My brand is called a Simple Beautiful Life and that is what I write about. But what do I offer you?
I offer guidance based on my life experience striving to create and live a simple beautiful life. I can serve as a direction-pointer or a thought-provoker or a source of energy for change.
I fervently believe that we are capable, through some intentional choices and consistent positive work, to create lives we love.
It is my hope that some of my experience serves to light you up and inspire you to take action to make small positive changes in your life. In this way making your life a little easier and more simple.
What I am:
- striving for a good life
- open to new things
- learning more every day, about me, what I want, about life, philosophy…
- taking small consistent action to change some habits
- a 45-year-old with some life experience
- a parent raising children
What I am not:
- living a perfect life
- a behaviour or habit-change professional
- a medical doctor, sports coach, or psychologist
- finished with my personal growth adventure
Subscribe to a belief system
A religion or a philosophy.
- I subscribe to the Minimalist philosophy.
- Additionally, I am a product of a Christian upbringing.
- Throughout my adult life, I have had exposure to Buddhism through yoga.
- My regular meditation practice means Mindfulness is a daily influence.
- More recently I have realised the freedom that the Stoics discussed. For me, the most fundamental Stoic take-home is that we have to decipher what is within our control and learn to let go of all that is without.
Stoicism as a scaffold on which to build a good life is an ancient and very relevant system with which to start. We can avoid a certain amount of stress simply by including the above piece of guidance in our lives. We can lighten the load that we carry. We can live more in the present, as this is the only moment over which we have any control (mindfulness practices agree).
I have ordered and am awaiting the book How to Live a Good Life: A Guide to Choosing Your Personal Philosophy by philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci. I have listened to a summarised version of this book which I really enjoyed. I would say it is a very worthwhile addition for anyone wishing to explore a little wider around this topic of choosing a personal philosophy.
Using your chosen belief system as guidance, start to make small changes every single day to move towards your personal version of a simple beautiful life.
Get clarity on what a simple beautiful life means to you. Write it down. Then take action, every day, in small incremental efforts. And observe your life change.
Below I offer some of the tools that I use to do just this.
As much as possible. Nature has a way of resetting us and bringing relativity. My daughters and I go for a stroll with the dogs every evening. I see it as a pause between the bright busy day and the cooler calmer evening.
Simplify Your Schedule
Decide to say no at times. Decide to sign up for less. Fewer appointments. Less time in the car. Staying home is quite acceptable. Declining offers and invitations is okay too.
Signing the children up for fewer activities gives them more time to be wild, playful children.
Simplify Your Wardrobe
Welcome to the ease of the morning sessions. Fewer clothes and only clothes that you like mean fewer decisions and a better feeling of self.
Courtney Carver wrote a book about her Project 333 which I have done, twice. I recommended taking part in her free challenge of dressing with 33 items or less for 3 months.
Simplify Your Possessions
Emptier shelves can bring a sense of visual calm. Emptier drawers can help to avoid the frustration of rummaging through an overstuffed drawer. Fewer items mean less to maintain. Less dusting and organising.
Many minimalists have written about the sense of lightness experienced by living with less. Having a place for everything and everything in its place leads to an easier way of living.
Decide to develop a meditation practice because in my experience it will change your life. I start each day with a brief meditation. I have children to get to school and dogs to feed and a day to plan too. Making it a priority means it happens, pretty much every day.
Stream of consciousness writing or journaling is a way to transform the tangle of spaghetti in your mind into a flat sheet of lasagne?! Issues can become less weighty. Toxic thoughts can get weaker. Ideas can grow clearer.
After some time of practising this, I noticed that my mind became more easily calm. It felt like a million thoughts combined into a handful of thoughts.
I believe it also aids productivity as priorities become clearer, and the less important stuff falls by the wayside.
Be bold and rebel. Take action and take rest. We live in a society that promotes always-on efficiency and productivity. There is a counter-cultural movement around the importance of rest. We are human beings. We are not designed to work like computers. These are our tools.
Schedule down-time. Set your working hours. I read a book recently called Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee which suggested you even add a note to your email signature explaining that you endeavour to reply within 24 hours (and not immediately).
Start your business as you mean to continue. If you decide not to work on Sundays, then be at peace with your decision. Enjoy your rest.
I have come to realise the importance of looking after our bodies later in life. I started running in my 40’s. Since my youth I have healed from a broken back, and knee surgery, and torn ankle ligaments. I mention this because if I can run, it could be a possibility for others too.
Besides the increased level of fitness I have achieved, making me able to run away from my children (not really!), the benefits to my headspace are very noticeable too.
I also stretch every – single – day. This is to strengthen my core to look after my back. Now it has become a brief pause in my day when I take a break.
Good Nutrition and Hydration
We base our meals loosely around the Mediterranean diet.
- Smoothies – make yoghurt so you know exactly what you are eating and add it to your smoothies with seeds & frozen fruit.
- Salads and a plant-heavy diet, although we do eat meat. I was a pescatarian for 14 years and am pretty sure I was anaemic, so for me, it wasn’t ideal.
- Help yourself and keep no junk food in the house. That way it simply is not available as a snack.
I use a nutribullet pretty much every day. For smoothies, to make easy pancake batter, to make pesto.
Drink water. Replace the second coffee with rooibos tea. Replace the second glass of wine with water. Make kombucha and drink that in the evening.
Create A Business Around Your Interests
Work hard. Choose to do work that matters to you and your interests. Consider what impact you wish to make in the world. Then simply keep that in your thoughts in all the work you create.
Stay True To You
When you work, create the best quality work you can. So you can wake up enthusiastic to get back to it, and so you can go to bed knowing you made something you consider to be just right, and to be beautiful.
Stay true to who you really are. Align your work with your values. Be authentic and keep your values clear when making decisions. Keep your values clear when faced with acrimonious others.
I want to look back at the way I lived my life with a sense of overall peace. The way I treated others, and the fact that I endeavoured to live a good, simple, beautiful life.
Learn Every Day and Share This Knowledge
I study French every day because I love the language and I like to learn things that make my life a little richer. No other reason.
My husband reads about politics in his spare time. That’s not for me. Languages are not for him. So whatever your interests, spend some time there broadening your horizons.
Through my business journey, I am learning about digital marketing and how to create websites, and social media strategy, and more. I am also going through a great deal of personal growth thanks to the ongoing challenges and training that is offered.
I attach a link to the same free training I did which is exactly how I got started on my journey.
Learning makes me feel invigorated. It keeps me interested in life around me. I would suggest it does the same for most, of us as we are a bunch of clever beings looking for meaning.
I write from personal experience. I share what I learn along my own journey. I offer it is a lived example of making small changes in life. And I invite you to take what you will from what I offer.
If you would like a daily reminder of some of this simple beautiful life business, please follow me on instagram. You can find me at asimplebeautifullifesa.
Thank you for reading.