Lighten Up

In late September I had the pleasure of reuniting with several people I’d gone to high school with. It wasn’t a formal reunion. Rather, it was a gathering of individuals who’d attended Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California, who now reside in the Pacific Northwest.

It was an enjoyable visit. In talking with people, I learned that in addition to our age, shared school, and the fact that we live in the Pacific Northwest, we have another common denominator. Without exception, the people Len and I spoke with are contemplating, or in the process of downsizing.

Within this collective mindset, it turns out that less is more, and that “he who dies with the most toys” doesn’t win.

What was the last physical item you offloaded?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

A minimalist, not only do I live light, I pack light too. For my three-month sabbatical I brought two pairs of jeans, four 3/4-length sleeve shirts, a down vest, a down jacket, jammies, and under clothing—including woolly pulleys.

My footwear consists of snow boots, snow shoes, and slippers. Serious slippers!

Hint #8 — From in the state, and out, people travel from all over to enjoy the year-round outdoor recreational offerings in my sabbatical location. Good thing I brought snow boots, because hiking (trails are prevalent) is great for clearing the cobwebs in one’s mind before writing.

While hiking, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these types of tracks: mule deer, grizzly bear, elk, wolf, fox, coyote, and raccoon.

My boots leave tracks too, but my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

What type of tracks do you leave?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not the Splits!

You’d think that as a tree-hugging minimalist, I’d prefer an online calendar. And while I use one for back-up and electronic reminders, I love my paper calendar.

What I don’t enjoy is having my weekends split—with Sundays on the left side of the page and Saturdays on the right. I don’t live split weekends, so it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around them, even on paper.

After a bit of research, I found a paper calendar that leaves the weekends intact—Saturday and Sunday together on the right-hand side of the page—at the end of the week. Hence, weekend. I’m giddy with delight!

What’s your calendar preference?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

My Cup Runneth Over

When we saw this trailer overflowing with bicycles galore, I thought, Holy cow, that’s a lot of bicycles! I don’t know who owns them or why they have so many, but clearly their “cup runneth over.”

For the rest of the walk I wondered, what do I have a lot of? Certainly nothing tangible in that quantity. But I have a heckofa lot of intangibles to be grateful for: peace, joy, and whole health—body, mind, and spirit. In fact, my cup runneth over!

Does your cup runneth over?

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not Julie Andrews List

With our recent four-day loss of internet connectivity, we came to realize just how important — vital — the internet has become in our daily lives. That “digital detox” provided me with unexpected time to enjoy a few of my favorite things and brought to mind a conversation my friend Kathryn McCullough and I had last fall on her blog, Reinventing the Event Horizon, where I shared with her (cue the music for My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music)

“As you know, I have very few material possessions. My favorites include a sarape/cape I bought in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, a wide-brimmed garden hat my husband bought me in Colorado, and what I lovingly call my Buddha Butt — a small hand-crafted meditation bench. I have a pair of mahogany chopsticks that Len got me in Yokosuka Japan that I use daily, and I have a pair of black pants — high waisted like Katharine Hepburn wore — that have served me well for many years.”

Laurie in Cape 11-2012
What are a few of
your favorite things?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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More(+) Equals(=) Less(-)

If “less is more,” then it stands to reason that conversely, more is less. From my perspective, that extols a simple lifestyle, but don’t take my word for it!

IMG_2376

As a simple living enthusiast and research for a new book, I took a diverse sampling of 12 people from my client base and asked, “What does it mean to live a simple life?” Here’s what they said:

  • “Slow down and enjoy small simple pleasures.”
  • “Live more with less.”
  • “Embrace opportunities and experiences rather than material possessions.”
  • “Get back in touch with nature.”
  • “Buy quality in the first place—less consumption means less load on the environment.”
  • “Less clutter—body, mind, and spirit.”
  • “Paring down to what’s essential in my life — not deprivation, but healthy balance.”
  • “Need-based living rather than want-based living.”
  • “Create and honor empty spaces in my life—small crevices of silence and pockets of stillness.”
  • “Live up to my own expectation, not society’s.”
  • “Live within my means.”
  • “Get back to basics: engage with real people (authentic), real food (not processed), real work (contributes to society)—the meaningful real fabric of life.

My personal response to simple living — what I call wabi sabi — is here.

Now I ask you, “What does it mean to live a simple life?”

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook

Determining Your Net Worth

During our home selling efforts, Len and I took the opportunity to review our net worth. Anemic by many people’s standards, we’re glad our “portfolio” isn’t made up of finances alone.

Three Oaks Recreation Area — Crystal Lake, IL

We enjoy a different type of wealth — the recession-proof kind that retains its value regardless of the economic climate.

And while the financial side of the ledger might look a bit bleak to some, here’s a glimpse at a few of the items on the non-financial side of our ledger:

  • Peace of mind
  • Physical health
  • Spiritual abundance
  • Loving relationships
  • Unlimited potential
  • Gratitude
  • Laughter

Holy Toledo — we’re not rich, we’re downright wealthy!

What’s your net worth?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook