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Be More, Do Less

Photo by Jon Jacobsen
It is the stillness that will save and transform the world. ~Eckhart Tolle

Several years ago I lived with a good friend who spoke English as her third language. While she spoke fluently after years of experience, there was one phrase I used that she had trouble grasping at first: Just be.

As in, “After we finish grocery shopping, let’s go to the beach and just be.” She’d always want to finish the sentence. “Just be … relaxing. Just be … writing.”

When I explained what I meant, that I would really just like to sit, observe and exist, without any expectations, she was delighted.

This, she declared, was a very un-American, very un-Western thing to do, which would make sense that why after fifteen years of learning English she’d never heard the phrase.

How to Find Your Unique Strength

Photo by Hannes Caspar
We grow primarily through our challenges, especially those life-changing moments when we begin to recognize aspects of our nature that make us different from the family and culture in which we have been raised. ~Caroline Myss

When Oprah Winfrey interviewed Jane Fonda for The Oprah Magazine, these two amazing women touched briefly on the subject of caring about what others think of them.

Oprah: I’ve read that, like me, you’ve always struggled with the disease to please.

Jane: I used to walk into a party and think, Oh, my God, will I be interesting enough? Will people like me? Will I be pretty enough? Do I fit in? Now I go into a room and think, do I really want to be here? Are these people I want to spend a few hours with? It’s a big shift.

Oprah: How did you make the shift?

Jane: Hard work. Growing up.

Jane didn’t elaborate on her answer, and I’m not qualified to speak for her. But I think we can all relate to how she used to feel.

Flow – The Secret to Happiness

Flow is the natural, effortless unfolding of our life in a way that moves us towards wholeness and harmony. ~Charlene Belitz & Meg Lundstrom

The majority of the books that sit on my shelves are ones that I have read, or deliberately decided not to read after losing interest after a page or two. So I was a little taken aback when I found one sitting smack dab in the middle of various dog-eared novels that I hadn’t read yet—The Power of Flow.

In all likelihood it was a transplant from my parent’s extensive self-help collection, one that must have snuck into one of my boxes. Yet, I hadn’t noticed it until I was—conveniently—experiencing stagnation in many areas of my life.

I’d say this is what “divine timing” is all about.

I spent the next few hours swimming in the pages, recalling all the times in my life when things seemed to fall in to place and doors opened without any physical effort on my part–the times when I was completely and totally “in the flow.”

The World’s Simplest Meditation

Photo by Shannnnon
Editor’s Note

I did this meditation once with a stranger at a seminar years ago, during which I found myself with tears, much like what Richard describes below. Check it out. Try it with a friend.

If you want to know God Then turn your face toward your friend And don’t look away. ~Rumi

I sat looking directly into the young woman’s eyes.

She looked right back.

After a few minutes, tears began flowing uncontrollably down her cheeks.

We kept looking.

Twenty minutes into our gazing session, the tears stopped.

“What happened for you?” I asked gently.

How to Find Fulfillment (with Sarah McLean)

Photo by Isaac Hernandez
Editor’s Note

The following is a conversation between Cat and her meditation teacher Sarah McLean. This is truly an inspiring piece. As I was editing this interview, I felt an inner shift happening within me and with it came a sense of serenity and peace. Hope this inspires you as it did for me. Sarah is truly an incredible and powerful human being. I look forward to learning from her. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this interview.

Meditation is an essential travel partner on your journey of personal transformation. Meditation connects you with your soul, and this connection gives you access to your intuition, your heart­felt desires, your integrity, and the inspiration to create a life you love. ~Sarah McLean

A few years ago my husband and I drove to Sedona, Arizona to seek out a private mediation session.

At that time, I was embarking on a self-discovery journey, in deep inquiry about how to lead a more meaningful life. I had this fundamental restlessness that no longer had me fully engaged in daily life – I was uninspired by the complicated upkeep of the corporate hustle that was rewarded solely by material comforts.

Something was off. And I was seeking for answers.

The End to Worry

Photo by JUCO
Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. ~Benjamin Franklin

A friend and I were on a beautiful hike through the redwood. It was early morning, and the mist still hung in the trees, but the sunlight had started streaming through the branches, little beams of heaven.

“I hope I locked the car,” she wondered out loud.

We both looked at each other and started laughing. Here we were in arguably one of the most beautiful and special places on the planet, and she couldn’t help but worry about the car doors.

The Story of Expanded Awareness

Photo by Anna Gay
Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. ~Brad Henry

There’s a vase full of roses on our dining table. Each week it’s a different color or a new variety. The first time I had the roses there, as soon as they turned slightly droopy I threw them out. Why not, right? I mean they weren’t doing anyone any good, looking so old.

One day, instead of throwing them out, I trimmed them a little bit and put them in a smaller vase. They perked right up and thrived for quite a while before it was time to throw them out.

As time went by, I got wiser. As the roses aged, I found a smaller vase to fit the trimmed stems. Then later transferred them into a mini vase. Finally I floated the blossoms alone, minus the stems, in a large white bowl to accentuate their beauty.

Coping with Stress: 5 Ways

Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong. ~Norman Vincent Peale

I am a self-employed freelance writer and if you have ever worked for yourself (or worked at a demanding job), you can probably related to the sentiment that stress from work is one of the biggest factors that can cripple your mind and body.

Since our goal at Think Simple Now is for all of us to live a happy life, in this post I will share a story of when stress broke me down and the 5 lessons I’ve learned while coping with stress.

Simplify Your Life

Photo by Shannon

We’ve been deep-cleaning around the house lately: donating old clothes and getting rid of any extras that have been unused for sometime. In order to create ease with our daily routine, we’ve been simplifying our home and life.

My husband and I have a lot of random items from previous moves that we’ve been unable to shake – mainly sentiment that has spared numerous boxes of trinkets from our childhood or souvenirs from our travels.

But we honestly have no use for any of this stuff. They’re space-takers – they’re extras.

In an effort to simplify our life, we often turn to our material possessions: de-cluttering, donating, and organizing our space to create a sense of calm.

Being Present

Editor’s Note

This article was extracted from the daily emails.

Monday, last week was a crazy ride of a day. First, it was my son’s one year old birthday, and we were planning a big party – 24 adults and 8 babies. Second, we were notified that we’d won the Good Mood Gig contest!

The day consisted of a lot of running around, last minute shopping, cooking for over twenty people, writing the announcement blog post, and taking part in the excitement on facebook. I don’t think I ate anything all day until 9pm.

The party was a success, people looked like they had a good time. We had loads of food, helium balloons, and a lot of red wine to keep many of the adults happy. Ryan was properly dressed in a suit vest with a red tie, and brown dress pants.

I ran around, making sure the food was all laid out, that people got drinks, and that everyone had their photo taken in our makeshift portrait studio we had temporarily setup in the garage (Photos from the party can be seen here).

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