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Updated: 33 min 24 sec ago

Heart Calling: a wake-up call for the real you

3 hours 31 min ago

You are not your past.

You are not who people think you are supposed to be.

You are not your bank account.

You are not your relationships. You aren’t what you ate or drank last night. You aren’t your bad behavior. You aren’t your good behavior either. You are not what you think people think about you. You aren’t even what you think about you. You aren’t your stuff. You aren’t your calendar. You are not your to-do list, even when all the boxes are checked. You aren’t the bad thing someone said you are. You aren’t the good thing either. You are not the books you’ve read, the songs you sing, the mountains you climb or the cities you’ve visited.

You are not your apologies or your accomplishments, your excuses or your loyalty.

You are not your best day and you are not your worst.

They are bits and pieces of your life, but they are not you. You are none of those things, but if you are holding on to them too tightly, they are in the way of you knowing who you really are. You may be underneath them, confused by them, distracted by them. All of those things may be so loud and heavy that you can’t hear your heart calling and you’ve forgotten who you are. You may have forgotten 50 years ago, 5 years ago or 5 minutes ago.

When life gets busy, complicated, and overwhelming, it’s easy to forget who you are, but you can find your way back. Sit down. Close your eyes. Breathe. Keep doing that for a while. Then put your hands on your heart. There you are. Keep finding your way back. Do it over and over again.

Keep remembering because every time you do, you’ll know what matters and what doesn’t, what makes you smile and what doesn’t. You’ll know what’s real and what isn’t. Sometimes remembering only lasts for a day or two so you have to keep coming back.

When you remember who you are, it’s easier to let go of all the things you are not. Trade what drags you down for what lifts you up. Walk away from the things that don’t support the real you so you have more room for the things that do.

Sit down. Close your eyes. Breathe. Put your hands on your heart. Repeat forever.

The post Heart Calling: a wake-up call for the real you appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Why I Let Go of My Books and What I’m Reading Now

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 12:51

As I steer away from mindless internet surfing and over-checking email during my 90 days of discipline, I’m diving even deeper into my great joy of reading.  I listen to audiobooks during my morning walks and read other books throughout the day although I only read fiction in the evening. I don’t have any goals around how many books I want to read or listen to. I just like to have a non-fiction and fiction book going at the same time so I can dip in to exactly what I need anytime.

Why I let go of my books:

When I first started decluttering, books were a protected category. I never thought I’d let go of the books I’d collected over decades and moved from state to state, and home to home. After all, less does not mean nothing. After I let go of most of my other stuff though, I revisited my vow to hold on to my books. I rarely reread them, so why was I keeping them? Eventually, I let them go. I kept a few, but let hundreds go. I let them go simply because I didn’t have a good reason to hold on to them. Now books come into my life, inspire, entertain, or educate and then move on.

I don’t save most of my books, although I do keep a few. Some I check out of the library and return, others I purchase and give away on Instagram or pass on to friends. Letting go of my books hasn’t discouraged my love of reading, but instead created more space and attention to support authors and discover new books. I recommend a gentle approach to letting go of your books when you are ready.

My books (reading now, read recently or reading soon):

Audiobooks
I love listening to books when I’m walking in the morning or doing things around the house. I can’t write, drive or do anything that requires much of my attention and listen to an audiobook at the same time though. It just doesn’t work for me.

Books
I read hardcover books, paperback books and books on my Kindle.

Book research
When I was writing Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More, I intentionally didn’t read other books, but while I write my new book, I’m researching by reading the following books:

If you love books as much as I do, remember why. It’s the experience of reading that connects with our hearts. We don’t need shelves full of books to be moved by beautiful words.

The post Why I Let Go of My Books and What I’m Reading Now appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

90 Days of Discipline: Why I’m Going All In and How You can Too

Tue, 07/03/2018 - 14:45

When I mentioned my no-surf challenge (becoming more intentional with my phone and internet use), I didn’t tell you that it’s part of a bigger commitment around discipline and habits. While I highly recommend one habit change at a time, because I’ve been at this habit changing thing for more than a decade, I’m ready to go all in for 90 days.

