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Simplicity Superpowers: The Life-Changing Powers You Acquire by Living with Less

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 04:05

There are some pretty awesome things (that aren’t really things) that come along with living with less stuff, busyness, stress and debt. You can expect to enjoy more space in your home, time in your day and more peace of mind. For those reasons alone, I recommend getting started or taking less to the next level.

As an added bonus, you also acquire some pretty cool superpowers by letting go of the things that are dragging you down. Here are a few of the ones I’ve experienced that you can look forward to, or perhaps you have these superpowers too …

Presence 
I can pay attention to a whole conversation without checking my phone, worrying about an overdue bill, or being obsessed with my to-do list. This sounds like something we should all be able to do, but it takes practice and the actual removal of the “do it all, keep all the balls in the air” mentality many of us deal with. I considered it a big accomplishment. It’s more remarkable than you might think to talk to someone, or read a book, or do anything at all without thinking, “Oh crap, I missed something because I was distracted.”

Paying attention and being fully engaged is magical for you and everyone around you.

Pausing
The ability to pause before reacting will save you in many situations. You know how things come out of your mouth before you have a chance to stop them? And how you may wish they hadn’t come out? A brief pause will help you consider and choose your words, your reaction, and the best next steps for you. Practice pausing before speaking, eating, or shopping. Pause before you put your day on auto-pilot and ask yourself if there is a better way. Pausing allows you to be more intentional and thoughtful about your choices. When you live with less pressure to get everything done at record speed, you’ll have more time to pause. Consider these seven places to pause for more peace in your life.

Under reacting
Once you harness the power of the pause, over reacting to things won’t resonate with you anymore. After living with less stress in your life, you will naturally resist the extra drama and senselessness of losing your mind in an emotionally charged situation. Under reacting will better serve your heart and the hearts around you. When you remove the over from your reacting, you can move more quickly towards a reasonable solution.

Patience
Once you spend five years decluttering, three years paying off debt and even longer simplifying your life in other ways, you will have harnessed the power of patience. You’ll know, on a heart-level that good things take time, that habit change doesn’t happen overnight and that inch-by-inch transformation is a super power in itself. It takes as long as it takes.

JOMO (joy of missing out)
When you discover that you are actually happier living with less, you’ll discover contentment. When you stop chasing happiness in things, you’ll notice it’s easier to access than you thought and that there’s nothing that can make you happy but you. Turn your FOMO into JOMO.

Loose grip
The superpower of a loose grip allows you to see that when you think something has a hold on you, it’s you that’s holding on tightly. This superpower reminds you to ask, “Can I loosen my grip, lighten up, let go and release the hold?”

Breathing
I know, we all breathe. How is this a superpower? Breathing becomes a superpower when you take it from breathing to survive to breathing to thrive. Big deep, life-affirming breaths will support all of your other superpowers. My favorite one is a big, slow, deep breath in through the nose, holding it for just a few seconds and then sighing it all out through the mouth. Seriously, try it right now. It changes things. It’s a superpower.

Our superpowers will be tested. Even with simplicity, we will lose our patience. We will over react. We will forget to pause and breathe deeply. Things will still be messy because we can’t simplify our way into a perfect life. And that’s ok.

P.S. a couple of things …

Save the date! I’m hosting an Instagram live call on Monday, September 24th at 5pm EST. We are going to talk all about Minimalist Fashion Challenge Project 333. A new season starts 10/1 and we have things to discuss! Join me here. 

If you are interested in a signed, personalized hardcover copy of Soulful Simplicity, we are accepting requests through this Friday, September 21. Learn more here.

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).⠀

The post Simplicity Superpowers: The Life-Changing Powers You Acquire by Living with Less appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Spend Less Time on Your Phone with These 8 Little Tricks

Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:53

If you can’t stop looking at your phone, you are not alone. On average, we are spending five hours a day on our mobile devices. That’s more than a full day a week! We tend to underestimate our usage too. I don’t want to look back in ten years reflecting on all of the amazing moments I’ve had with my phone or regret that I spent too much time scrolling.

Even if you do spend less than five hours a day on your phone, make that time more peaceful and less appealing.  This is what I do to make sure I am the boss of my phone instead of the other way around. ⠀⠀

1. No email on phone.
I removed email from my phone almost three months ago and don’t miss it at all. If you notice you check email on your phone but don’t take action, or don’t take meaningful action, save the email until you are back at your desk or computer or carving out time specifically handling email instead of chipping away at it all day long.
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2. No apps on the home screen or placed in neatly labeled containers.
Nope. All apps are in one folder (see lower right of my screen above). I open my apps (when I want to) by swiping right and typing the app name in the search bar. That way I’m not tempted to open an app just because I see it on my phone when I am innocently checking the time. ⠀
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3. No notifications ever except for phone or text.
Turn off Facebook and other social notifications. Turn off useless reminders that apps send you to keep you engaged, on the phone and on their platform.

4. Be honest with yourself.
If you are concerned with your phone usage, notice when, how and why you use your phone and certain apps. If you want to find out where most of your phone time goes, try an app like Moment to track. For a quick glance of your mobile minutes and what apps get most of your time:

  • go to settings
  • click battery
  • see “battery usage”
  • click the little clock icon on the right

You can see your hours/minutes spent on each app for the last 24 hours or 7 days.

5. Do not disturb.
There is a Do Not Disturb feature on your phone for a reason. Mine is set from 7pm to 7am and when I’m working on projects. Airplane mode or turning your phone off works too, but when you use the Do Not Disturb feature, you can set it up so your “favorites” can still contact you. My closest people can get through if there is an emergency.

Here’s how to do it on the iPhone:
settings > do not disturb > turn it on
You can also choose scheduled times and the option to “allow favorites” and then set favorites up under your contacts.
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6. Go gray.
Make your phone less appealing to look at by changing the settings to grayscale. Here’s how to set it up and easily switch back to color.

iPhones:
Go to: Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale. To easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Triple-click again to go back to color. (Instructions from this Lifehacker article)

Android:
May vary from model to model, so please Google instructions.
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7. Slow the scroll.
If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling, put a rubber band or hair band around the middle of your phone and harness the power of the pause.

Do as Brad Soroka recommends in this article, “Every time you want to use your phone, this brings about a mindfulness exercise and makes you ask “what is my intention?” If you really want to use the phone, set your intention for why, and remove the hair band. Use Spotlight to open the app you need. While the hair band blocks the full usage of your phone, it still works with Siri, so you can use voice to make calls, get directions, and even open apps. But similar to the Spotlight technique, using Siri forces you to set your intention before opening the app you need.
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8. Leave home without it.
The very best way to eliminate the distraction of your phone is by leaving it at home. Go out with out it, and schedule regular digital sabbaticals.

If you want real connection and honest answers, check your heart more than you check your phone. Less phone. More heart.

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The post Spend Less Time on Your Phone with These 8 Little Tricks appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

How to Quit Anything Without Feeling Like a Failure

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:25

My 90 days of discipline ended 45 days early. It didn’t work. I quit. We often resist quitting or giving up because we perceive it as a failure, but quitting felt good. I considered toughing it out, but I couldn’t find a reason to keep going. For a quick recap, I committed to 90 days of …

  • Very simple, clean diet (no sugar, alcohol, processed foods).
  • Consistent 2-3 hour morning routine.
  • More exercise: 3-6 hours of high intensity (heart pumping) exercise each week.
  • No mindless internet surfing.
  • Dedicated, themed work hours.

I’ve been practicing a little bit of all of these things for years, but to up-level all of them at once did the exact opposite of what I was hoping for. I wanted to use these 90 days to create less distraction, more energy, focus and creativity and to finish the first draft of my new book. Instead I felt scattered, tired and overwhelmed. So I quit.

Even though I quit, some great things came from starting:
  • I started exercising more vigorously and now, in addition to walking and yoga, I’m spending four or five hours a week building muscle and sweating profusely.
  • Inspired by the challenge, a good friend quit drinking alcohol for 90 days.
  • I realized that even though I’ve made a bunch of changes over the years, one at a time still works best for me.
  • The book is almost done. I tried to use this challenge as a way to create the perfect container with perfect conditions to write. When I saw (with a little help from my friends) that it wasn’t working, I simply removed myself from the container. Instead of writing an hour a day, or 500 words an hour, or any other structured writing process, I packed my bag, drove an hour away and just wrote until I couldn’t write anymore. I did my morning routine, ate toast and jam, drank lots of coffee and kept writing. It took me two months to write 8000 words and only four days to write 25,000 more.
  • Now I know I’m not alone. When I was struggling with the 90 days of discipline, I got frustrated. I felt like I was letting you down, like I didn’t know what I was doing, and like I was kind of a mess … a failure. And, feeling that way made everything worse and slowed my progress. Then I watched this heart-felt, very honest video, about how no one has their “iSht” together, laughed out loud and joined this Facebook Group that my friend Marsha created.

