When you slow down you see and appreciate the beauty that you never saw before. When you live with intention you actively choose what is important to you and drop the rest. When you simplify you create space for meaning and purpose to unfold.
By slowing down and choosing to live more intentionally and simply you dispose of negative energy, and instead draw in positive energy. Not only will this shift make you feel light within, you become more able to live your life with ease. Also, by de-cluttering your entire life you also enhance your manifestation power by creating the space within to attract abundance.
Clearing out the clutter in your mind as well as physically decluttering your home, inbox and anything else that may be taking up space in your energetic field will bring you more mind-body wellness and is also a great way to clear the path for miracles to materialise.
Thank you for joining me for week 8 of the Everyday Miracles Course. Today we will be dipping into slow, intentional and simple living. There is also a breath awareness meditation that goes along with today’s lesson.
There is no denying that modern life is hectic and fast-paced, and once you get caught up in the whirlwind of trying to be something to everyone, it takes a lot of effort to break that cycle.
The truth is that modern life will never leave us alone, it will always do its best to suck us up in the whirlwind of must and should, and sadly the pressure of deadlines will never be completely obsolete. However, we can learn to live in harmony with the chaos, and this is done by slowing down, simplifying and becoming intentional about every thought, action and word we speak.
Simple, slow and intentional living is built into your DNA, it’s what your soul craves and if you don’t take the time to stop and slow down – busy living will eventually get the better of you.
Generally, we don’t appreciate the place we are, and we spend our days dreaming, planning and striving to arrive somewhere else. So, when we finally arrive at the destination why is it that we often feel lost? This constant cycle of striving and never arriving is not a way to live out our daily life.
Living slow, simple and intentional is an invitation to reduce stress and overwhelm and find freedom and calm in day-to-day living. After spending years entangled in clutter, despite all the warning signs, I became so buried in the clutter that my soul screamed at me to just ‘stop’. I woke up one day and just couldn’t do it anymore, any of it, all the clutter had become so heavy that I was forced to just stop and re-evaluate.
I was drowning in too much stuff, and internally I knew I needed to pare down. The bills from all my consumer spending combined with my big mortgage weighed on me; draining me of my time, my money, and my energy. Then there was the stressful job that I absolutely hated – but needed in order to pay for all my stuff.
I felt trapped in a life that looked glamorous on the outside but was actually not bringing me any happiness whatsoever. The deep unhappiness I felt within forced me to spend time evaluating what was truly important to me. Not what was important to society, my friends or my family. But what was important to me. If I had any chance of finding some peace I first had to get to my own truth.
On my journey in chasing slow, simple and intentional I discovered that I was someone who needs nature. I need big skies, mountains and water vistas. I need a yard where I can put a seat and sit in the afternoon sun.
I need friendly neighbours, community gardens, reading circles and plenty of trails for morning walks. I also need a place where I can keep all my rescue animals. I need a place where I can spend most of the day outdoors, enjoying greenery, wildflowers, butterflies, and the smell of eucalyptus and native bush flowers and coming inside only to prepare a simple meal or take an afternoon nap.
I need to hear the morning song of the kookaburra. I also need a place where I can spend winter days doing activities outside such as SUP, snow-shoeing or horse-riding and then come inside to spend the night in front of the warm fire reading a good book.
So, after several years of working through the clutter and mess, and getting clear on what was important to me, I decided to sell my trendy Sydney 3 bedroom-2-bathroom terrace house for a move to the country. A move that also happened to involve selling most of my possessions, so that I could start my slow, simple and intentional country life anew.
Simplifying my living has changed my life dramatically by inspiring me to get down to a more grounded life. I started gardening, making my beauty products, savouring my cups of tea and prioritising more down time.
Slow, simple and intentional living is not about white walls and open spaces. It is about finding ways that make you feel light and free –this kind of living can’t be defined – for it is different for everyone.
Simple, slow and intentional living revolves around removing anything that is unnecessary. Be it objects, emotions, wants or fears; it is about stripping life of all things false.
In today’s lesson I am going to share with you things that I have learnt over the years as I have actively tried to slow, simplify and live more intentionally. There are so many ways to live this way, these ideas are just a few. These ways I bring forward today are to simply act as a refresher or check-in, maybe inspiring you to adjust or make small improvements in your own day.
Let’s take a look at the list:
Declutter your space: This is the most obvious and probably the first task that everyone tackles when wanting to pare down life. So, take a weekend or two to purge your stuff and organise your space. When you have less clutter, your life is less chaotic – you feel freer, are more productive and have a sense of calmness. Be relentless and get rid of as much as you can. Fill up empty boxes with your unwanted items and give them to a charity. Then with what you have decided to keep, organise it neatly. You may want to do this every few weeks, as it is amazing what you will be willing to release the second time round.
Slow down and give yourself time. Daily life seems to have become a never-ending list of things to be done and tasks to be completed – get up early, make breakfast, exercise, pack a lunch, get the kids to school, reply to those emails and on and on. Life will always be busy but that doesn’t mean there’s no time to slow down.
Actively choose to slow down and settle into a gentler pace of life. Allow yourself the time to enjoy all the little things and do everything as well as possible rather than as fast as possible.
We are all guilty of a bit of clock watching as we busily buzz about our day. Make small changes to help you decelerate the pace of modern life so that you can enjoy every part of your day, even if that simply means slowing down your hurried walk to work. Things will take as long as they take, being able to accept this will bring about a calmer state of being.
Prioritise your time: Time is valuable, and it is the one thing we never seem to have enough of. Take the time to sit down and prioritise what is important to you and how you want to spend your time. Prioritise self-care and drop as much as you can that feels stressful or weary on your soul, including those things you take on in order to make others happy. Then take action by writing it down in a planner, this will ensure you get the most out of your precious time.
Get clear about your values and goals: With so many choices and opportunities it can become confusing with which way to go. Often, we live in a frenzy of different directions, causing us to become disconnected from our own truth and own authentic path. Start to ask yourself questions? Questions like “What lights me up” What do I believe to be true” “Who am I”. Get clear on your truth and what you believe, identify what is most important to you and eliminate everything else.
Learn to say no: You only have limited time on this earth, so learn to use your time wisely – even if it means ruffling a few feathers when you say no. Overcommitting to other people’s plans and agendas only wears you out, causes you stress and makes you feel out of control. Look after your health and wellness by learning to say no. Setting healthy boundaries helps you show up in the world as the best version of yourself. By all means be there for others, as it feels good to help others out, but keep within the boundaries you have set for yourself.
Declutter your mind: Simple living is the conscious act of purifying your mind of clutter and filling the space with the things that you value. Identifying what is most important to you and eliminating everything else. Create instant space by dropping past regrets, worrying about the future, letting go of the need to control everything, and releasing any cares you may have of what people think of you. It is amazing how light and free you will feel when you give up trying to please and appease others.
Make choices with intention: Most of us at some point in life have been guilty of living on autopilot and doing what’s expected of us (school, careers, families, mortgages and more!) without actively deciding or even thinking about what we really want out of life.
And when this happens? We stop living with purpose, and instead of thriving we are just surviving.
Making things worse—without a clear sense of identity or purpose to fall back on—we try to fill the void by owning more stuff.
Intentional living gets you back on purpose. Get clear on what is important to you so that you can start making intentional choices and align your life with the things that matter to you.
Redefine your meaning of success: The only way to define success is that it brings inner peace within. Unfortunately, mainstream society has developed a narrow view of success. True success can only come when you live a life of substance and meaning, by actively choosing to align your life with your values and truest self, and making a conscious effort to steer away from mainstream opinions. We are each our own masters and weavers, and the pursuit of success is a never ending almost. Success is about mastering our own authentic journey and dropping the need to strive for the perfect outcome or destination.
It’s about knowing that the everyday ordinary can be extraordinary? It’s also a deep knowing that life isn’t about public recognition and accolades, but instead more about our own experiences and growth?
It’s a value that you have to mindfully choose again and again. You were not put on this planet to ‘be the best’ but to instead enjoy the process of ‘just being’. Experiences like; to swim in a lake on a hot day, take a walk with a friend or make a salad with the veggies you grew in your backyard.
Drop perfection: Living in a society that floods us with unattainable expectations around every topic imaginable, from how we should look to how we should raise our children, putting down the perfection shield is scary. Finding the courage to move from “What will people think?” to “I am enough,” is not easy. But however afraid we are of change, the question that we must ultimately answer is this:
What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think — or letting go of how we feel, what we believe, and what matters most to us?
The moment you stop trying to please other people by trying to meet their definitions of perfect, you take a lot of weight off your own shoulders.
It is ok to make mistakes. It is ok to make really really big mistakes. Pick yourself up and move on from them.
Stop trying to be perfect and start living a more creative and expressive life that is aligned to your truest self. The world is not interested in some superficial, fake and bad carbon copy of you, instead it wants to hear your most authentic heart-felt truth.
Embrace the ordinary. In today’s over-achieving world ordinary has such a bad rap. Too often we spend our lives chasing the dream. We spend far too much time striving and never arriving. Rather than getting so hung up on outcomes choose to accept the everyday things as beautiful.
Learn to find enjoyment in everything. This is related to being present but taking it a step farther. Whatever you’re doing, be fully present … and also appreciate every aspect of it and find the enjoyable aspects. For example, when washing dishes, instead of rushing through it as a boring chore to be finished quickly, really feel the sensations of the water, the suds, the dishes. It can really be an enjoyable task if you learn to see it that way. The same applies to other chores — washing the car, sweeping, dusting, laundry — and anything you do. Life can be so much more enjoyable if you learn this simple habit.
Have a sacred practice that uplifts your mind-body-connection: Choose something that resonates with you, it can be anything from a simple morning yoga stretch, afternoon meditation or Sunday morning church. Try to do something daily as it will do wonders for your overall sense of well-being.
Create a nurturing home: Your home should be a sanctum, a place that is mindfully decorated and designed. A place to rest your weary head and soul. A haven that reconnects you to ‘what truly is important’. Create a home that is only filled with things that have an energy value to you – photos, hand-made items, art, plants, quality furnishings. You will connect to this energy, which in turn will make you feel calmer, grounded and content.
Consume Consciously: ‘Green, ethical and conscious living’ is the new black, with urban farms, locally sourced food and ethically responsible consumer products on the uprise. When shopping for food, beauty products, clothes and so forth aspire to live more greener, gentler and kinder. It’s a beautiful philosophy, not only does it energetically feel good to make conscious, intentional and kind choices it is also a way of life that protects the well-being of all beings and the planet.
Seek out soulful and hand-made treasures. Or tap into your own creativity with DIY projects: Simplify your life and add character to your home with hand-made items and items that you have up-cycled. In a world that is so saturated in trends and fads, and an age of excessive consumerism – we can’t help but be naturally drawn to the charm of handmade items.
Stop frivolous spending: Mindlessly swiping your credit card is causing excess spending, increased stress and an overflowing pile of landfill. You work hard for your money, so stop wasting it on fast foods, clothes you don’t wear or on the latest gadget you can live without.
Spend time with people you love: Stop tiring yourself out by spending time with people who bring you down and drain your energy. Try to disassociate with anyone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart and replace them with the people who truly care – spending time with the people that matter most will uplift and energise you.
Enjoy your work: You spend 80% of your life working – so do something that makes you happy. If you can’t change your situation immediately then focus on ways you can make a difference in your work. Work towards changing your situation – maybe in your free time experiment with a new hobby, sign up for a course or create a new business.
Do less. We are a society of multi-taskers - we have our mobile phone in one hand and a list of endless chores in the other. It takes commitment to make the effort to slow down - especially when we are so use to running at a million miles an hour. However, I gently urge you to do less. Focus on what's important and let go of the rest. Schedule breathing space between your tasks and move through your days at a more leisurely pace
Live with mindfulness. Slowing down is simply not enough. You also need to be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the time. If thoughts and worries distract you from the present moment, then get in the habit of becoming aware of your thoughts and self-talk. When you find yourself future tripping, rehashing over the past or beating yourself up with negative self-talk, simply allow yourself to breathe and gently bring yourself back to the present moment and what you are doing.
Keep free time free. It is all too easy to notice a free afternoon in a busy schedule and quickly rush to fill it. Leave your free time free and see what happens. Let your day evolve organically and you’ll have a deep sense of inner-contentment and more calm state of mind at the end of it.
Re-evaluate your day. We tend to go about our day on auto-pilot where hours are wasted and frivolled away on meaningless tasks and superficial connections. Create more time for doing things that you enjoy and spending time with the people that matter most to you.
Acceptance of where you are. Learn to live life where you are today and be totally happy in it. Drop the endless chase and slow down. Look for meaning and purpose in your day. Saunter through the seasons of your life and learn to enjoy the journey.
Disconnect in order to reconnect. Take time to disconnect from everything. It’s impossible to slow down when you are always filtering new information that is coming in at you. This means if you carry around a mobile phone you need to shut it off - or better yet, leave it at home. Stop checking your Facebook, email or Instagram every 20 minutes. If your workdays are spent in front of a computer for most of the day, ensure you take your meal breaks and get outside [without your phone]. Being connected all the time wears you out - plus you are opening yourself up for interruptions and the demands of others.
Connect with others in a meaningful way. Have you been guilty of being in a conversation with someone only to walk away and not really know what you were talking about? Too often we spend time with friends, family and work colleagues, and we’re not really there with them. We talk to them but are distracted by mobile phones or our own thoughts. Connect with people rather than just talking with them.
Appreciate nature. Many of us spend hours cooped up within our home, office and car, and rarely do we get the chance to go outside. And often; even when people are outside, they’re talking, texting or taking selfies on their mobile phones. Instead, take the time to go outside and really observe nature. Take a deep breath of fresh air, enjoy the serenity of water and admire the greenery. Exercise outdoors when you can, or find other outdoor activities to enjoy such as nature walks, hiking, swimming, etc. Try to do this daily where possible.
Breathe. Slow mindful breathing will help you live with less stress and more ease. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Then take a couple more. Really feel the air coming into your body, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down.
Seek balance + well-being. Don’t let it take a health scare or tragic event to wake you up to make the changes to your life that you know in your heart you need to make today. Your mind, body and heart have the capacity to tell you if something is not right – choose to trust in that instinct and act on it. Take care of your mind and body, build yourself strong and robust so that you have the energy and positivity to ‘live a life that matters’. Live each day connected to life – doing the very best you can – for both yourself and others.
Consume Less. In today’s world where everything is super easy to replace, we tend to be a world of consumers, as a result this excess can actually decrease the enjoyment in life. By reducing excess and getting to the roots of simple living, you can savour and enjoy life more. You will become less distracted with the external gloss and become more focused on seeking out things that truly matter. Once you start to consume less you will quickly come to realise that ‘less is actually more’
The slow, simple and intentional life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For some it can be eliminating the endless stress and chaos of everyday modern living. For others it may be taking the time to appreciate the simple things in life. And then there are people who believe it is about un-cluttering their life and getting rid of the things that stop them from doing the things that they love most.
Overall the slow, simple and intentional life is defined by getting rid of the clutter in your life so that you can appreciate the things that matter, and which give you value. However, getting back to the roots of simplicity isn’t always a simple feat. It’s a journey that can often be a process of two steps forward and one step backward.
So, when your starting out - be gentle with yourself.
You will never reach your perfect life, for there will always be struggles, hardships and steep climbs. The key to making it through these times is to not become a better person but to instead surrender, allow, trust and learn how to fall into grace.
Upgrade your own life by creating more space, do this by slowing down, simplifying, minimising, observing, prioritising and re-evaluating.
Refresh your perspective, re-evaluate your priorities, and shift your focus to what matters most.
Re-evaluate your stuff, obligations, values, fears. Redefine your own definition of success and drop the need to be perfect.
I invite you to think about where ‘your place’ may be. I also invite you to get strategic and plan on ways to get there. Yes…sure it is scary….but it is worth it. And for many of you there may be things you wish you could change but can’t. Maybe you can’t move to your idyllic location because you have a family to support or have a secure job where you are. All I can say to this is…your slow, simple, and intentional life can start where you are right now today. No matter your situation or income – this way of living is accessible to everyone.
A great starting point is to start to declutter and simplify your current life so that you feel a deeper sense of connection and harmony to all around you. Create more simple habits into your daily life such as – tea rituals, gardening, knitting, reading, walks, shopping at farmers markets, spending more time cooking and so forth.
You’ve been given one precious life—what are you doing with it?
Does the life you're living represent your hopes, dreams, vision and values?
Or does it feel cluttered, busy, and out of alignment?
Your perfect life and inner happiness is not something that you need to chase, obtain or become. It’s time to carve your own path. Lean into whatever lights you up. For you have already arrived.
Underneath your overwhelm, uncertainty and self-doubt there is a deep knowing that you are here to thrive and expand in extraordinary ways. By cleansing and decluttering both within and externally you will create the space to connect with abundance, your purpose and your best self.
Drop the hurry and the need to chase. Take a deep breath in, put your hand on your heart and be present in the moment. Appreciate all that you are by saying to yourself “I am alive. I am present. I am living. I am noticing. I am creating. I am feeling. I am loving. I am being.”
Embrace the art of slow, simple and intentional. Choose to venture off the beaten track, set your own pace and choose for yourself. Reject the influence of mainstream culture, a culture that that tells us what we should be doing and how we should be doing it, instead focus on what lights you up and brings you great joy.
Choose slow over fast. Learn to see the extra-ordinary within the everyday ordinary. Most importantly just simply breathe, be, and live each moment with full intention.