Why now?
I often become completely undisciplined in the summer; working less, traveling more, eating more, lounging around more, drinking more and staying up later. I don’t want to do that this year.

Why 90 days?
I enjoy and learn from 30 day challenges and I’m curious to see how much more powerful 90 days of consistent habit changes will be. I’m writing a book, creating new speaking presentations for events later this year and changing some things up around here. I’ll have to be very focused to do that while still making time for non-work things like family dinners, beautiful hikes and other summer adventures. I think 90 days of discipline will help.

What’s included?
This is what my 90 days of discipline will look like:

Very simple, clean diet (no sugar, alcohol, processed foods + similar meals)

  • Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee
  • Lunch: some combo of eggs, potatoes, avocado and veggies
  • Dinner: some combo of big salad, veggies, + some fish or seafood a few times a week
  • Occasionally I’ll add rice, hummus, strawberries, and corn tortillas to the mix

Consistent 2-3 hour morning routine including:

  • writing
  • walking
  • yoga
  • meditating

More exercise:

In addition to my morning walk and yoga, I’m adding 3-6 hours of high intensity (heart pumping) exercise each week.

No mindless internet surfing.

I’m scheduling time for work related social media, book research, email and business related internet things, deleting email from my phone and any other distracting apps. If I’m still checking my phone frequently, I’ll put an elastic band around it as a reminder to stop.

Dedicated, themed work hours. This one might not stick. I am usually very flexible with my work but want to experiment with more structure 5 days a week to help me get this book written and to create more free time.

1 hour a day of project (blog, course, interview) writing

1 hour a day of book writing

1 hour a day of email/social media

3 hours per day of one of the following:

  • writing (more in-depth book writing)
  • creating (mostly Project 333 video for YouTube)
  • learning (research, reading)
  • social media (planning/creating/showing up)
  • connecting (local events, writing notes, meetings, webinars, interviews)
  • admin (working with team, planning, accounting)
  • extra self-care (seeing a movie, getting a massage, taking a hike)

Some weeks may be a mix of 5 of the above, and other weeks may include doubling up, like 2 writing days and only 3 others. My friend Mike, the Productivityist inspired these themed days.

If you are thinking – hey, that’s only 6 hours a day (and 3 of them may be focused on extra self-care), I know! I typically work more than that but I’m curious if I limit myself to fewer more focused hours if I can do better work. Be more with less right? If I’m not thriving with this extra work structure, I’ll change it up.

What I want to see at the end of 90 days:

  • A 90%+ success rate. That gives me 9 days of being undisciplined if I need it.
  • A completed manuscript of new book.
  • Less distraction.
  • More energy, creativity, focus, and clarity.

How I will stay accountable:

I’ll give you a monthly update here and a weekly update here on Instagram. Because of some extra travel this week, my 90 days will begin on July 8th.

How can you create your own 90-days of discipline?

Start with what you want to see at the end of 90 days and then choose habit changes that will support that. Write them down. Identify a 90-day date range. Share with someone (friends, family, or on Instagram or other social media) for accountability. Don’t worry about how many things you are changing. It might be only one! Experiment with consistency and discipline and at the end of each month, shift things around that aren’t working.

If this isn’t the right time, don’t force it. I’ve been looking forward to and planning this for months. Schedule 90 days that work best for you. If this is anything like any 30-day challenge I’ve done, I know the first 2 weeks will be tough, but then the goodness will kick in and make it all worthwhile.

P.S. I have an exciting update for you! Last week I promised to match up to $1500 of your donations to Back on My Feet. In less than 24 hours, with the match, we raised more than $6000. I offered my e-books as a thank you for donating any amount thru June 27th and I want to extend that offer until we’ve donated $10,000 to Back on My Feet. See the details on how to get your book here.

And, one more (really amazing) thing to support Back on My Feet

Have you ever dreamed about running the New York City Marathon? The entry drawing for the 2018 marathon happened back in February but if you donate or raise $3000, Back on My Feet will enter you to run in this year’s marathon on November 4th (and include a bunch of amazing perks). Secure your guaranteed entry into the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon to help combat homelessness. Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources. 

I’ve personally donated $2600 and will add another $400 to match the first $3000 donation.

