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Wellness

If You Crave a Slow Quiet Holiday Season

Be More With Less - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 06:05

If you crave a slow, quiet, holiday season, it’s not too late, but you may have to do something that makes you uncomfortable. You are going to have to protect your free time, and create some white space on your calendar by saying no.

Image credit: Becoming Unbusy

Saying no can be uncomfortable but only so many things can have your time and attention. Overextending yourself in the name of keeping everyone happy will leave you depleted, resentful and worse … sick and tired.

We’ve all said yes, when we wanted to say no. Whether we say it out of guilt, for fear of missing out, or out of habit, it’s important to note that saying yes, when your heart says no is a disservice not only to you, but to everyone you say yes to. If your heart says no, it will fight the yes all the way through. You won’t be excited to contribute. You won’t give your best, and you may end up resenting the commitment or the person who asked you to commit.

Sometimes we think we can’t say no to a request unless we have another obligation or a really good reason/excuse but that is simply not the case.

If the slow, quiet holiday season you crave includes watching the snow fall, a picnic on the beach, drinking tea and watching your favorite sappy movie, or taking a walk in the sunshine or through the twinkle lights, make time for it. Reclaim holiday magic by saying no without apology and if appropriate, without explanation. You get to decide what’s best for you.

Honor the no and the yes for a slow, quiet holiday season

When you have trouble resisting or saying no to everything that comes your way, remember how you feel when you say yes to too much. Then think about how you feel when you say yes to the right things, to what matters most to you. When you say yes to what you care about and what you love, it feels so good.

If you think that protecting time for what matters is selfish, remember how much more giving and loving you can be when you are healthy, rested, and engaged in your favorite things. It’s from that fulfilled place that you can give and serve in ways you just can’t when you are overwhelmed and exhausted.

Take back the white space, your free time, and your peace of mind. You are the only one who can create the slow, quiet holiday season (and life) you crave.

The post If You Crave a Slow Quiet Holiday Season appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

A Soulful Simplicity Celebration

Be More With Less - Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:35

Last December, I released my book, Soulful Simplicity. I hope you’ll celebrate the one year anniversary a little early with me. The book came out on December 26th and I’m sure those of you with birthdays or special occasions that fall on the day after Christmas will understand why I’m celebrating now.

The book has sold tens of thousands of copies over the last year. It has 136 five-star reviews on Amazon and more importantly, I hear from people almost every day about changes they are making in their own lives as a result of reading Soulful Simplicity.

“Soulful Simplicity encourages conscious minimalism from the inside out. It’s a heartfelt yet practical guide for making life simple again. Courtney’s story is relatable in so many ways — she lets you walk in her shoes so you can see the mental and physical steps she took to escape a stressful life that literally almost killed her. This book has made me laugh, smile and take action towards living a life uncluttered…leaving me with space for what truly matters.” – Angel Chernoff from marcandangel.com – author of Getting Back to Happy 

If you haven’t read Soulful Simplicity yet …

To keep the celebration going all month, I’ll be donating $1.00 for every book sold in December to Back on My Feet, an organization committed to helping homeless people get back on their feet through the joy of running. The volunteers from Back on My Feet let homeless people know they matter. They don’t walk by and look in the other direction. Instead they invite them for a run.

My publisher is keeping track of all sales (digital and hardcover) so you don’t have to send receipts. I’ll get back to you with our total donation in early January.

If you want a Soulful Simplicity sample, please read the first chapter here.

If you purchase the book for yourself or for a holiday gift, and want to share, please comment here or on your social platforms with hashtags #soulfulsimplicity and #backonmyfeet.

(left to right, @simplelionheartlife, @dragonflies326, @athomewithashley, @plumwilder, @beautifuldetour, @barkleythemorkie, @caroline_joy, @xlovelyday, @verenaerin)

If you read Soulful Simplicity this year …

Thank you! I’m so grateful and honored that you took the time to read the book. While we are celebrating Soulful Simplicity – the book, I hope you’ll celebrate the soulful simplicity you’ve created and the steps you’ve taken to simplify.

