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simplicity is love
Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

How my friend Krissy traded her grief for love after losing her parents

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 03:57

I share my simplicity stories and what happened before I decided to simplify in my new book Soulful Simplicity. I also share other meaningful stories. This one really grabbed my heart. I’ve shared this story during live events and I can never get through it without a few tears.

Krissy’s simplicity story

My friend Krissy, a development leader for big nonprofits, has saved every birthday card, wedding invitation, Christmas card, and birth announcement she has ever received. When her dad died unexpectedly from complications of heart surgery when she was twenty-six and her mom died eight years later after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Krissy’s box of cards became filled with more cards from the funerals and other things her parents left behind.

When she began to declutter, she started with her boxes of saved cards. “The funny thing is that they were just sitting in a box in my closet. I never looked at them or read them,” she says. She decided to read through all of the cards one last time and then let them go, with the exception of two birthday cards—one from her mom and one from her dad. She forgot they were there, so it was a moving surprise to find them as they both included touching, handwritten messages. She now keeps both cards in her nightstand drawer.

By getting rid of the hidden boxes, she made room for the love that her parents shared with her in those notes and was able to deal with some of the grief that she hadn’t known how to process when she was younger. She treasures the words and enjoys knowing that they are close to her heart.

What I love about Krissy’s story is how it not only demonstrates the power of letting go but reminds us that by holding on to everything, it’s hard to remember what matters. When everything is important, nothing is. Krissy let go and traded her grief for love.

If you’d like to read more …

The post How my friend Krissy traded her grief for love after losing her parents appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

The Most Meaningful Gift to Give Yourself Right Now

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 13:39

There’s a lot of talk about what we should and should not be buying or doing over the holidays. By now though, we are in it. We’ve decided who we are going to spend time with and how we are going to engage in the holiday season. The extra shoulds and shouldn’ts and other simplicity shaming can stop now.

Sure … you can still pull back, make subtle shifts and engage differently, but for me, letting go and getting all holiday-ish on the inside and the outside feels like the next best step. You know what’s best for you and I’m guessing that it’s not feeling guilty about not being simple enough or not doing simplicity right. The process of simplifying my life, and especially simplifying the holiday season took me years. I’m still working on it a little bit each day and grateful I’ve taken so long and done it in a way that feels right to me.

The most meaningful gift to give yourself right now

If you are trying to figure out what’s best for you or what the next best step to take is, here is the most meaningful gift you can give to yourself right now.

Five minutes: Carve out five minutes each day to sit quietly and ask yourself, to ask your heart the following questions.

  • What matters most today?
  • How do I really want to spend my time?
  • What do I need to do to take really good care of myself and the people I love today?

It might help to put your hands on your heart while asking these questions.

Even if you can’t fully live your answers yet, hearing them is going to make a difference. If there isn’t an answer, that’s ok too. Keep showing up for five minutes and asking these questions.

Even with this small commitment of time … 

  • you will have more clarity on when to say yes, and when to say no.
  • you will feel less pressured by the shoulds or by what other people expect.
  • you will smile more knowing that who you are is much more important than what you cross off your to-do list.

Try it for a day or two and if you like what you are experiencing, commit to 5 minutes a day through the end of the year. At the end of the year, if you’ve learned something about yourself, felt a little more peaceful, noticed that your days aren’t as crazy or if others notice a positive change in you, consider turning your holiday practice into a daily heart practice.

I’m going to practice with you adding the questions above to my morning routine. Let’s move through December together, day-by-day with our hands on our hearts.

_______________

Fun book updates:

If you’d like to read the first chapter of my new book, Soulful Simplicity, please click here  (no email address required) – just open and read.

The Book Tour is happening: See what cities I’m visiting here.

If you want to enter the closet make-under contest (where I come to your place and help you with your closet), check out the details here. (less than 2 weeks left to enter).

The post The Most Meaningful Gift to Give Yourself Right Now appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Operation Clean Closet (you won’t believe what I’m giving away)

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 05:05

Would you believe me if I told you that I am going to come to your home and help you clean out your closet? I almost don’t believe it, but this is happening! I want to help you simplify your life in real life, starting with your closet. To celebrate the release of my new book Soulful Simplicity, I’m giving away a closet cleanout and lunch in your hometown.

If you are familiar with me or my work, you know this closet cleanout won’t really be about the clothes (although we will get the job done). It’s going to be about your life. We’ll talk about the changes you want to make, what’s holding you back and simple ways to move forward. If you just want to focus on the wardrobe though, we can do that too.

Another thing to note: this isn’t the beginning of a new business venture for me. I won’t be offering closet cleaning moving forward. In fact, it’s likely this is the only time I’ll do this.

After we’ve got your wardrobe pared down and your closet in shape, we’ll celebrate with a nice meal at one of your favorite restaurants. You are welcome to bring a friend along too!

You might be wondering … 

What do I have to do to enter? All of the details are here, but in a nutshell … you’ll submit a receipt from your pre-order of Soulful Simplicity and a short essay about why you want to simplify your closet or your life.

Am I eligible for the contest and the pre-order bonus gifts? Yep. Sure are.

Will you travel anywhere? I would but due to legal requirements, the contest is open in the US only.

What if I already ordered the book? Thank you! Your book receipt will work for entry.

What if I bought a ticket to the book tour? Thank you! Your ticket receipt will work for entry.

Is the contest time sensitive? Yes, very. Please enter by December 16, 2017.

When will you announce the winner? Early January. I can’t wait!

How do I enter? Click the button below or click here.

The Soulful Simplicity Book Tour

The Soulful Simplicity Book Tour is all mapped out. We’ll only have 100 seats in most cities so please get your tickets early. Each ticket includes a hardcover version of Soulful Simplicity, presentation from me, Q & A, conversation, and book signing. It’s going to be a fun evening! You can use your ticket receipt as entry to the closet cleanout contest too!

See if your city is on the list by visiting the book tour page here.

Soulful Simplicity is coming out in less than a month on December 26th.

Here are a few links that may be helpful …

Learn more about the book and pre-order gifts here.

Consider the gift of Soulful Simplicity + a virtual book club for friends and family. More details on the book page here.

Join me on the Soulful Simplicity book tour here.

Enter to win a closet cleanout and lunch with me here.

The post Operation Clean Closet (you won’t believe what I’m giving away) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

When Grace and Gratitude Come First

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:19

It’s interesting how we have to be intentional about practicing grace and gratitude, but stress, busyness and frustration are second nature. We are pros at reacting to all the things life throws at us, drilling through our never-ending to-do lists, skipping lunch, sacrificing sleep and taking care of ourselves in the pursuit of more. But more of what? And to what end?

What would happen if grace and gratitude came first?

What if we felt …

  • grace when dealing with uncertainty
  • gratitude before we were stressed or frustrated
  • hopeful while dealing with loss
  • loved before judged
  • loving before judging

Everything I read suggests grace and gratitude as a solution to stress, frustration and overwhelm but if grace and gratitude come first, we can avoid some of the stress or at least navigate it in a healthier way. Instead of using grace and gratitude as tools to solve problems, let’s start from a place of grace and gratitude.

If you want to see if grace and gratitude can soften or eliminate some of the craziness of your life, try it.

Here are a few ways to put grace and gratitude first …

Say thank you first.
Let your first thought of the day be one of gratitude. What are you grateful for when you open your eyes? Think about it for 30 seconds before jumping out of bed. Write it down or say it out loud.

Stop measuring who you are by what you accomplish.
Grace measures more by what’s on your heart than what’s on your list. When you are stressing over your calendar or to-do list and telling yourself you are falling behind, remember who you are and what you mean to the people around you. Remember what really matters to you. Trust what’s in your heart.

Laugh more.
Laughing is grace and gratitude all wrapped into one joyful expression. Laugh more. Life is serious enough without us trying to keep it all together all day long.

Start with you.
The more loving you are with yourself, the more loving you can be with everyone around you. The more grateful you are for who you are, what’s on the inside and what you have to offer, the more grateful you can be for the stuff on the outside. The more grace you extend to yourself, the more you’ll have to extend to others.

Let go. Let go. Let go.
All of this holding on to stuff that doesn’t really matter gets in the way of grace and gratitude. From physical clutter and stuff, to things we think we should believe or should do, to what we think others think – it’s all messy. Keep letting go of anything standing in the way of more grace and gratitude in your life.

Here’s the thing … we can work to simplify our lives, take better care of ourselves, and reduce stress but some things are not in our control. There will always be surprises, uncertainty, difficult people, loss, and failure. With a reserve of grace and gratitude, we’ll get through the hard stuff and come out stronger on the other side.

And the good stuff will be even sweeter.

Coming up …

Next week I’m announcing a really fun contest to celebrate the upcoming release of my new book, Soulful Simplicity. Get excited!

31 Days of Gifts You so Deserve (An Advent Calendar for your inbox) begins on December 1st. Learn more here.

The post When Grace and Gratitude Come First appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

31 Days of Gifts: for a more peaceful, loving, intentional holiday season

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 04:00

Twinkle lights are starting to appear on trees outside, coffee shops are sharing new festive concoctions and holiday music is playing on the radio. The holidays seem to be in full swing, but I wait until today … until I announce 31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve to kick off the holiday season. It’s become something I look forward to every year and know many of you do too. This year, I’ll be sharing some of the all-time favorite gifts from the past few years along with new gifts, and some special gifts from friends.

What is 31 Days of Gifts?

31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve is like an advent calendar in your inbox designed to deliver meaningful, magical gifts throughout the month of December to help you embrace the holidays with joy and intention. They will also prepare you to leap into the new year with an open heart.

Every day throughout December, you’ll receive a gift in your inbox. At the end of each email, you’ll find links to the gifts that came before. If you miss one, or want to revisit one of your favorite gifts, this list makes it easy to go back.