Donate here and let me know if you want to run the marathon via email or contact deb.brown@backonmyfeet.org for more information. 

The post 90 Days of Discipline: Why I’m Going All In and How You can Too appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Choosing to Live with Less is a Privilege for Most of Us

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 07:39

We’ve all experienced that moment when we don’t know if we matter. We question if our story matters, if our place in the world matters, what our purpose is, if our contribution is enough and if we are enough. Luckily for most of us, these questions come and go. We find our place and our people. We connect to our hearts. We know that what we bring to the world is enough.

But what about the people who don’t know and due to many different situations, lose everything — no place to live, estranged from their families and friends, sometimes completely disconnected from themselves due to drugs, mental illness, or both? Do they know they matter? Do we show them when we walk by them on the streets, or do we look away? Do we treat homeless people like people or like a problem?

For me the answer varies. My daughter and I used to volunteer on a food truck serving homeless communities, and I’ve continued my mission to serve by donating money, clothing and other items and even making sandwiches and hand delivering them to homeless people in my city. I have a heart for homeless people, but let me be honest. There are the other times too, when I’m in a hurry or I feel uncomfortable. I walk right by. I don’t make eye contact. I don’t demonstrate in any way that they matter. And maybe homeless people don’t expect it or think they deserve anything but they do. Everyone deserves to be fed with food, warmth, shelter and love. Maybe when you know you matter, you have a little hope. And with a little hope, anything is possible.

Almost every year, the Be More with Less community gets together to support an organization making a difference in the world. Together, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for Charity Water, The Hope Effect, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Together Rising. It always amazes me that when we each give a little, together we can give a lot.

This year, I’m inviting you to help me support 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. I want to help them with this really important work. I don’t run but I can give and I thought it would be really cool if we gave as a community.

I was inspired to choose Back on My Feet this year because my dear friend Rachel’s husband (who is also my dear friend) is deeply invested in this organization. His name is Terence and he works for Back on My Feet. He cares deeply about his work, his mission and the people he serves. He also cares for his friends and family in a really special way. The last time I was in New York City, we went for bagels in his neighborhood. I was asking him about Back on My Feet, and the volunteers dedicated to waking up at 5:30 am (yes, 5:30 a.m.) to run with homeless people and he said, “sometimes you can’t tell who is helping who.” He continued, “this isn’t a running club, this is a human connection club.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of that. I want to be part of a human connection club.

So, how does it work? What happens to the homeless people who run with Back on My Feet?

After running with 90% attendance for 30 days in the program, members earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Over 80% of individuals who start move into the Next Steps phase. This is a really big deal!

My heart for the homeless and Terence’s dedication to making all people feel like they matter inspired this collaboration. I hope you’ll join us.

I’ll match your donation and give you a book!

You can read more about Back on My Feet here, but if you’d like me to match your donation, please donate by clicking here. There are options for donation amounts including an “other” button where you can contribute whatever you’d like. I’m not kidding when I say that even donations of $1.00 or $2.00 will make a big difference. Tens of thousands of people will see this invitation to help, so $1.00 each would be incredible.

My digital books, Simple Ways to Be More with Less and Mini-missions for Simplicity are available on Amazon for $2.99 each. If you make your donation by Wednesday, June 27th, I’ll send you one (your choice) when you let me know you’ve made a donation. You don’t have to tell me how much you donated or send a receipt. I trust you! Email and let me know you’ve donated and which book you want and I will send you a PDF version.

Everyone Deserves to Be Fed and Loved

I understand that choosing to live with less, to climb out of debt, and to do work I love is a privilege. I’ll never take it for granted and will always use it to give back.

Tonight I’m attending the Back on My Feet annual fundraising event in NYC. I’d love to share with my friends Rachel and Terence and the Back on My Feet staff and volunteers that the Be More with Less Community met the $1500 match in less than 24 hours so please don’t wait if you want to give. I want to show them we know their work matters, and that they matter.

I’ll personally match all donations made here up to $1500.00. Please consider a donation to show just how awesome our Be More with Less Community is and to remind the people living with far too little and the people who support them that they matter too.

The post Choosing to Live with Less is a Privilege for Most of Us appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness