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Wellness

The One Thing You Really Need to Know About What You Wear

Be More With Less - Wed, 08/21/2019 - 11:00

Because I created a fashion challenge, people assume that I’m going to tell them what to wear. Or, they think I’m going to tell them what I wear.

Neither of those things are going to happen (except for this one time when I told you what NOT to wear).

What I wear is the least interesting thing about me, and where I got what I’m wearing or what I spent on it is even less interesting than that.

I didn’t always feel that way. I used to talk about the great deals I got (even though they weren’t that great). I asked people where they got their shoes/clothes/handbags. I believed that what I wore would make me look or feel beautiful, smart and loved. I strived to keep up with the trends and bought what the magazines suggested. I bought things on sale when stores sent me “preferred customer” offers. I played the game.

I’m not playing anymore.

We have better things to talk about than “what to wear”

If our focus is on what we wear, or how we look or what other people think about what we wear or how we look, what isn’t getting our focus and attention?

I share my looks on Instagram and write about my experience with capsule wardrobes, not as a prescriptive but to demonstrate the benefits of dressing and living with less.

Benefits like …

  • easier mornings
  • saving money
  • more confidence
  • less decision fatigue
  • more focus and attention for what matters to you

I don’t share these things because I think you should wear what I wear, or because I want you to buy new things for your closet. I don’t recommend buying anything new if you are just starting Project 333. Over the first 3 months, your idea of what you want or need in your closet and what you like wearing will change. It’s a transformative three months.

The one thing you need to know about what you wear

If you are like I was … hoping something new will make you feel something you don’t, or be someone you are not, this is the one thing you need to know about what you wear. You will never find something to wear that makes you feel beautiful, smart or loved until you believe you already are. And once you believe, you won’t need it from your clothes or other belongings anymore.

When you find your confidence and worth on the inside instead of the outside …

You won’t be playing the game anymore.

You’ll have focus and attention for what really matters.

You’ll be light.

You’ll be free.

You’ll be you.

 

The post The One Thing You Really Need to Know About What You Wear appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

8 “Normal” Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore

Be More With Less - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 11:00

Being normal is overrated. Sometimes we forget that we don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. We label what everyone else is doing as normal. And we think we should be normal.

We think there may be something wrong with us when we aren’t doing the normal things, that we won’t be as happy or successful or loved if we aren’t being the normal version of human. Or, we think other people might think we aren’t normal. And that can feel scary.

I tried normal. And sometimes I dip back in as if I’m on auto pilot. Everytime I do though, I forget my heart. I forget that I know what’s best for me. I get lost. Usually I quickly find my way back on my own, but sometimes I need a reminder.

If you need a reminder that knowing your heart and being exactly who you are is more important than being “normal” — here it is.

10 “normal” things you don’t have to do anymore (because being normal is overrated)

1. Say yes when you want to say no.
Saying yes while clenching your jaw and rolling your eyes is normal. Agreeing to do things you don’t want to do, aren’t interested in and that you don’t have time for is normal. It also builds tremendous resentment (which eats you up on the inside) and prevents you from doing things you actually want to do.

If you don’t want to do this normal thing anymore, here’s your way out. Say, “No thanks.” I know! That’s it. When your heart says no, you say no. If saying no is hard for you, this will help.

2. Save everything.
The normal thing to do is to save everything. Save it just in case. Save it because you paid too much. Save it because someone gave it you. Save it because your kids might want it. Save it because it’s not hurting anything.

What if instead of that normal way, we saved things that we adored, and things that truly add value to our lives? When everything is important, nothing is so by getting rid of all the stuff that doesn’t matter, we will be left with only what does. So how do you un-save with all of those normal excuses waiting in the wings?

If you are saving it because … 

  • It was expensive: Saving something because you paid a lot of money for it will only ensure that you keep paying. You will pay with money, time, attention and emotion. Your stuff always needs more stuff. Cleaning, organizing, managing and thinking about your stuff takes time. You pay with emotion too, by holding onto the past, by punishing yourself for old habits. You pay with guilt, anger, and indecision. The answer is simple. Let it go. Let go of the item and all of the costs attached to it. You have paid enough.
  • Someone gave it to you: If you received a gift from someone and you don’t want to keep it, you don’t have to. The gift part already happened with the intention in which it was given. Maybe it was congratulations, or get well, or Merry Christmas. You don’t have to hold on to the stuff to receive the gift. Moving forward, if you prefer not to receive the stuff part of gifts, have gentle conversations with people you love and ask them if you could give to each other differently. Suggest getting together for a meal, or donating to a charity you both support or gifting another experience, and skipping the stuff part of a beautiful gift altogether.
  • Your kids might want it: They don’t. And if you don’t believe me, ask them. If your adult children want your stuff or their childhood memorabilia, give them a pick-up deadline. It’s not your responsibility to save it for them. For your little ones, they won’t want to wear your clothes or use your furniture when they are grown. Save a few sentimental items for them if you’d like. Give it to them when they are old enough and let them decide if they want to hold on or let go. Love them like crazy either way.
  • Because it’s not hurting anything: This was one of my favorite reasons to procrastinate decluttering and letting go. I realized though that I want more. Instead of this isn’t hurting, it has to be helping in someway. When you find yourself thinking, “it’s not hurting anyone/anything,” ask “is it helping anyone/anything?”
  • Just in case: The just in case excuse for holding on is a messy combination of fear and procrastination. We hold on because we aren’t quite ready to let go but we rarely use or enjoy the just in case stuff we keep. Take a look in the back of your closet, in the junk drawer, under the sink or in boxes in the garage or attic and it’s clear that just in case means never. Just in case doesn’t just apply to clutter and things in our homes. What else is going on in your life that you are holding on to out of fear? When I began to let go of my just in case clutter, little pieces of fear went with it and it became easier to let go in other areas of my life.

3. Apologize when you aren’t sorry.
Let’s stop apologizing for things we don’t need to be sorry for. It’s exhausting and often a quiet reminder that we aren’t good enough. Here are 8 things we don’t need to apologize for even though it’s normal. We can be kind and loving without being sorry. Our hearts deserve that.

4. Explain your decision not to drink. 
There are some things that are only your business. Why you choose not to drink falls into this category. However, it’s normal for people to think that when you aren’t drinking alcohol, you have to tell everyone why. When you decline a drink, they may wonder, and often ask out loud one or more of the following questions …

  • Are you pregnant?
  • Don’t you want to have fun?
  • Do you have a problem with alcohol?
  • Are you dieting?
  • What’s wrong with you?

Even though you aren’t required to explain yourself in anyway, and in some cases, “that’s not your business.” or “that question is inappropriate.” is the right response. Here’s another, less confrontational approach. Melissa Urban suggests, “I’m not drinking right now.” She says in this Instagram post, “Perhaps “I don’t drink” is strong enough to make others feel defensive about their own behaviors, while my response comes off as less confrontational. (I’m not drinking “right now,” which means I have before, and I might later = less threatening.)” She goes on to say, “for those trying to protect your own sobriety, or in situation where you just don’t want to be questioned… steal my line. Speak it confidently, excitedly, like it’s a cool experiment you are conducting. (Because it is, whether it lasts 30 days or a lifetime). For whatever reason, it puts people less on edge. Take advantage if you need it.”

5. Get burned out and run down.
Isn’t this the normal way of the world? I tried it once, and it didn’t work at all. Being normal meant competing and comparing and never stopping. It made me really sick. If you are on this path, consider a change. Ask yourself why you are so busy. Ask yourself what you are trying to prove or accomplish. Ask yourself if you are running at an unsustainable pace, and question how this path or approach is serving you, your health and your family. As yourself if there is a better way. If the normal way isn’t working, maybe this is your wake up call.

6. Hate your job.
According to a recent Gallup report, 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged in their work. That’s a good indication that it’s normal to not enjoy your work, or even hate your job. If you are one of the 70%, please consider this.

7. Be disappointed by others.
For the most part, the reason we are disappointed by others is because they won’t give us what we want or what we think we need. They fail to meet our expectations. But what if instead, we dropped our expectations and gave ourselves what we need? Take a look at how you think people have let you down. If you didn’t get enough love and kindness from others, how can you can create more love and kindness in your life? If you didn’t get the appreciation and support you expected, what can you do to foster more appreciation and support in your life? Hint: when you give it away, it comes right back to you.

You can still express your wants and needs and then you can fulfill those expectations. Then you can enjoy and appreciate the people you surround yourself with for who they are instead of what they do for you.

8. Be dismissive of change.
If I had a dollar for every person who tells me, “easier said than done,” I’d have a bunch of dollars. When we think “easier said than done” we dismiss the idea of change for ourselves. We struggle to consider what it might take to change. We are afraid to hope for something better. We don’t believe we have what it takes. That’s normal. Instead of being normal, take a tiny step.

