Tag: beliefs (page 1 of 5)

Simplicity: Streamline into Purpose

You’ve been hearing about this world-wide counter-culture trend of minimalism, from tiny living spaces to capsule wardrobes and multi-functional furniture. I’ve been inspired by many of these pioneers who’ve achieved zero-waste homes and streamlined their errands.  I study WAHMs (Working At Home Moms) blogs in amazement, because one day, I want to rock the mom thing (Tsh, Nina, Ruth and Anna are some of my favourite bloggers in this area). I often think of these bloggers and forward-thinkers as miracle-workers. I think: “I couldn’t possibly do what they did.”

But I can, and we can… we just trip and bash our egos on the details.

Although minimalism and intentional living have tremendous benefits as lifestyle choices,  the overarching concept of simplificity and streamlining (often put forward in minimalism) serves as  guiding principles on a spiritual level, which then trickles down into other areas of our lives.

By valuing simplification, it’s easier to streamline our choices and actions towards doing less of what does not suit who we are and what we want out of our lives. By simplifying down to what we value most (in varying forms such as relationships, careers, passions, families, hobbies…), we make room for meaning in our daily lives. We create our lives in practical and artful terms and in the process, we find purpose in meaning.

The BIG Shift to Simplicity

Since returning from holidays, I’ve discovered the many ways this trip has benefited my development and well-being (travel – the gift that keeps on giving!). Being around friends from all walks of life, one sentiment that stuck with me through the trip was how anything is possible. This was such a freeing realization, one I finally understood in my heart and in my gut as much as in my mind.

You’re probably thinking: “how is this simplifying? How does that have anything to do with streamlining, if she’s saying ‘anything’s possible’ ?”

As I sit with this thought, my mind goes straight into problem-solving mode to respond to my deepest longings. My mind says: “Heart, if anything is possible, this thing you hold dear, this dream you want to live out, this project you want to birth; it is possible! We can make it happen together!”

We're happy to be having a picnic in Bruges, Belgium

Anything is possible! (Here, we’re having the best picnic ever in Bruges)

My heart and my mind had a pow wow and agreed; the ONLY decisions that matter are the ones that allow Mercedes to follow her calling and co-creating loving relationships.  Those are the decisions that lead her to take action toward her dreams and her Self, making her feel most alive!  Everything else is gravy, as they say. Everything else then becomes about savouring life’s surprises and going with the flow. But the steps I take mindfully, I take in the direction of my calling and my loving relationships.

All of a sudden, judgment and fear takes a backseat. I don’t care about likelihood, opinions, past failures or “wasted” years. What I need to do is clear and moreover, I need to keep listening to the part of me saying:

“You’ve known all along and you’re more than capable, and worthy of your dreams. Don’t let others write your story. You aren’t greedy; you only want to follow your path. That’s also very yogic; you’re stepping away from things that aren’t meant for you, as you know they are meant for others and what’s meant for you is already yours. You’re already accepting of what comes to you in your journey, whatever that is. You’re ready to BE who you are.”

This is such a HUGE shift for a woman who’s been “glorifying busy” most of her teens and

Mercedes is at the fountain in front of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Refreshing! – I’m at the UN fountain.

young adult life. I was someone who was “trying on ambition” in the traditional sense and it felt like an itchy wool sweater. I often felt I needed to earn favours, work hard to deserve success and work even harder to earn leisure and rest. When I write this, I feel silly; my head knows that I’m worthy of happiness but that’s not how I’ve been living. There must have been beliefs (soul agreements) that prevented me from enjoying a simple, meaningful life. Heck, I could create that simple, purposeful life right now.

“But first, I should do…and then I need to…and really, this has to…” …aaaand nonsense.

It’s all just smoke and mirrors. If you want to be happy, be happy now. Make that choice, then work out what it means. If you want out of the life situation you *currently* have (whether that’s a job or a relationship), then ask yourself what *would* honour you and then work out how to do it and DO IT.

How Does Simplicity Help Me?

If you don’t know what your calling is or don’t believe in the concept of purpose, then by all means, listen to what lights you up, makes you smile and gives you energy. What makes you want to get up in the morning? What is the favourite part of your day? Whom do you most admire and why? How are you and your heroes alike? Are you envious of anyone? Ponder that.