I’d love to hear from you. Did you close the gap between inspiration and action? What did you put into action in your life as a result of reading the book. Comment here or share your stories with hashtag #soulfulsimplicity on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram so I can see what you’ve been up to and cheer you on.

Did you 

  • start Project 333?
  • try a simplicity summit?
  • start eating greens for breakfast?
  • create a minimalist sanctuary?
  • trade your FOMO for JOMO?
  • put your hands on your heart?

Those are only a few of the recommendations mentioned in the book so I’m very curious to learn what resonated with you.

If you are sharing on Instagram, I’ll be reposting some of your images to my Instagram Stories to inspire others!

“Courtney Carver reminds us that simplicity isn’t just about being organized, it’s about getting back to love. With simple genius, Marie Kondo taught us how to declutter our homes, now it’s time to let Courtney Carver take us to a deeper place. To refine our lives, and reconnect with what matters most.” – Jonathan Fields, from jonathanfields.com – author of How to Live a Good Life.

Other ways to celebrate:
  • Send Soulful Simplicity as a gift to someone you love (gifts count for the $1.00 per book donation mentioned above).
  • Leave a review on Amazon.
  • Post a pic of your book in the wild. As seen on Instagram (above), Soulful Simplicity loves spending time traveling, in cozy spaces, with dogs and with coffee or tea. We have a lot in common! Share your pics on Instagram or your favorite social media platform with hashtag #soulfulsimplicity.
Where to Get the Book

The book can be found at most of your local bookstores and here …

Hardcover: Amazon | B&N | Books A Million | IndieBound |

International orders (free delivery worldwide): Book Depository

Digital: Kindle | Nook | iBooks

Audio: Audible

However you decide to participate in this Soulful Simplicity celebration, thank you for being a part of something so special to me.

The post A Soulful Simplicity Celebration appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Presence Before Presents (and maybe a few gifts too)

Be More With Less - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 07:05

When I decided to simplify my life and reduce my belongings, I made an exception. I quietly told myself that holidays wouldn’t count. I wasn’t going to be one of those bah-humbug minimalists who didn’t exchange gifts. Slowly though, year after year, I wanted less … fewer gifts for me, less time shopping for the perfect presents, and definitely less stuff left over when the holidays were through.

And, year after year, I wanted more too. I wanted more time to notice the magic of the holidays. I wanted to give more to charitable organizations. I wanted to be more present, to give more attention to moments as they were unfolding. 

When I was trying to figure out what a simpler version of the holidays would look like, I found inspiration from others, and then I did what was best for me. You get to decide what’s best for you and your family too.

Presence before presents and then gifts, no gifts, some gifts … you decide. It takes time to simplify the holidays. The shift happens when you start to be thoughtful about how you spend your resources (time, money, attention, emotion). Even more will change when you do what’s best for you and your family regardless of what anyone else may think about how you spend those resources. It’s not up to them. 

If you decide you want to buy gifts without adding clutter, here are a few things that aren’t really things.

Presence before Presents (and maybe a few gifts too)

31 Days of Gifts You so Deserve: A little Advent calendar for your inbox through the month of December. We’ve had book clubs, corporate offices, community groups, churches and families spanning the globe participate together. Sign your friends and family up here. The first gift arrives December 1st but you can start anytime! 

Meditation: Give the gift of guided meditation with the Headspace App. You can gift anywhere from a month at a time to a lifetime subscription.  

Start a tiny book club: Invite a friend to start a tiny book club with you. Gift them a Book of the Month Club membership and you can pick from a selection of books each month to read and chat about. If you prefer to listen to books, gift an Audible membership.

Getaway: Plan a weekend getaway in an Airbnb property. AirBnb now has local experiences available too. From creative and cooking classes to outdoor adventures, gift an experience and make memories.  