I don’t know who decided that being normal was important. I’m happy these normal things aren’t a part of my life anymore. They may not apply to you, but if you are anything like me, many of them do. When you decide that you don’t have to be normal, and that you don’t have to live up to the expectations of others, then you’ll get your life back.

P.S. The Soulful Simplicity Course is coming back in September! If you want to spend six weeks not being normal with me, sign up here to learn more.

The post 8 “Normal” Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Weekend Favorites: because the best things aren’t things

Be More With Less - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 13:03

This is something new that will only be available to people who subscribe to Be More with Less. I usually send out one email a week after a brief welcome series, but lately I’ve been craving more connection.

As Be More with Less heads into it’s tenth year, growing each year, I want to make sure we all remember that this is us. Yes, Be More with Less is a blog, and a website and maybe even a brand, but mostly it is you and me. At least that’s the part that matters most.

There are things I want to share with you like … relaxing music, good articles, funny things, inspiring words and other things that aren’t things. Sometimes, I’ll tell you about a book I’m reading but that will be as thing-y as it gets. I’ll share things I’m thinking about or working on that don’t fit in the regular weekly email too.

And if there are things (that aren’t things) that you think would be good for me to share, I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Social media is a great place to connect but it’s not as reliable as email.

If you are already subscribed and receiving weekly email, you’ll start seeing these arrive in your email soon. If you aren’t subscribed, give it a try. No spam or scam or yucky stuff and of course, you can always change your mind.

Join Us

 

 

The post Weekend Favorites: because the best things aren’t things appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

How to Declutter Your Home (when you don’t want to)

Be More With Less - Tue, 08/06/2019 - 08:33

The basics of “how to declutter” are straight forward. Put clutter in a box or bag and remove it from your home by selling or donating it. But “how to declutter your home when you don’t want to” requires more direction and inspiration.

How to Declutter Your Home When You Don’t Want To

Remember that why is more important than how. We all know how to declutter (and if you aren’t sure, here’s a list of articles to help), but knowing why will make it stick. Why do you want to live with less? Why are you making space — what are you making room for in your life? Consider this thoughtfully or you may find you are just making space for more stuff.

Start with a challenge to make it more fun. Finding or creating a decluttering challenge will help you get over the “but I don’t want to” hump. Otherwise, you might procrastinate. Below are a few challenges to help you get started but if you get stuck, Psychologist and Procrastination Coach, Dr. Christine Li suggests these 7 easy ways to overcome your procrastination.

  • Anti-Procrastination Decluttering Challenge: 10 spaces. 10 minutes. 100 items.
  • The Minimalism Game: Find a friend, family member, or coworker who’s willing to minimize their stuff with you next month. Each person gets rid of one thing on the first day of the month. Two things on the second. Three things on the third. So forth and so on.
  • Project 333: This closet specific challenge will inspire you to let go in every room of your home.

Declutter your home in stages. Start with the easy stuff to build your decluttering muscles. Items such as duplicates, decorative items, kitchen equipment you haven’t used in years, things that don’t fit, things you don’t use or enjoy, and things in storage that haven’t been part of your life for a long time will be easier to release. Each thing you let go of will give you the strength and motivation to let go of the next.

Invite everyone to the party. When you begin decluttering, invite your family to join in. Don’t force, invite. Start with your own personal items. The easiest place to look for clutter is in someone else’s space but resist. Don’t worry about your partner’s closet or your kid’s toys at first. Let family members work on decluttering their own things at their own pace. If you want people to see the joy in less, live joyfully with less yourself.

Rethink sentimentality. The last stage of decluttering is usually saved for the more challenging items, including the expensive and sentimental stuff. If the expensive things have no meaning or purpose in your life, sell them, and use the proceeds to pay down debt or donate to a cause you care about.

If you are saving items to pass down to your children, they probably don’t want them. A Washington Post article called “Stuff it: Millennials Nix their Parent’s Treasures” paints a compelling picture for parents who are holding on: “As baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, start cleaning out attics and basements, many are discovering that millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are not so interested in the lifestyle trappings or nostalgic memorabilia they were so lovingly raised with. Downsizing experts and professional organizers are comforting parents whose children appear to have lost any sentimental attachment to their adorable baby shoes and family heirloom quilts.” In other words, your kid’s don’t want your stuff, so you can let go of it now. If you aren’t sure, ask them and believe what they tell you.

P.S. If your adult children want your stuff or their childhood memorabilia, give them a pick up deadline. It’s not your responsibility to store it for them.

Trade guilt for gratitude. If you struggle with guilt about letting go, holding on, money spent, or time wasted, it’s time to shift every guilty thought to one of gratitude. If you are thinking, “I shouldn’t have spent that money?” trade your thought for “I’m grateful that I recognize what’s most important to me now.” Allow your guilt to trigger gratitude and move one thought at a time from guilt to gratitude, because you have paid enough.

Celebrate your efforts. Declutter your home, or a room, or even a corner of the room, and celebrate. If you decluttered your kitchen, host a small dinner party. If your idea of celebrating is turning on music, grabbing a good book and relaxing in your newly decluttered space, do that. You deserve to celebrate your efforts in a way that resonates with you.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed or confused about the benefits of decluttering, simply remember that your home is not a container for your stuff, but rather a place for joy and connection. I can’t think of a better reason to declutter than to make room for more of that.

P.S. The Soulful Simplicity Course is coming back in September! If you want to spend six weeks with me trading guilt and clutter for more joy and connection, sign up here to learn more

The post How to Declutter Your Home (when you don’t want to) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

3 (Pretty Simple) Ways to Remove Yourself from Drama

Be More With Less - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:00

I was recently shredding old journals and was reminded of drama I’ve engaged in over the last few years.

It seems to sneak up on us.

I didn’t even realize I was involved until I was all in.

The drama you might typically get caught up in is just regular stuff all hyped up with stress and negative emotion.

Removing yourself from drama will help you reduce stress and simplify your life.

3 (Pretty Simple) Ways to Remove Yourself from Drama

Drama can be addictive because it’s a distraction from real life, from honest problem solving and communicating. And when we can’t easily tap into it in our own lives, there’s always celebrity drama, political drama and social media drama.

Drama is always available but it’s also mostly a choice. We choose to engage. We choose keep it alive by getting people on our side, which means we choose the stress and pain that comes with it.

There is a better way … 3 better ways.

1. Be honest.


Don’t believe everything you think. If you are in a heated disagreement, pause before you defend your side of the story. It’s a story. But is it a true story? I’m reading Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie and asking question number one, “Is it true?” a lot. Sometimes we forget to ask that of our thoughts, and then we get attached and begin to act and react to a thought that might not even be true.

Zoom out and look at the big picture and notice the parts that may not be true or could be up for interpretation. Can you see your story from another perspective?

Be honest with your interest in getting involved too. Are you getting involved out of boredom, or fear of the discomfort of direct communication? Or, has drama become a habit? Is it the best way through the situation you are dealing with?

Next, attempt to trade the drama for honest communication and clear boundaries. You can disagree without drama.

2. Be quiet.


Not everything requires your input. Most things don’t.

Unsolicited advice can spark drama. Gossiping will fuel the flames. Don’t share it, repeat it, comment on it. Just be quiet. It cannot exist in your life without your participation.

I know for some of us, being quiet might not be easy at first but the more you practice and see how effortlessly drama dissipates without our enthusiasm, the easier it gets.

3. Be selective.

Choose who you spend your time with, what’s meaningful to you, and what is simply not worth your time and energy.

Before stepping into a potentially dramatic situation, be selective and ask yourself,

  • “Do I really care about this situation?”
  • “Is there something else going on that I’m trying to avoid?”
  • “Do I want to get involved?”
  • “Is there a better way?”
  • “How would I rather spend my time?”

With these questions, you’ll have more clarity about your intentions and it’s less likely that you’ll be swept up.

Drama may have an appeal, but it’s pointless in terms of conflict resolution. Usually it ends up robbing us of our time, attention and energy. Not only that, but we get all riled up inside and that leaves a mark.

One of the reasons I shred or burn my journals is to symbolically let go of my stories; of stress, pain and drama. This allows me to focus on what’s happening right now instead of what I thought was happening in the past.

When drama comes your way, make a choice. Be honest, be quiet and be selective. And if those options all feel impossible, take a walk.

P.S. The Soulful Simplicity Course is coming back in September! If you want to spend six weeks with me trading drama, stress and stuff for peace, ease and love, sign up here to learn more

 

The post 3 (Pretty Simple) Ways to Remove Yourself from Drama appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

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