For me, the spiritual simplicity of my life means that I will not limit my thinking or my options, because that would mean getting caught up in the details. After all, my mind should serve me, not control me. I won’t focus on a goal, but on the action. I ask myself: “does this honour me? Does this help me fulfill my calling or create loving relationships?” In even simpler terms: “Does this help me write? Does this help me practice reiki? Am I helping others in my way, with my gifts? Does this help me grow in my relationship?”

And that is how I focus my actions around my choices, which are based off my values. I am gaining clarity because I’m guided by few but strong principles.  Right now, I am called to write and to focus on wellness. Right now, my love partnership is a strong, rewarding bond that will (one day) blossom into the family we wish to welcome. As a harmonious partner (in the making) and a (mostly) serene writer and reiki practitioner, I feel I am better equipped to co-create other loving relationships (with family, friends, colleagues). I also feel more prepared to ride waves of life, because I found my centre.

With the steps I take, I’m streamlining my life choices so that I create, in love and in self-honouring practice, a life that is as true and alive as I was ever meant to be. Simply.

In what ways has simplifying your choices, actions or schedule improved your life? What does it allow for? Have you streamlined an area of your life to your greater satisfaction?

Book Review: Yoga Girl, by Rachel Brathen

Rachel Brathen is an instagram sweetheart known as @yoga_girl. I’ve personally been following her for as long as I’ve been on instagram (about a year?). I may have resisted this platform, which as a photographer, is a little contradictory, but at some point, I was too curious about the insta-eye-candy out there. And even though you find all types of trends (uh, there are altogether probably more food and cat pics than anything), I was instantly drawn to this super rad lady because she seemed so full of life, so genuine and her photos were always colourful and her messages inspiring.

Rachel Brathen @yoga_girl

Rachel Brathen is @yoga_girl

Book Review: Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

When I noticed the buzz about her (then) upcoming book, Yoga Girl, I thought I needed to read her story. I was so excited when it came in that I read it in a few short days. I recently read over certain parts of her story again. Rachel is honest and so full of love. Her wisdom comes from experience overcoming challenges (some of epic proportions) but she is not preachy. It’s fortunate that she’s a beautiful person (inside and out) and that she has so many followers because her message of love, peace and bliss is much needed.

I like that her book is a combination of her story. yoga sequences, recipes, inspirational notes and breath-taking photographs. Her book feels like she’s offering a slice of harmony by showing us how she found peace and beauty in every situation. She’s also found her voice and I admire that.

I’ve tried her green smoothie and her guacamole recipes and they were huge hits with my family. Her words of wisdom resonated with me, which is why I keep going back to her book.

Rachel Brathen in a seated twist

Rachel in a seated twist

Rachel Brathen in Seated Meditation

She inspires me to trust that what I love will be of use to someone and it will bring meaning (to others and to me). Her perseverance through her emotional, spiritual and physical challenges shows me that I can do it too. I can heal my body from emotional pain and hormonal imbalance. I can heal my body from injuries. I can heal my heart from fear and disappointment. I can heal my spirit from illusion. It makes me want to go to my yoga mat as well and work out my issues there. I practice to know Truth as often as I can.

This woman does yoga every dang day! Whoa. It’s what I strive for.

Rachel in king pigeon

Rachel in king pigeon

I realize that yoga is for my body what writing is for my spirit. They’re both tools and approaches to the same state of peace and acceptance.

Yoga Girl Book Cover

Yoga Girl, by Rachel Brathen

I’ve also started trying her sequences. Because of Rachel, I’ve started my handstand challenge… Every day, I work towards doing a successful handstand. I also try to do a forearm inversion. Inversions scare me a little. I know that I’m not there yet and I know this isn’t a complete yoga practice. But the Universe knows how to speak to us so that we understand; the handstand is me facing something that terrifies me and that I once thought I could never do (because I didn’t “have the body” or “the upper body strength”). I *know* through this experience that I will succeed and I know that I am strong enough. I also know that I like to take big bites out of the elephant but that I’m committed to small bites. So the handstand, for me, is tackling a tougher part in small, consistent bites. I will eat that elephant. I will handstand. I am hand-standing even for a few seconds every day. Those seconds will transform into minutes as my body confirms my belief that I am strong.

I am so grateful to her for writing this book and I hope one day to take her class live!

Is there a book that inspired you into challenging yourself? Has social media introduced you to someone you find inspiring?

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