Tag Archives: Simplicity

My Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

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(Flowers from past weekend, photo courtesy of K. Higgins)

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a women’s retreat. Six women, some strangers, all coming together to be in circle, supporting one another in our life journeys. I feel so blessed to have kicked off my New Year this way, sitting in reflection with such intelligent and spiritually savvy mirrors. The experience was a perfect way to slow down and to begin living out and defining my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions.

1) Don’t do community, Be communityCommunity has always meant a lot to me, and it continues to get more important as I age. I look forward to spending quality time with my tribe this year. Quality over quantity. I may not be around as much, but I pledge to be present when I am with people. Often my existence consists of me thinking about what I need to do next or me being tired from the last thing I just did. This year, I pledge to be with my friends and family, and therefore, only be in one place at a time. No more double-booking. When you are doing, doing, doing, you can only miss out.

2) Rest. And then rest some more. People forget that rest is an important aspect of health and wellness. I am (was?) one of those people. 2012 was a little too busy for my liking, and I’m looking forward to catching up on some sleep in the New Year! Stay tuned for a longer post on Zzzz and restoration!

3) Eat simply. My husband and I love cooking, but this year I really want to explore simple foods and make them delicious. This weekend I tasted my first, broiled cinnamon orange. So simple. A recipe we enjoyed for its health benefits but mostly for its sheer simplicity and warmth. Yum!!!!

4) See beauty in everything (including myself). True beauty is everywhere. We often fail to see it because we are bogged down by all the white noise out there. It’s time to embrace who we are and actually see the beauty that resides in ourselves. How often do you look in the mirror and think, “I look awesome?!” Maybe some of you do, but for many, the first thing our minds are drawn to is something that may be irritating. “Oh, nice chunk of spinach in my tooth. Yum.” You get the picture. If its not in the physical, many of us are waiting to approve of ourselves after we do something – get a new job, get a boyfriend, lose weight. Why not approve of who you are now and see how beautiful you are now. You are. If we can find true beauty in ourselves, we are more likely to love and accept ourselves, and therefore we will take better care of ourselves and those around us. When we take care of ourselves, love and compassion will radiate toward others. Awesome!

5) Embody movement and accept movement. I need to move my body more and recognize that all of life’s experiences are just the movement of energy. Ebbing and flowing. Up and down. And that’s that. We cannot always be up, and we will not always be down. So I need to be okay with moving in both directions. I’d like to close with a great poem that reflects this sentiment, by Lao Tzu from Tao Te Ching (a special thanks to a new friend, Ihotu, for sharing this gem).

Do you think you can take over

the universe and improve it?

I believe it cannot be done.

The universe is sacred.

You cannot improve it.

If you try to change it,

you will ruin it.

If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

So sometimes things are ahead

and sometimes they are behind;

Sometimes breathing is hard

and sometimes it comes easily.

Sometimes there is strength

and sometimes weakness;

Sometimes one is up

and sometimes down.

Therefore the sage avoids extremes,

excesses, and complacency.

If it suits you, I hope you, too, can avoid extremes, excesses, and complacency in your life, find beauty in the moments, live simply, take time for rest and relaxation, and be present with yourself and your community in 2013!

Best wishes to you and your hopes and dreams this New Year!

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“Simplicity is the highest form of sophistication.” There is nothing faux about “The fauxMartha”…what an eggcellent post. I recommend this blog to people who love food/food photography/good writing/life reflection. I am also reposting not only because I want to try her recipe, but because Mandala Reflections hopes to bring to you some more holistic posts about food, health, and community this fall/winter. Yay! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it…

thefauxmartha

A couple months ago, I started this simple summer series. I read every last suggestion from you on how to keep summer simple and even implemented a handful, although they were faced with great resistance at first. A friend from college posted a suggestion to go outside, sit on the back porch, and stop everything. Shivers ran up my spine as a read it.

I love to be busy. And honestly I love work. Several nights recently I’ve found myself making popcorn and designing late into the night. No scowls involved. It’s good to love your work. It’s good to work. But it’s not good to miss life in the process.

But I’m happy to report—I think this summer was simple. I spent less time on twitter. And even less time in the kitchen. I spent several Saturdays on the beach. Beautifully mindless Saturdays. I watched nearly every last…

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Finding Inspiration & Beauty in Art & Simplicity

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I am always amazed at how fast art and images can reach my deeper consciousness when I pay attention. Had these words been written in a book, I may have breezed over them. Something about the average look of this photo with its uneven tape and handwriting, coupled with my recent place in the world made me stop and reflect today.

The message is not new or crafted cleverly. I have heard that the present is a gift in a million different ways, but today I am thankful to be reminded again by this image. While I cannot take credit for creating this work of art, I can resonate with the truth and beauty of its message. Here are some questions to ponder if you, too, feel moved to journal or reflect:

About the words on tape:

  • How does it feel to know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed? Does this reality make you feel uncomfortable or comforted?
  • Are you living in the present? Past? Future? What do you need to do or not do in order to come back to this moment of your life?

About art, simplicity and beauty:

  • Each day do you take time to see subtle works of art in your life? Can you be inspired by them?
  • What is simple and beautiful in your life? Are they people, places, things? Do you notice them, and does this noticing create a sense of well-being for you?
  • Do you pay more attention to the sparkle or the spark?