ALS Registry 6th Anniversary

CDC Features - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:00
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Books aren’t Clutter (and my reading list for the rest of the year)

Be More With Less - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 04:00

Books used to be a category of clutter I protected while decluttering. I emptied my closets of clothes I never wore and the stuff that didn’t fit. I cleaned out my kitchen by donating appliances I didn’t use along with the extra measuring spoons and coffee cups. All the odds and ends from my office, unused sporting equipment and the contents of my junk drawer went out the door too.

Not the books though. I never thought I’d get rid of my books. I loved my books. When I finally let go and gave almost all my books away, I realized what it is about them that fill my heart. I love the words, the authors, and the way reading fuels new ideas and adventures. Stories I’ve discovered in books have inspired hope, healing, and an opportunity to learn, change and grow.

I read more now than I did when I was collecting books and I get to share what I love most by giving them away when I finish reading them. Sometimes I pass books on to friends or family or I give them away on Instagram. Books aren’t clutter but question why you are holding on. Will you read them again? Are they adding value or serving a purpose sitting on a shelf? The answer may be yes or no, and it might change over time. 

You know that feeling when a new book is coming out and you can’t wait to read it (but you have to)? That’s how I feel about some of the following books. They aren’t all available yet but when they are, I’ll be excited to see them in my mailbox.

My Reading List (with a brief description from the publisher + why I want to read each one)

The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World On behalf of those who have long been misunderstood, rejected, or ignored, fellow introvert Jenn Granneman writes a compassionate vindication—exploring, discovering, and celebrating the secret inner world of introverts that, only until recently, has begun to peek out and emerge into the larger social narrative. Drawing from scientific research, in-depth interviews with experts and other introverts, and her personal story, Granneman reveals the clockwork behind the introvert’s mind—and why so many people get it wrong initially.

my why: I was an introvert trying to prove myself as an extrovert for a really long time. I think I’ll better understand my need for alone time and how to navigate the world with even more peace after reading this book.

Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life There’s an ever-growing group of people opting out of a life lived at 110%. They are choosing to slow down, simplify, say no and focus on the things that are truly important. Brooke McAlary is one of them. In Destination Simple, Brooke McAlary shows readers that no matter how busy you are, you too can feel in control of your days; minimize stress; find pockets of peace on even the busiest day; empty your mind and sleep better.

my why: I am all about ritual and routine. Brooke’s step by step, piece by piece, day by day approach resonates with me.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

my why: I don’t know much about this book, but every book by Brené Brown speaks to my heart. I’ll always want more from her.

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively. With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It’s far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.

my why: I thought I was an Upholder, but after taking Rubin’s quiz, I discovered that I am a Questioner. They had me at “suffer less stress.”

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self In 2015 Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s popular podcast and radio show Note to Self, led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering” what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all―Manoush includes practical steps you can take to ease the nonstop busyness and enhance your ability to dream, wonder, and gain clarity in your work and life. The outcome is mind-blowing. Unplug and read on.

my why: Most of my work appears to be happening online, but the truth is it mostly happens when I’m unplugged and noticing the world. I’d love even more proof that doing nothing can be everything.

P.S. I’m bringing the Tiny Wardrobe Tour to Canada in two weeks! 

  • Victoria, BC | August 23, 2017 Tickets
  • Vancouver, BC | August 24, 2017 Tickets
  • Vancouver, BC | August 25, 2017 Tickets
  • Peterborough, ON | August 27, 2017 Tickets
  • Toronto, ON | August 28, 2017 Sold Out

The post Books aren’t Clutter (and my reading list for the rest of the year) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

9 Not so Little Things that are Holding You Back (+ how to say goodbye)

Be More With Less - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 04:00

It’s not just the excess stuff that is cluttering up your day and your life. Say goodbye to any of these not so little things that may be holding you back.

Then say hello to joy.

1. Guilt
Letting go can stir up guilt. You might feel guilty for letting things build up, for not paying attention to what really matters, or for overspending. It’s time to let the guilt go with the stuff.

How to say goodbye: You’ve paid enough. You paid with your money, time and attention. And now you are paying with your heart and guilty feelings. You can let go now. This three-step process will help.

2. Apologizing
We can be kind and loving without being sorry. Apologizing for things we don’t need to be sorry for is exhausting and often a quiet reminder that we aren’t good enough.

How to say goodbye: Start here.

3. Drama
Much of the worry, stress, overreacting, gossiping, and complaining we add to our day is unnecessary drama.

How to say goodbye: Don’t engage. Simply smile and walk away.

4. Catching up
The illusion of catching up goes something like this: If I take a full day/weekend/week and abandon all the things I enjoy doing, I can get everything done that I feel guilty about not doing before. Then I will feel better, everyone will love me and all will be right with the world. The reality is that catching up never ends. There will always be more.

How to say goodbye: Be present. If you are paying attention to what didn’t get done yesterday, you can’t pay attention to what’s happening right now. How can you be your most creative, most interested, and do your best work, when you have anxiety about the undone? To practice presence, set a timer for 5 minutes and agree to set your worry aside for that short amount of time while you engage in the here and now.

5. Full plates
If you are completely depleted by the end of the day, chances are your plate is too full.

How to say goodbye: When your plate is full, you have three choices.

6. Proving yourself
When you are busy proving your love or convincing the outside world how invested you are, you compromise, push too far, and forget that when you need to prove your love, that’s not love.

How to say goodbye: Show up. Be love instead of proving love. If it’s not love, walk away.

7. Emptiness
Freeing up space and time in your life can feel uncomfortable. You may feel compelled to fill the emptiness of a decluttered room in your home with more stuff, or an empty calendar with appointments and commitments to avoid the discomfort.

How to say goodbye: Fill your newfound time and space with things that really matter to you. If you don’t know what that is yet, fill your time and space with curiosity, self-reflection, and love.

8. Schedule shaming
Schedule shaming happens when we tell ourselves …

  • I should be more organized.
  • I should have more check marks on my to-do list.
  • I didn’t do as much as everyone else.
  • I am lazy and unaccomplished.
  • I let people down.
  • I didn’t do enough.
  • I am not good enough.

How to say goodbye: Let’s stop measuring who we are by what we accomplish. We need to measure less by what we cross off our to-do list, and more by what’s on our heart, by how we feel, and by how we treat people. Try this free 5-day challenge to help you create space and under-schedule your life.

9. Pretending
I pretended to be an extrovert. I pretended to like my job. I pretended to smile. Living outside of yourself is exhausting. If you’ve been pretending too …

How to say goodbye: Give yourself all the space, time and love to remember who you are. And this.

The little things do count. Every tiny step does. Use the momentum, inspiration and confidence you get from taking the tiny steps to tackle the big ones. Goodbye stress, shame, and overwhelm. Hello joy.

P.S. The Tiny Wardrobe Tour is headed to Canada! Tickets are now available for the following cities …

  • Victoria, BC | August 23, 2017 Tickets
  • Vancouver, BC | August 25, 2017 Tickets
  • Peterborough, ON | August 27, 2017 Tickets
  • Toronto | August 28 2017 Tickets (only 15 seats left)

The post 9 Not so Little Things that are Holding You Back (+ how to say goodbye) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Little Library Love: a mini-mission to make the world smile

Be More With Less - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 02:00

Passing a little library fills my heart right up. They are so sweet and encourage a generous community. From my hometown of Salt Lake City to a lovely German Village, I am finding little libraries everywhere.

A few years ago,  I wrote Mini-missions for Simplicity including 36 little challenges that can result in massive change. Today I’d like to offer a new mini-mission inspired by our love for little libraries. How do I know you love little libraries too? When I share a picture of a little library on my Facebook Page or Instagram, those images receive more likes/shares/comments than almost anything else I post.

Take action today and choose one of the following mini-missions to continue to spread little library love.

1. Find a little library in your neighborhood and borrow a book or give a book.

2. Build a little library if you can’t find one and connect with your neighbors to see if they want to help.

3. Share this with someone who could use a smile. Little libraries make people smile!

4. Leave a comment on this post about a little library you love.

The post Little Library Love: a mini-mission to make the world smile appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Even Your Favorite Stuff is Just Stuff

Be More With Less - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:55

In 2005 when my niece was nine years old, she painted a coffee mug for me. My nephew was four years old when he painted one for my husband. We added the mugs made with love to dozens of other coffee mugs we had purchased and received as gifts over the years. I never thought you could have too many coffee mugs.

When we started decluttering, duplicates were the first to go. In addition to extra wooden spoons, wire whisks, clothing and sporting goods, we gave away our big coffee mug collection and only kept the two mugs from my niece and nephew. Those mugs made it through every decluttering wave over the last ten years. I finally learned that in most cases, one is enough and that I need way less than I think to be happy.

During a recent move, my favorite/only coffee mug broke. I could have gotten angry, or mourned the loss of my favorite thing and then I remembered what made it my favorite. The best thing about the mug my niece gave me is that it made me think of her. I’ll use that as inspiration to think of her and the other amazing people in my life while enjoying my morning coffee no matter what mug I’m using.

Lessons from a broken coffee mug

I replaced my favorite mug with the one pictured above. Stuff can be useful by holding our coffee, keeping us warm, or helping us stay in touch but in the end it’s always just stuff. It’s not precious, or powerful, or worth being upset about. Your stuff can’t define you or your relationships. Even your favorite stuff is just stuff. When you own less, you begin to appreciate your stuff for what it really is and can let go without regret when it’s time.

P.S. The Tiny Wardrobe Tour is headed to Canada! Tickets are now available for the following cities …

  • Victoria, BC | August 23, 2017 Tickets
  • Vancouver, BC | August 24, 2017 Tickets
  • Peterborough, ON | August 27, 2017 Tickets
  • Toronto | August 28 2017 Tickets

The post Even Your Favorite Stuff is Just Stuff appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness
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