I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but when I do, I want to laugh and feel connected. This group makes me smile with their honesty and reminds me how imperfect this adventure in being human really is. If you ever feel like you are a bit of a mess, please join me here in the group. At the very least, it will make you laugh and at the very best, it will remind you that you are just fine the way you are (even when you quit things, drop things, forget things, spill things, say the wrong things or mess up in any other way).

How to quit without feeling like a failure

Now you can quit without feeling like a failure, and start something new without worrying about what might happen if you quit.

So please, quit your diet, a book you aren’t enjoying, a career, a goal, a city or whatever you are engaged in that is not working for your life and your heart. Notice the difference between what challenges you and what defeats you. If there is a better way, change course or simply walk away and start over.

P.S. a couple of things …

The Busy Boycott (live) challenge begins on Monday, September 10th. Join us and learn more here.

I’m live on Instagram almost every Monday at 5pm Eastern (NYC time) to talk about different areas of simplicity and answer your questions. Recordings are on Instagram for 24 hours and here on Facebook.

Please join me. Here’s the upcoming schedule.

  • Food: Monday, September 10th
  • Beauty (going non-toxic): Monday, September 17th
  • Minimalist fashion challenge Project 333: Monday, September 24th

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).

The post How to Quit Anything Without Feeling Like a Failure appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Busy Boycott: Trading busyness for what you really want (+ live challenge)

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 13:09

I get it. You are busy. There’s a lot to do. The people around you are busy. We are all busy (so busy, crazy busy) doing things. I also understand that you are frustrated with our collective busyness … yours, theirs, ours. Why are we so busy? Why can’t we stop talking about it? What are we going to do about it?

A busy life distracts us from what we really care about, and who we really care about. A busy life is all about proving ourselves, piling it on, catching up, falling behind, and waking up tired to do it all over again.

We deserve more for ourselves and the people and things we love.

I was going to give you five creative ways to end your busyness or a list of things to do so you can do less, but in the interest of keeping you less busy right away, let’s cut to the chase. Yes, there are things to do, but I know none of us want to be completely immersed (read: lost) in our busyness.

We want more time to …

  • read books
  • hug kids
  • take walks
  • see the world (and our own neighborhood)
  • give back
  • kick back in a hammock
  • make art
  • pet puppies
  • do nothing
  • dip our toes in the ocean, lake, or bathtub
  • breathe … yes we want more time to simply breathe

Join us for the live (free) Busy Boycott Challenge. Over the course of three weeks, you will challenge your busyness, and make time for what you really want.

A few years ago, I created the Busy Boycott, a 21-day challenge to get us all thinking about the busyness in our lives and how there might be a better way. This September, I’m hosting a live version of the challenge and I’d love it if you’d join me. Even if you did the challenge before, join for a refresher.

Busy Boycott (live) Challenge

The challenge starts on September 10th and here’s what you’ll get when you sign up:

  • Weekly challenges delivered via email and access to the private Facebook Group.
  • Live weekly video-calls with me to answer your questions, with a chance to submit questions in advance + recordings if you can’t make the live calls.
  • Lifetime access to the entire challenge so you can revisit anytime and share with your busy friends (in a really nice, I love you kind of way).

When does it start? 
When you sign up, you’ll be directed to a Thank You page which will have a link to the Private Facebook Group. You’ll get your first email challenge, another invite to the Private Facebook group and the live video-call schedule on September 10th.

How much does it cost?
Nothing. It’s free.

How do I sign up?
Sign up here.

How much time do I have to invest?
It’s up to you, but not more than an hour a week (reading the email, incorporating the challenge, watching the video, participating in the Facebook Group).

What’s different compared to the first Busy Boycott challenge?
This challenge is live! We are all doing it at the same time, and the live videos (with recordings) are new.

What if I’m too busy to participate?
Well then you really need this! Join anyway, and even if you can’t keep up with the weekly challenges, you’ll get a PDF at the end of the challenge that includes everything you need to start anytime!

The challenge is risk-free, money-free, totally free. Join the Busy Boycott Challenge here, have some fun along the way and create a little time to breathe.

Thanks for reading today and inviting me into your inbox. I’m Courtney Carver, author of Soulful SimplicityIn 2010, I created top simplicity blog, Be More with Less and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (featured in O, The Oprah magazine, Real Simple, CNN, BBC, and other media).

The post Busy Boycott: Trading busyness for what you really want (+ live challenge) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness