Tag: Choices (page 1 of 4)

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?

Eurotrip: Leaving on a Jetplane…

The proud Canadian in me is a little disappointed to be missing the festivities and of course, the fireworks, but the part of me that is consumed by wanderlust is quite excited to be heading on my first across-the-pond vacation since 2009. (Yikes! I know…)

Scott and I are heading to the Old Continent for a few weeks; it’s time for a EUROTRIP! We’re attending a dear friend’s wedding in Paris (she’s more like a sister, so it’s a must) via Brussels. Those who love travelling as much as I do are probably sharing my #sorrynotsorry thoughts about missing the National Holiday. Hello, smoother security measures and boarding procedures? Also, it’s a bonus travel day!

Scott hugs Mercedes in New Brunswick (2013)

Scott is humouring me so we get nice travel pics.

Roll With the Punches

As some of you may know, we were in “financial freedom mode” (i.e. paying off loans) so when we heard the news, we had an honest (albeit short) discussion about our priorities; there was no way we were missing the wedding. Sometimes, in life, events come up for us to re-evaluate our priorities. Yes, we were repaying loans and we’ll get back to that mode of “freedom focus” when we return. But we had to ask ourselves why we were even so focused on freedom in the first place. There were many reasons, but a big one for me (as well as for Scott), is to enjoy life and ride the wave of opportunity before it crashes into us. Scott often says he ‘only wants to be happy when he grows up’. It used to be charming, then it annoyed me and now, I see how broad this statement is. I choose to adopt it because it means I follow my heart and I plan, as best I can, for the unexpected. When planning fails, I roll with the punches.

We had to ask ourselves: “what are we doing all this for if we can’t even part-take in our friends’ milestones?”

Scott at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Guess where Scott is? (2013) Hint: It’s in Nova Scotia

A plane ticket isn’t any cheaper if you return sooner, so we decided to make it a holiday. Our first international trip together. It’ll be a golden opportunity to reconnect to each other, to re-discover each other as we discover new (old) parts of the world together and it’ll be a great spiritual practice for us both. It’ll be a time for sharing bits of ourselves that routine tends to put to sleep.

When we’d worked out that we were going, we had to figure out the logistics. We’re pretty proud to say that despite the short notice, this trip is not a debt but planned spending. Rock on, us!

Harmonizing Different Travelling Views

Scott and Mercedes at the Anne of Green Gables House in PEI (2011)

Scott and I at the Anne of Green Gables House in PEI (2011)

My partner and I view travelling a bit differently; he feels it’s a welcome luxury and I feel it’s an essential to balanced adult life. But we’re united in the value of family and friendship that we’re honouring. For me, it’s a much anticipated return to Europe (my last hop was in 2009) but the world changes and it’ll be an altogether new trip to do this trek with my partner. I can’t wait to share my wanderlust with this beautiful person. I want to tell him: “See? THIS is why I want to see the world with you. There’s such wonder. There’s such beauty and I want to share it with you. I want to be a witness to your life. I want you to share my adventures. The world’s a big buffet and although I can’t it like this every day, I want to enjoy every yummy piece of this world.”

Counsellors and therapists always encourage couples to “make quality time for each other” and “try new things together”, which I feel this trip fulfills. They also say that renovations and travel are big tests. I see tests as a rather formalized way of saying you’re practising your life. Yoga is a practice but so are your relationships of any nature. Every day is new and each person evolves so relationships are a dance. I prefer to make mine a connected but fun dance. Missteps will likely happen, as they do in everyday life, but what’s the fun in a perfectly rehearsed waltz? Some days, we’ll be like a tango or a westie dance, but many days are like swing for us; it’s partnership, it’s fun and it’s all about doing it together.

I can’t wait to go adventuring in Belgium, France and Holland. We’ll also be taking scenic and sentimental detours to smell

Mercedes is standing in a garden in King's Landing, NB (2013)

I’m standing in a garden in King’s Landing, NB (2013)

the roses (or the Thames or the Alps, no biggie). Travelling reminds me of my passions, or my love for humankind, or my thirst for learning. It makes me feel alive. For a few weeks, I forget about the humdrum of jobs, responsibilities and other people’s timelines. I remember who I am and I see with my heart. I’m also looking forward to seeing my partner in this light. Let this trip be about love.

While we’re out adventuring, I’ve got a few fun posts for you… and if you’re lucky, I might even post a few short on-the-go updates.  😉

What situations have caused you to re-evaluate your priorities? What choices have you made for your wellness and enjoyment? How does travelling add to your life?

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