create for yourself?

I Choose Beauty

4 Jul

I have been using Louise Hay’s 2012 “I Can Do It” calendar every day this year and the daily messages in the calendar never fail to transform my day in a positive way.

Today’s message, for example, is as follows:

I am free to be who I want to be, living my life as I choose.

As I sat down to do my morning writing, all my thoughts revolved around this beautiful and enlightening message. The following words flowed from my pen:

I choose travel.

I choose learning.

I choose writing.

I choose nature.

I choose yoga.

I choose walks.

I choose loving relationships.

I choose honest friendships.

I choose simplicity.

I choose hard work.

I choose challenge.

I choose games.

Image rights: The Guardian:The Observer

I choose creativity.

I choose beauty.

I choose health.

I choose reading.

I choose flowers.

I choose quietness.

Image rights: Glitter and Pearls

I choose movement.

I choose dance.

I choose photography.

I choose contemplation.

I choose taking my time.

I choose music.

 

What do YOU choose?

In the Stillness, I Remembered

10 May

Today, I stopped for ten minutes, and I suddenly remembered why I was here.

I stepped out onto the balcony, and, as the fresh smell of wet earth hit my nostrils, I realised that this was the first time in months that I’d paid attention to my immediate surroundings.

I stood in silence – smelling, listening, looking.

I smelt the earth, the grass, the rain, and I remembered that I am living in a place with abundant and beautiful nature.

I heard children laughing, birds chirping and a rooster calling, and I remembered that I am living in a place full of simple joys.

I saw clouds gliding slowly across a blue sky, and I remembered that I am living in a place of peace.

The trees were barely breathing and the magnificent sun lit up the remaining drops of rain on the leaves, giving the impression that all the trees were covered in jewels.

Ten minutes of silence, ten minutes of stillness – that’s all it took for me to remember.

For months I’d been unhappy, unfulfilled and confused. For months my thoughts had been on the future – on what I should and could do to be happier, on where I should and could go to be more fulfilled, on whom I should and could meet to see things clearer. For months my thoughts have been on vague plans, on vague people, on vague possibilities. For months, I have been seeking happiness and fulfilment everywhere but here and now.

And then today, I stood still in silence for ten minutes and I remembered…

I am here, in this place, because I wanted to be somewhere quiet.

I am here, because I wanted to be close to nature.

I am here, because I wanted to be near the sea.

I am here, because I wanted a calm life.

I am here, because I wanted to live simply.

I am here, because I wanted to experience all of these things with the person I love.

I am here, because it was my dream to be here.

Funny, how we forget such important things in the rush of daily life.

What will YOU remember in ten minutes of silence?

Confessions of a Book Abuser

3 Mar

I can hear them mocking me as I walk past.

“She only bought me because I was pretty.”

“She bought me because I have a good reputation.”

“She picked me because I won a prize.”

“She took me because I was cheap.”

These are my books, taunting me daily with the truth.

“She hasn’t even read any of us!” exclaims one.

“No, she just likes to have us on show,” puts in another.

“Well, I don’t mind. I’m better off on her shelves than in a box in the attic,” confesses a third.

“Good for you! But I’m adored by millions across the world and she hasn’t even read my blurb yet!” bursts out a fourth.

I admit it – I completely mistreat my books. Firstly, I buy them, giving them the (false) hope that they now have a caring new owner. I put them on my shelves and for the first week or so I look at them lovingly, giving them the (once again, false) impression that I will soon be taking them to the park, to bed or on holiday with me. I then leave them gathering dust for months, or years, and finally, realising that they are taking up too much space, give them away. I’m surprised that I haven’t been reported to the police yet, despite all these years of book-abuse.

I realised recently that the possession of so many unread books goes completely against my (or should I say, Dominique Loreau’s) Art of the Essential theory: keep a material possession only if you need it or love it.

At the moment, I own books because they look good on my shelves. They decorate my apartment and fill up empty space. They also do what all material possessions do – or, what we want our material possessions to do – they reflect some sort of trait in the owner. In the same way as people buy expensive watches to show to the world that they have a well-paid and important job, or a designer bag to show wealth, or an exclusive penthouse to show success, many people own large quantities of books to “prove” their intelligence.

Many of us put up hundreds of books on our shelves, in a visible place, to persuade ourselves and others that we are well-educated and well-cultured. After all, there’s not a more effective or quicker way of summarising our tastes, our beliefs and our persuasions than by a carefully-chosen book collection. Our visible book collections are a way of saying “I read and own (insert author/poet/philopher’s name), therefore I am (insert adjective)”.

In a lot of cases, a large book collection does not mean that its owner is a book-lover, but, on the contrary – a book-abuser. S/he uses books as mere tools to build up a reputation or a self-image, which is, in most cases, a false reflection of reality. For example, despite owning a few hundred books, I read little, and often feel that I have a very limited knowledge of literature.

In truth, knowledge and culture have nothing to do with the quantity of books we own and display. My grandparents, who have been avid readers their whole lives, only own about fifty books between them – they carry their favourite stories, ideas and quotes in their minds. What’s more, they keep the books that they do own in a closed cupboard; my grandma was shocked to hear that my own books stand in open shelves, where they “can gather dust and be damaged by sunlight”. To her, “books are for reading, not for displaying”.

I have decided that I shall not buy or borrow any books until I have read all those that are currently on my shelves. I shall keep a book only if I love it or need it for future reference, and I will use the library, not Amazon, whenever I am in need of inspiration and enlightenment. I shall use books for their original purpose – education, inspiration and entertainment – rather than the decorative purpose that they have been given.

My book-abusing days are over and my books shall gather dust no more!

 

***

Do you store unread or unnecessary books on your shelves?

Do you tend to keep books because they ‘look good’, even though they no longer serve you?

If you own very few books, what are you criteria for the ones you do choose to keep?