Enjoy a no-prep home cooked meal: Send a gift of healthy meals ready to be cooked at home. Sun Basket offers options for Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and vegan diets. 

Workout: Help your friends and family jump into their fitness resolution with a gift card to ClassPass. A ClassPass subscription offers different classes at studios all throughout the United States. Try yoga, Pilates, cycling and other fitness classes. 

One less gift: If gift giving isn’t for you this year, and you want to give your friends and family permission to opt-out, send them this certificate for one less gift.

Donate: Make a donation in the name of friends and family. I’m making donations this year in the name of the Be More with Less Community to:

Whatever you decide when it comes to giving gifts, this is my holiday wish for you: Less clutter, more twinkle lights. Less hustle bustle, more silent nights. Less judging, more accepting. Less wanting, more giving. Less stress, more magic. Less guilt, more peace. More love, always more love.

The post Presence Before Presents (and maybe a few gifts too) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Simplify Gratitude (a short and sweet guide to saying thank you)

Be More With Less - Tue, 11/20/2018 - 15:09

It’s hard to complain when you are expressing thanks. Gratitude overrides self-pity, FOMO (fear of missing out) and other feelings of lack or not enoughness. Sometimes though, in the chaos of life, we don’t put our gratitude into action and gratitude in action is powerful. It lifts you and everyone around you. Like most things, if we don’t keep it simple, our thanks can get lost in the shuffle.

Here are a few really simple recommendations in this short and sweet guide to saying thank you.

Don’t wait to say thank you.
I can think of so many times when I meant to send a thank you text, or note and thought, “I’ll do it later.” Of course when later showed up, I’d think, “now it’s too late” or I’d forget all together. Put your gratitude into action as soon as possible.

  • When you want to thank a friend, text or call them immediately. Even if you are in a hurry, take 45 seconds and say, “Thank you. I’m so grateful you are in my life.”
  • If you are thrilled with your service at a restaurant, leave a note for the manager on the back of your check.
  • After you read a book you feel grateful for, drop the author a note and/or leave a review on Amazon or another bookseller’s site.
  • When you are moved to say thank you, say it.

Write thank you cards consistently.
Stock up on stamps and note cards, and express your gratitude in a handwritten letter once a day, or every Sunday, or three times a month. This project will inspire you.

Write down your gratitude.
Every morning when you wake up, jot down a few things you are grateful for. Keep it simple. For example, I’m grateful for my bed, hot coffee and sunshine. Use a notebook or something more structured like The Five Minute Journal.

Remind yourself to be grateful.
You have enough to remember everyday, so make the background on your phone a reminder to put gratitude into action, or put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror that simply says, “give thanks.”

Don’t wait for things to be good to be grateful.
It’s always a good time to be grateful and that means expressing thanks even when you aren’t feeling your best, or things aren’t going your way. Even in the dark times, there are things to be thankful for. It may be more challenging to feel or express your gratitude, but then it’s even more important to do it.

Keep it simple.
If you over think your thank you delivery, it won’t happen. If you want to send flowers but you don’t know which ones, or picking out the right card seems overwhelming, let your gratitude be enough. Send the flowers later if you get to it but for now, “Thank you, I’m so grateful” is enough. It’s everything.

Expressing gratitude is a practice and if you keep it simple, it will be more meaningful than you can imagine (for you and everyone around you). It takes time and consistent effort. I’m working on it too so I’m going to keep this short, pull my gratitude out of the later file and put it into action. Before I go though, I want you to know how grateful I am for you. Thank you for reading this, for considering these recommendations, for sharing my words and your feedback and stories. Thank you for being here, for being you and for letting me be me. My cup runneth over.

P.S. Speaking of keeping things simple, we announced 31 Days of Gifts you so Deserve (the Advent calendar for your inbox) last week and things were confusing. We’ve simplified the instructions and hope you’ll join us for a month of comfort and joy. Learn more here. 

The post Simplify Gratitude (a short and sweet guide to saying thank you) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

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