A beautiful tradition

For many in the Be More with Less community (myself included), 31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve has become a holiday tradition. If you haven’t participated before, you might be interested in hearing what participants have to say about the program.

Thank you so much for these wonderful 31 Days of Gifts!  I’m finding myself looking first for your emails every morning. They are helping me to focus, and feel a little less frantic, and to enjoy the holidays. Thank you for a bright start to each day, and a few quiet moments. – Joyce

I so appreciated the 31 days of gifts in my inbox during the hectic beautiful and magical month of December. I listened to your stories, danced and sang to your playlists, tried a recipe or two and spent time just thinking about what you wrote each day. – Loretta

31 Days really did make my holiday season so much better! I especially loved the recipe for the gingerbread cookies with white chocolate frosting – I’m starting to drool just thinking about them. Taking time out each day to do the 31 Days helped me to slow down and enjoy more. – Kat

Thank you so much for doing this project! I enjoy your emails so much and I look forward to viewing my inbox every morning. I am a little sad December only has 31 days in it!  – Cassie

December can be a stressful month for me (and so many people) and I strive to keep my mind on my faith and family in the midst of so many other obligations. Your daily e-mails helped me to focus my attention on the things that are truly important. – Matt

I just wanted you to know that this was one of my HIGHLIGHTS of December!  – Julie

A friend signed me up for these gifts and I enjoyed opening each one. Thank you for your thought-provoking words. They will stay with me throughout the year. – Randi

This program is a reminder that the best gifts don’t come from the mall or in perfectly wrapped packages. If we want to experience the very best gifts, we have to give ourselves time to pay attention to them even in the craziness of the holidays.

Each year, more and more people send 31 Days of Gifts to friends, family, and co-workers. We’ve had book clubs, corporate offices, community groups, and families spanning the globe participate together. That is just one of the many reasons this program is so dear to my heart.

Gifts of holidays past have included …

  • snowflakes
  • delight
  • gingersnaps
  • ease
  • happy feet
  • photo challenge
  • dance party

This year will include favorites from the last few years (but none from last year), new gifts and gifts from friends with a few personal messages from me to you.

You deserve the gift of discovering what’s most meaningful to you over the holidays. You deserve a few quiet moments to yourself. You deserve to give yourself permission to make room for the best things … instead of trying to make room for all the things.

Pay what you want …

For the last five years, this program has been offered for $3.10 (ten cents a day), but it is worth so much more. As more people participate, I invest more time and money to make these gifts available and meaningful. If you’ve participated before, you understand the value of the program, but I also know that for some, $3.10 is barely in the holiday budget.

Each year I consider raising the price, but instead, I’d like to leave it up to you. Please pay what you want so everyone can continue to enjoy the gifts they so deserve with a small investment.

Please read these important instructions before joining …

If you are purchasing for yourself:

After you click to join, you will be directed to the purchase page where you will see the minimum price of $3.10. Leave it there or enter a new dollar amount to pay what you want. After you complete your purchase, check your inbox for an email inviting you to confirm your subscription. Please confirm your subscription to receive your gifts.

If you are purchasing for friends, family, and co-workers, please follow these 3 steps:

  1. click here or the red “join now” button below.
  2. edit the price to pay what you want (minimum $3.10 per name). You won’t be able to adjust the quantity, only the price. For example, if you are purchasing for 3 people, don’t change the quantity, but edit the price to a minimum of $9.30.
  3. Complete the purchase and send your receipt to courtney@bemorewithless.com with the names and email addresses of your gift recipients. I will add them to the 31 Days list. You’ll receive a welcome letter to send to your recipients too.
Questions

Q: When do I receive my first gift?
December 1st the day after you sign up if it’s later than December 1st. If you join in December, you’ll find all prior gifts listed in your first email.

Q: How will my gift recipients know I sent them this as a gift?
Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll receive a welcome letter to share with them. It’s really important to let them know to expect emails from courtney@bemorewithless.com or they may think it’s junk mail.

Q: Is there a deadline to join?
I recommend joining as soon as possible so you can start receiving gifts on December 1st, but you can register anytime in December and still have access to all 31 gifts.

Q: How do I access gifts I missed?
I’ll list all the gifts in each email with links so can go back to gifts you missed or ones you want to revisit.

Q: Do I need special login information or a password?
No. Everything will be delivered via email.

Q. I didn’t receive my first gift yet. Where is it?
Please check your promotions folder or spam folder. If you still don’t have it, please contact me and I will help.

Q: This isn’t a question, but I need help!
Great, I’m happy to help! email me: courtney@bemorewithless.com

Gentle reminders and joyful recommendations will guide you through December with wonder and simplicity. Use these gifts to engage in the best parts of your holiday experience.

If you can’t see or click the “join now” button above, please click here to join.

The post 31 Days of Gifts: for a more peaceful, loving, intentional holiday season appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness