How to Simplify Christmas

How to Simplify Christmas

Enjoy a simple Christmas without being a Scrooge

I know Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Extra commitments, tricky relationships and unrealistic expectations coupled with years of family traditions and memories can create a melting-pot of emotions and pressures. Add to that the additional financial pressure of purchasing gifts, expensive food and impressive decorations and the ‘wonderful’ can start to melt away.

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What to buy a minimalist for Christmas

What to buy a minimalist for Christmas

We love our friends. We love our family. The way they traditionally show that love at Christmas time is to buy presents. But for the minimalist, or even just a regular person with a house full of clutter they are trying to get under control, the idea of acquiring a whole lot more stuff doesn't feel like something to celebrate at all.

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Footprints

Footprints

My holiday at the beach is over for another year. We had a wonderful time, slowing down. But, one of my absolute favourite things to do is walk on the sand.

The amazing thing about walking on the beach is that fact that you leave your mark clearly behind. You can’t walk without leaving footprints. I tried. No matter how gently or carefully I tread, there was evidence of my presence to anyone who walked behind.

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Running on empty

Running on empty

Ever felt like you were running on empty? I know I sure have. I get to the point where it just feels like everyone wants something, and I have nothing left to give. The hardest part is that often the people I love the most, my family, get the left-over dregs of me after I have exhausted myself caring for others during the day.

I have learned I have a limited capacity in four key areas of my life. Some things drain energy out, other things pour energy in.

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Don't worry

Don't worry

I’m a first-class worrier! Ask me how I’m going, and I can prattle off a long list of problems I’m facing, the challenges I’m tackling, how busy I am, tired I am, overwhelmed I am… Poor me, poor me.

I was having one of my ‘I can’t cope with this; the world is falling apart; how will I survive' moments, when a very wise and loving friend offered to pray for me. At the end of the prayer, she said that God had given her a word for me…

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High Impact Decluttering

High Impact Decluttering

A drawer full of undies and you reach for the same favourite pair every time. A pot full of pens and you reach for the same pen every time. A shelf full of mugs, but every morning you reach for the same tall white mug your best friend gave you. One set of favourite sheets, one pair of favourite jeans, one eyeshadow I use every day. So, why do I hang onto so much stuff so that I can have choices? 

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I Am a Family of Origin

I Am a Family of Origin

Parenting towards adulthood

There’s one thing in common with every marriage course I’ve been to and every marriage book I’ve read. Somewhere at the beginning, they talk about your family of origin.

What kind of marriage did your parents have? How did they make decisions? How did they resolve conflict? My husband and I have been through the conversation numerous times, exploring how the family each of us grew up in has influenced the people we are today and the way we relate to each other in our marriage.

The conversation has always been about us, examining and critiquing our parents.

Then the perspective changed for me, big time. As our children have grown into young adults and have left home to begin their own marriage and build their own lives, I realised that I was now the family of origin.

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The Mean Girl in my Head

The Mean Girl in my Head

Quieting the Voice of Self-Criticism

We are our own harshest critic. In fact, we are nastier to ourselves than we would ever be to others.

After my friend complimented me on what I was wearing one day, she commented, “I can’t wear t-shirts; they show my belly fat.” What? What belly fat? You have to understand, this lady is beautiful, she is not over-weight, and she always looks fantastic. And yet, she is always terribly self-critical. 

I’ve been reminded in several different ways lately how we are so much meaner to ourselves than we are to others. 

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Joy: An Indicator of Spiritual Health

Joy: An Indicator of Spiritual Health

I chose Joy as my ‘one word’ for this year because it is a spiritual health indicator for me. Let me explain...

At my obstetrician check-up six weeks after giving birth, the first question he asked was, “Have you had intercourse yet?” That was a confronting question. Then he explained why he was asking about my sex life. It was an indicator. If I had not healed physically from giving birth, if I were not coping with my role as a new mother, if I had severe sleep deprivation or post-natal depression, the answer would be ‘No.’

Aparently, sex is the first thing to disappear from a new mother’s life when she is not going well. It is an indicator of general health and well-being.

For me, joy is an indicator of spiritual health and well-being.

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The Benefits of Owning Less Clothes

The Benefits of Owning Less Clothes

I spent a few minutes going through my wardrobe again this morning and reflected on how different this process is two years after I first decided to get rid of most of my clothes.

I used to own a wardrobe overflowing with clothes. After spending 13 years as a stay at home mum, I enjoyed buying proper clothes when I went back into the workforce. I shopped the sales and grabbed some great bargains – pretty much anything that was cheap that fit me. I didn’t put an awful lot of thought into it. Buying lots of cheap clothes seemed smart at the time.

Then I found myself with a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing that I felt like wearing.

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My New Year Resolution: To be Unproductive

My New Year Resolution: To be Unproductive

My Facebook feed and inbox are full of resources and reminders of how to kick goals and be more productive than ever this new year. There are planners to buy, courses to do, worksheets and printables to break the goals down into manageable pieces, all to help make this year my most successful ever.

I am usually a big New Year’s Resolution setter. I love having big goals and plans for how to achieve them. While I don't always achieve everything I set out to, usually my goals have helped me to produce more than I would have without them.

I’m not sure why, but this new year, things feel different.

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