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Where’s Your Stuff? June 27, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Life Lessons, Simplify Your Life.
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44 comments

220px-OldBeggar1Some years back, a tourist from the United States visited the home of a Rabbi and saw a simple room furnished with books, a table, and a bench.

Astonished, the visitor asked, “Rabbi, where’s your stuff?”

The Rabbi replied, “Where’s yours?”

“Mine?  I’m just passing through.  I’m just a visitor here.”

“So am I.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Lightening The Load (SuziCate) * Overlook (365 Simplify)

Source: e-mail from unknown author

A Happy Note ~ Daisy Days March 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Nature, Simplify Your Life.
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32 comments

The flowers I received for Valentine’s Day wilted in short order . . . except for one sprig of purple daisies.

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Since they seemed happy to hang around a bit longer, I relocated them to an empty crock of Dundee Orange Marmalade.

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There, they added a happy note to our days.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Simple, Old-Fashioned Things I Love Doing (My Light Bag) * Take A Two-Minute Break (Find Your Middle Ground) * The Friday Four: Flowers (Maggie Madly Writing)

Stuffed! March 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Lessons, Simplify Your Life.
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40 comments

The best way to avoid clutter is not to buy it in the first place.  We learned that lesson the hard way by moving our stuff . . .  more than a dozen times.

Our first visitors
stumble o’er moving boxes
“Let’s go out to eat!”

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

In our younger years, we had a number of buying triggers (CD’s, books, zebras, Santas) ~ all manner of collectable collectibles.

Unpacking becomes
A logistical challenge
We have Too Much Stuff

These days, we seldom shop for anything but groceries.  And still we have things cluttering up our life which would benefit from more pruning. 

Back to the basics:
load, unload, unpack, repeat.
We have Too Much Stuff

Wikipedia ~ Collecting

When we bought this villa we inherited a literal ton of knick knacks and paddy whacks which we stashed in a make-shift staging area in the garage.

After our umpteenth trip to Goodwill, the garage floor reappeared with an opening large enough for our cars.

Life’s small victories
mount, as stuffed garage swallows
a Toyota van

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

The less we have to distract us . . . the more time we have to live!

Rain drops on hutches
and bartered possessions ~ our
moving saga ends

 Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  Until you are happy with who you are . . . you will never be happy with what you have.

Related posts:  Pack & Live Lighter (My Light Bag) * Possessions: The Stuff of Life (LA Times) *  Collectable Collectibles (Colonialist) * Expand Time Energy Money (Love Out Loud) * Timely Advice

Clean and Green March 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life.
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30 comments

After we donated our extra refrigerator from the garage, the stuff inside our garage had fewer places to perch and became a bit jumbled and tumbled.

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We had some green totes sitting high and dry and decided to put them into service as storage bins.

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One problem, they wouldn’t fit on the flimsy shelf unit we’d inherited with the villa.

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So we bought a sturdier shelving unit from Home Depot and BFF assembled it to accommodate the idle green totes.

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Now we have a tidy place for everything to hide inside . . .

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And can keep everything in its place . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

I wrote and scheduled this post several days before the WP Daily Post issued the Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Inside.  Note the uncanny similarity between their totes and ours.  Spooky!  All we’re missing is the baby!

“Another” Is Never Enough November 13, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life, Sustainable Living.
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37 comments

Have you ever noticed hunters of houses on TV who claim they want “character” in their next house . . . only to declare, once there, that the kitchens and baths will have to be gutted bare?

Because they’re out of date!  And don’t have double sinks!

Homeowners who can’t cook worth a lick white-wash the character they claim to be after by removing charming butlers pantries and hand-crafted cabinets to create room for stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

Voila!

A cookie cutter home with a cookie cutter kitchen that others of like ilk will covet.

“Ooh . . . I love your new appliances!”

As hunters of houses troll through ponderous preposterous closets fit for a queen, they exclaim that the size is far too small to act as a suitable receptacle for their prodigious pile of possessions.

Even if the closet is large enough to park a small tour bus.

And, speaking of parking, if you’re invited for a visit, don’t forget to comment on the changes wrought to the wrought iron railings surrounding the gate to the palatial estate.

These grasping social climbers care what you think.

Facing their reflection in the myriad of mirrors gracing the halls and walls of their humble domain convinces them they are NOT enough as they are, so they look outside themselves for applause, accolades, and approval to fill the void.

Tag!  You’re it!

Instead of building character with character building pursuits, materialists hide behind things, and stuff their houses with symbols of status and other such stuff ~ one eye in the mirror and the other focused on the eyes of onlookers.

Like you!

Characters who use external reference points aren’t in the market to buy a comfortable house (with character) in which to reside, fireside, they want a place with space to impress neighbors, friends, and pizza delivery guys.

Donald-Duck-Driving

They’re addicted to buying another pair of shoes, a new handbag, and fancy cars and yachts to raise their estimation in our eyes.

No matter how many suits, dresses, shoes, handbags, scarves, coats, skirts, gowns, pants, mittens, slacks, undergarments, shirts, blouses, and stainless steel appliances they cram into their closets and lives, it’s never enough to fill the void.

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As soon as one desire is met, the grasping greedy Ego creates another.

And another.

And another.

And “another” is never enough.

Whatever it has, the insatiable Ego wants MORE.  It’s a greedy grasping thing, never satisfied for long.  Using Ego as a barometer creates unnecessary suffering for us and those around us.

When we learn to ignore Ego’s need to impress, we are free to be as we are.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Putting Ego In Its Place (Suzicate)

Artwork: Wikipedia ~ Kitchens (in Public Domain)

Life Like A Lazy River November 8, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Simplify Your Life.
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24 comments

Relaxing into the flow of life is like climbing into an over-inflated inner tube to float down a lazy river.

One not populated by crocodiles or alligators works best.

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If your life feels that way, great.

But what if it doesn’t?

What if you feel like a cartoon character desperately trying to run across the surface of the river without ever gaining traction?

With predators and bloodsuckers in close pursuit.

Without traction, running faster doesn’t help us make headway.  It just adds stress to our already piled high day.

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Instead of speeding up:

Slow down.
Stop spinning your wheels.

Breathe, Relax, Repeat.

Let the wind fill your sails.
Explore, dream, discover.

Watch clouds drift by.

Soak up THIS moment.
It won’t last.

The future soon becomes the past.

Recharge your batteries.
Life is a journey, not a race.

Be Here Now.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Life Piles Up January 3, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Simplify Your Life.
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39 comments

zig1001bLife piles up.

We must sort through the pile from time to time to identify priorities, dreams, hopes, and aspirations.

If we don’t clear out the clutter, the path becomes littered and overgrown with weeds.

Instead of seeing our way clear,  distractions fill our field of vision.

Give the Universe room to work its magic.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Buy Less. Do More. November 8, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

IMGP1472aMy life, like most, has had ups and downs, good decisions and bad,  and more than my fair share of mistakes and challenges.

But they all led to this door.  So, no regrets.

Except one.

When I look at the collective accumulation of stuff in our living space and closets . . . I am filled to overflowing with “buyer’s remorse.”

Not in specific.  Just in general.

If I could go back and tell my younger self or a good friend just one thing, it would be:

Buy Less. Do More.

We travel best when we travel light.

The best way to avoid clutter is not to purchase it in the first place.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Posts:  Tell us something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do (WP Prompt) * Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter * CCD: Compulsive Clutter Disorder

* * * * *

Susanna posted the 8 Finalists from the Halloweensie Contest yesterday morning . . .  and I’m in the running!

If you want to vote, click this link and Vote for your Favorite!

They’re all in one place . . . so it’s one stop shopping.  No clicking back and forth between blogs.  Simple, right?  And nothing to clutter up your house!  ;)

Distilled Essence October 10, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Simplify Your Life, Writing & Writers.
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30 comments

When we create whiskey, maple syrup, perfume, and many other sauce reductions, we distill them down to the essence to concentrate the flavor.

The distillation process emphasizes the tastes and aromas ~ the extraneous evaporates, leaving only the essential essence behind.

Less is more.

The same is true with our thoughts.

When we distill them down to the essence, we concentrate the flavors, textures, tastes, and aromas.

We let others read between the lines.

Quote:  When we relinquish or renounce the extraneous, we are left with the essential, which cannot be lost.  ~ Lama Surya Das

Aah . . . that’s better!

Which do you prefer . . . reading a treatise where everything is spelled out, often in excruciating detail?  Or a more broadbrushed approach which challenges you to put on your thinking cap and think?

13 Books That Changed My Life March 11, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
35 comments

Today’s WordPress Prompt:

Name A Book That Changed Your Life.

Books have been friends, companions, teachers, guides, and mentors since I first learned to decipher characters on the printed  page.  Books have entertained, educated, and encouraged me.

 In the past decade, many of the books I read reinforced my desire to live a more spiritual and peaceful life ~ one focused more on internal wisdom, and less on external gratification.  These books added joy to my life by teaching me to shift my perspective from old ways of thinking (centered on ego) to a new way of viewing the world (focused on spiritual strength).

Here are 13 Books that Changed My Life.  Each added to my inner peace and happiness by encouraging me to master my thoughts:

1.  Simplify Your Life ~ Elaine St. James

2.  The Art of Happiness ~ The Dalai Lama

3.  Zen & The Art of Happiness ~ Chris Prentiss

4.  The Serenity Principle ~ Joseph V. Bailey

5.  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ~ Richard Carlson

6.  The Happiness Trap ~ Russ Harris

7.  Awakening to the Sacred ~ Lama Surya Das

8.  The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

9.  Present Moment, Wonderful Moment ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

10.  Take Time For Your Life ~ Cheryl Richardson

11.  Way of the Peaceful Warrior ~ Dan Millman

12.  Power, Freedom, Grace ~ Deepak Chopra

13.  The Happiness Makeover ~ M.J. Ryan

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you?  What books have enabled you to see the world more clearly and love it more dearly?

Related posts:  The Clean (Book)Plate Club * 100 BooksThe Courage to Be Free * Bring One Fictional Character To Life * 365 Nirvana Now (Blue Lotus Cafe) * WP Daily Prompt ~Bookworm

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