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!

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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.

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

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© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Of Mice, Men, Packrats and Squirrels

Our home is located in what had been a grove of oak trees in days gone by. Most of the homes in our neighborhood have at least one huge tree in the front or back yard. Every fall we can count on being entertained by the antics of squirrels as they lay in stores for the winter. What they squirrel away is absolutely necessary for their survival.

Human beings are different. The National Association of Professional Organizers says that as a society we’ve acquired so much “stuff” over the last three decades that the self-storage industry is the fastest growing new industry in the United States.

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According to the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Program at the University of California, San Diego, the overwhelming desire to acquire, save, and compulsively collect—hoard—can be attributed to a “unique pattern of brain function abnormalities.”

Research shows the inability to discard doesn’t play favorites; it can equally affect both men and women.

Are you more of a minimalist or a maximalist?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

S is for Simplicity

I’m drawn to simplicity, efficiency, and order—a place for everything and everything in its place. For me, outer order contributes to inner calm.

I’m drawn to space—the efficiency of physical space.
I’m drawn to clearing clutter—mental and emotional.

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My lifestyle is simple, functional, and full.

I’ve shared with you before that my creative muse is wabi-sabi: a practice where inessentials are trimmed away or eliminated. The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the platform for my creativity—space and quiet solitude—simplicity.

In over 31 years of marriage, the one bone of contention that Len and I tug back and forth good-naturedly is that I’m a minimalist and he’s a “maximalist.” I throw and he saves.

During a recent discussion, he asked, “Just exactly why is it that you need to have empty space around you?” I answered, “Because it appeals to my zensibilities.” I meant to say sensibilities, but in retrospect, the word I said fits so much better.

It’s more than being content. For me, it’s the enjoyment of very little, with awareness and deep appreciation of how less is truly more.

Are you more of a minimalist or a maximalist? Click To Tweet

Do you remember the television show The Odd Couple? Are you more like Felix Unger—neat as a pin, or more like Oscar Madison—creative disarray? What’s your lifestyle?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Achieving Nothing (No Thing)

Laurie Keynote Speaking Using Baggage as Props

We arrive in this world empty-handed, and we leave the same way, with nothing (no thing). To me that’s a pretty big hint that we don’t need much. Yet somehow in the time between birth and death most of us manage to acquire and accumulate a multitude of items, stuff, things.

The National Association of Professional Organizers says we have so much “stuff” that each person spends approximately one year of their life looking for lost items.

As a society we’ve acquired so much “stuff” over the last 3 decades that the self-storage industry is the fastest growing new industry in the United States. It’s grown so fast that in the last 12 years the use of self storage space has grown from 1 in every 17 households to 1 in every 10. That’s an increase of 65 percent.

Many people’s garages are so filled with stuff—some to the rafters—that they can’t be used for parking their vehicle. But that’s only one type of clutter—material clutter. There’s mental and emotional clutter as well.

My desire? To be baggage free—body, mind, and spirit—prior to my exit point. How about you?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved