Category Archives: Happiness

Constant Outrage is All the Rage

There is a lot of outrage to be found on the internet.

We’re outraged by a reality TV drama.We’re outraged by a photoshopped Instagram picture. We’re outraged by the existence of Justin Bieber.

Difference of opinion? Outrageous. Not doing things my way? Outrageous. Making counter-cultural choices? OUTRAGEOUS.

Constant outrage – particularly vented on social media – has become an epidemic, much like slacktivism.

With the click of a few buttons, a sprinkling of hashtags or sharing of links we can appear knowledgable and well-rounded and opinionated, all without leaving the comfort of our homes. All without doing a lot.

Look, I’m partial to a good rant myself.  But constantly looking for things to be enraged about is exhausting.

  • It’s OK to not have opinions on some things. Really.
  • It’s OK to just keep scrolling.
  • It’s OK to not engage with people looking for controversy.
  • It’s OK to simply ignore the comment designed to rile you up.
  • It’s OK if you aren’t overly concerned by the latest drama on MasterChef.
  • It’s OK if you don’t watch football and therefore really don’t care about the Big Game so, please, for the love of sanity, stop talking to me about it…

It’s also OK if you really care about things and get upset and do something about it.

There are many, many issues worthy of our attention and outcry and action (think bigotry, violence, prejudice, corruption, abuse of power).

But when it comes to the small stuff, why are we always looking for something to be angry about? Why are we sniffing around for a hint of controversy? Why must we be up in arms or hashtagging the hell out of a faux pas?

Constant and empty outrage is pointless. It’s just noise.

Why not slow the outrage and buy yourself some inner peace?

Keep scrolling. Shake it off. Ask yourself if it’s really important to you. Question if it will matter in one day, one month, one year.

Accept that there are things you can’t change. Accept that there are things you can’t be bothered changing. And change the things you can.

 

 

 

Celebrate the Little Wins

Celebrate the little wins

I’ve never really been one to celebrate my wins. Big or small, Sparky and I usually allow ourselves a moment or a smile, but we don’t really celebrate. It’s always seemed kind of… self-centred.

But recently I completed a 10-day workout challenge and at the end of every session, when I was out on my feet, I was told to dance a little celebratory dance. The instructor encouraged us to sing out loud, “I did it! I did it! Oh yeah, I did it,” while doing the running man. The sillier the better.

On Day 1, I ignored her. I didn’t win a marathon. I deserved no post-workout dancing.

On Day 2, however, her joy was enough to convince me. So I tried it out. I danced a little celebration. I shook my arms and hopped around like a idiot. I celebrated finishing my workout.

Do you know how good that felt? To celebrate that little win?

It didn’t cost me anything. It didn’t bother anyone else. It simply said to me, “You’ve done something today. You could have skipped your workout, you could have stopped before you finished, but you didn’t. And that’s awesome.”

It filled me up. And, yes, it was self-centred. But that’s the point of celebrating, isn’t it?

Celebrate your little wins

Did you get up early this morning? Dance a little celebration – a little booty shake is all you need.

Run to the top of the hill? Give yourself a Rocky moment up there – hands in the air.

Managed a discipline issue with grace and a level-head? High-five yourself in the mirror.

Sent an email you’d been putting off? Give it a little “whoop, whoop.”

Finished the pile of ironing that’s been sitting there for weeks? That’s worthy of a song. About yourself.

In fact, why not have a little win right now?

  • Pick up 5 things.
  • Meditate for 5 minutes.
  • Do 5 push-ups, 5 squats and 5 sit-ups.
  • Drink a glass of water. (Or 5.)
  • Write a list of 5 things to do this week. Go do one.

Then, celebrate.

Even if you’re not a celebrator, today – just for today – give it a shot. Try telling yourself that you are, in fact, pretty awesome. Because it’s true.

(This post was originally written in 2013, but I really needed to revisit it today. Thought it might help you too.)

Y is for Yes: A-Z of Simple Living

Y is for Yes: A-Z of Simple Living

This January, we’re taking an in-depth look at the why and how of simplicity with the A-Z of Simple Living. If you want to make 2015 the year you create a simpler, slower life, why not join us?

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Embracing simple living feels like saying no a lot.

  • No, I won’t buy that dress.
  • No, I don’t need to fill that space.
  • No, I won’t overcommit my time.
  • No, I won’t buy into the drama.

And quite often, we need to say no.

But simple living isn’t about withholding pleasures, going without joy or embracing a life of scarcity. It’s about setting yourself free. Specifically, setting yourself free to say yes more often, yes to the things that are important, yes to actually living life.

We can be free to say yes to:

  • space – both mental and physical
  • your kids when they ask you to play
  • engaging more
  • enjoying a cup of coffee with your partner – even if there is still work to be done
  • finding your passions
  • peace and quiet – sitting in the stillness is OK
  • spontaneous adventures and travel
  • getting up earlier

Some of these things you may be already doing, and some you may have no interest in doing. The difference here is choice. We’re making room in our lives – by simplifying – to say yes to more of the things we want to, when we want to.

What do you want to say yes to?

 

W is for Wonderment: A-Z of Simple Living

W is for Wonder: A-Z of Simple Living

This January, we’re taking an in-depth look at the why and how of simplicity with the A-Z of Simple Living. If you want to make 2015 the year you create a simpler, slower life, why not join us?

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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
                                                                                                               — W.B. Yeats

Simple living is many things. It’s:

But it’s also beauty and wonder and joy. Because if not for beauty; for unexpected moments of joy or delight; creativity and wonderment, then what are we working for?

It goes against the grain of our ‘efficiency and productivity at all costs’ society, but taking time to wonder and making space for wonder is one of the keys to a simpler, happier, more satisfied life.

Wonder of Curiosity

Take time to think and question, to be curious and to ask how? Why? Who?

Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” And it’s when we stop questioning that we lose the beauty of discovery.

If we didn’t question, we would not have the opportunity to marvel at exactly why the sky is blue, or how a bird’s skeleton is hollow, or the fact that children laugh over 300 times a day while adults manage around 15 giggles.

These things, and the world around us, hold such incredible beauty and wonder. If we stop being curious though, we miss out.

The Wonder of Tiny Moments

Dewdrops on a spiderweb, the rise and fall of a sleeping child’s chest, the lacework of shadows on the lawn, the way you and your partner can share a joke and just feel love, the plant flowering in the middle of a 4-lane freeway, the sky’s precise shade of lavender as the sun sets, the ridges and peaks of a knuckle, the warmth of your breath as it passes out your nose.

Take time to notice them.

The Wonder of Enormous Ideas

The sheer size of the night sky, the way music can bring an arena of ten thousand people together, the ocean, unconditional love, the way the least fortunate among us can be the most giving, Earth’s rotation, forgiveness from a child, wisdom.

Let your mind go there.

 

Wonder brings awareness. It brings gratitude for what we have and where we are right now. It allows us to bask in a very real beauty, even just for a moment. And best of all – it’s not reliant on how much you earn, where you live, what you wear or how many friends you have. Wonder and beauty are everywhere.

And the fact that you can find it in Tel Aviv, Chicago, Bangkok or Wellington is one of the greatest levellers there is. We all have capacity for wonder.

V is for Value: A-Z of Simple Living

V is for Value: A-Z of Simple Living

This January, we’re taking an in-depth look at the why and how of simplicity with the A-Z of Simple Living. If you want to make 2015 the year you create a simpler, slower life, why not join us?

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V is for Value.

But in this case I’m not talking about things of monetary value (although that could be part of it) and I’m not talking about moral and ethical values. Instead, I’m asking what regular, everyday things do you value? What people, relationships, experiences, feelings, rituals and belongings do you hold dear?

Or put another way, if you removed everything that didn’t matter – the clutter, the complications, the drama, the ‘shoulds’, the guilt – to get to the very core of what is essential to you, what would remain?

Perhaps, like me, you value:

  • chatting over a coffee with your partner?
  • quality time spent with your kids – as opposed to ‘busy’ time?
  • reading good books?
  • travelling – locally and abroad?
  • listening to good music?
  • afternoon naps?
  • work that satisfies you?
  • helping people?
  • the din of a house full of family and friends?
  • time spent on your health?
  • time spent alone?

Whatever your answers, I want you to know that these things matter.

Yes, they may seem trivial when viewed as part of the Big Picture. Frivolous. Selfish even. And I can tell you they certainly don’t make up the majority of my day. That privilege goes to…housework.

But I think these little sparkles are the jewels in life.

  • Embracing afternoon naps will not change the world – but will change your day.
  • Listening to music will not stop climate change – but it does refill your creative fuel tank.
  • Travelling does not cure disease – but it opens your mind and heart.

If we’re simplifying in order to find a better way of life, don’t you think we should try and include more of these things we value? What are we doing it for if not to have at least the opportunity for more of these moments?

Life is, after all, for living.