Minimalist Living Allows More Living For Less

More Or Less?Minimal living allows more living for less... Let me explain. When you look around you, do you see more or less? As a rule, MORE comes with debt, upkeep, responsibility and often clutter that leads to mental clutter and depression. Meanwhile, LESS comes with not having to care for 'things' creating more time for relationships, less physical "stuff" allows for less mental clutter, along with the freedom of being debt-free and saving money for your future.

Minimalist living allows more living for less… Let me explain. When you look around you, do you see more or less? As a rule, MORE comes with debt, upkeep, responsibility and often clutter that leads to mental clutter and depression. Meanwhile, LESS comes with not having to care for ‘things’ creating more time for relationships, allows for less mental clutter, along with the freedom of being debt-free and saving money for your future.

So, having MORE ‘stuff’ allows you less time for the things that truly matter in life. Having LESS things allows for more time to enjoy the things that truly matter in life. Thereby, less is more and more is less.

Are you still with me? I seemed to have had a Dr. Seuss moment there…

When we look at the minimalist lifestyle for the first time, we don’t see what is in front of us.

Looking at the minimalist lifestyle for the first time there is a tendency to go into shopper’s panic rejecting the thought of not having all the latest and greatest fads in our closets and snacks in our pantry. That is not at all how the minimalist lifestyle works. In a nutshell, minimalist living is having the very best that you can afford of the things that you use everyday; plus the things you use seasonally and your most cherished sentimental items.

Minimalist Living Is A Conscientious Intentional Lifestyle

The conditioning of our current society is that if you are a person of influence you must own a lot of stuff, live in an over-sized home and drive new cars. Not only does this raise the questions, ‘Why do we think this?’ and ‘Why would we want to go into debt to put on this charade?’ but, how does debt-ladened consumerism benefit us?

I read this years ago and found it to share with you here:

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said “I love you and I wish you enough.” The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. I asked her, “When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say ‘I wish you enough’. May I ask what that means?” She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone”.

She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Here are some pretty scary facts:

  • There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times)
  • Even though the average size of an American home has tripled in the last 50 years, 1 out of every 10 Americans rent off site storage for even more of their stuff (New York Times Magazine)
  • We spend one year of our lives looking for lost items. (National Association of Professional Organizers)
  • The average 10-year-old owns 238 toys, but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph)
  • 23 percent of adults say they pay bills late (and incur fees) because they can’t find them. (Harris Interactive)
  • There is a direct correlation between a woman’s Cortisol (stress) levels and the amount of clutter in her life (UCLA study)
  • 80% of the clutter in your home or office is a result of disorganization, not lack of space (National Association of Professional Organizers)   Click Here To Learn More!

Six Steps To Beneficial Discipline

Hmmmm. That’s a thought-provoking title isn’t it? What are the Six Steps To Beneficial Discipline? I mean who really benefits from discipline?!

One point that needs to be made from the start. Never discipline in anger.

One point that needs to be made from the start. Never discipline in anger.
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

I tell my daughter when things get too complicated, “You go to your room, I’ll go to my room and I will come to get you when I have calmed.”

Often times, she just went to sleep. There was a time when I found that very upsetting, how could she sleep when I’m so distressed?!?

In hindsight, it was probably better for both of us that she did take a nap. It may have been her need of sleep that caused whatever the situation was in the first place. The situation may have been even better resolved if I had napped also.

But, alas, you know what they say about hind-sight.

Six Steps To Beneficial Discipline

Our first step in any situation is to call a family meeting. This is a solemn conversation, no TV, no CDs or DVDs; everyone sitting around the table face-to-face for the sole purpose of correcting this situation.

Our position is that our family is a team, if one of us has a problem, we all have a problem and we all will solve it.

Our second step is to let the family member with the problem explain it to the rest of the family in enough detail to come to a solution.

(The trick is to look very thoughtful, and not laugh, these stories take some interesting turns in order to cover the back side of the teller.)

Our third step is to ask the family member involved, what they think will best solve the problem.

This depending on the age of the child usually involves beating up someone else’s child, or the child’s parent.

It is explained that the other family will take care of behavior problems in their family, and that is not our business. Families each have different cultures and rules that they are governed by and we have ours. We are concerned with behavior in our family. Each member of our family regardless of age will behave according to our morals and standards.

Our fourth step is to pray for guidance.

This is a short, to the point prayer, so that the person with the problem knows how much that they are loved and that we and God are always there for them to help them find truth and a good life. Thanking God for always being with the person with the problem and watching over them. (The child at this point is reconsidering their story.)

Step five is asking the person with the problem if there is anything more that they remember about what happened before we, as a family, decree what action we shall take. This will usually take you back to step three, now that the ‘God is always with me’ reminder has kicked in.

Step Six, finally.

My answer to beneficial discipline was to reinforce what the child was being taught in school at the time.

Our daughter only had one problem at school, when she was 6. She falsely accused another child of wrong-doing.

After going through the above process:

She had to write the alphabet X amount of times, presenting them to her father after each time for correction. If she skipped a letter, he threw it away without comment and it was redone.

I told her to write a story about a fictitious character who had done something that they shouldn’t and what the consequences of that character’s actions were. She then had to turn it into her teacher.

The teacher told her that it would count for her grade for that marking period.

This is beneficial discipline because it demonstrates to the child family support and values, religious values, and practical application of educational skills. By writing the story we were sure that she understood what was going on.

Discipline should not be violent, it should not be a show of dominance, and it should be loving and educational.