Monday, March 25, 2013

Weed the Garden of Your Mind and Let Inspiration Grow

This started out as a rant a few days ago and I put it aside to think about for awhile. There is so much negative in the world, and I have decided not to contribute to it, but instead share some of what inspires me! 

For starters, I have this desire to know as much as possible - to always be learning and finding new ways to enrich my life and the quality of life around me. I had the habit of subscribing to every website and blog that I was interested in and it has snowballed. So, when I say that I had 1600 emails in the inbox of one of my email accounts, you know that this has been an energy drain on me - every time I went to check email, it would overwhelm me. So after a good amount of time deleting what I didn't need, archiving what I do need and unsubscribing from many of the lists, websites, etc. that I was getting mail from....I feel much better. 

Intrusions into my life from all directions, overwhelming me. 
Interesting that I had "invited" this.

So, in an effort to simplify this information overload, I am unsubscribed from everything that I can read on my own somewhere else.  I don't need an email that tells me to go to a website or blog that I already read frequently and enjoy. I also unsubscribed from every place that tagged me when I was shopping for the holidays, any kind of alert from Facebook, Linked-in, etc. I took back the control of going to these sites when I feel like reading instead of being daily bombarded with things demanding my attention. 

Other than family, I kept a few that contribute to my mental well-being and I wanted to share here a brief list of what I read most days, or when I have a chance to catch up...

Zen Habits with Leo Babauta - such a peaceful, practical and comforting site to read in the chaos of life. I've read several of Leo's books and have found a direction of simplifying that resonates with me. Sometimes I am in the middle of a stressful day and go to his site and just click on the word Breathe and read:


If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. 
It will calm you and release the tensions.

If you are worried about something coming up, 
or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. 
It will bring you back to the present.

If you are moving too fast, breathe. 
It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.

Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. 
They're too fleeting and few to waste.

The Minimalists "Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff" I find these guys to be super encouraging in their approach to living life with less things and with more meaningful experiences. They also have several books that I have read and that speak to the minimalist in me.

Rowdy Kittens:  I have already written about how much I appreciate Tammy Strobel and love her book "You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap)".  She consistently shares beautiful things about her life and it is very encouraging. The tiny home, living minimally, etc. are all a bonus to the beautiful way that she photographs the world.

ISO Splash / ISO Furry / ISO Give  - When I need a dose of beautiful images and cute furry pet faces, I go to this website and view the work of Ramon Nayar.  All you have to do is look at the images to see that his view of the world and the way he captures the love between animals and owners is very special. Then read some of the reviews and recommendations and you will have a glimpse into the energy of dedication and quality that Ramon brings to his work and to the lives of the people around him. I have known him for eight years to be exactly this caliber of person and it's so encouraging to see him thriving and doing what he loves. (edit:  See Ramon interviewed here:  Naperville Community Television.)

From his website:  As with all specialties of ISO Splash Photograph & Design, ISO Furry is committed to spreading awareness about related issues, such as pet adoption and volunteering with companion pets to make the world a better place. 

Life Unshelved -  I read this blog because it is written by one of my dearest friends and - because my children are grown adults - I enjoy reading the stories of her little ones, and reliving my own memories of my children when they were young. We also have so many things in common: gardening, cooking, canning, and lately we have each started a writing project and promised to be support and editor, sounding board or whatever is needed. Meg is an invaluable treasure to me.

Choosing Voluntary Simplicity - This is where I go for practicals of living life with a garden and wood cooktop stove. Shirley shares her desire to live simply and live a life of quality with great heaping doses of very practical and useful advice in recipes, projects, etc.  


In addition to these sites, I have a list of blogs that I read, and can't list all of them here.  I really enjoy reading them. I have chosen them each for different reasons, but what it comes down to in the end is that these people contribute to my life in a positive way. They mean something to me and take up a valuable space that I am willing to give them. I am a better person because of their influence in my world.

When I talk about minimalism and simplifying, living a life of quality and less stress - whatever you want to call it, ultimately, the things you fill your time and mind with will either hurt or help you. There is so much beauty and good around us and more than enough people who are expressing it through their vision, writing, photos, speech, and actions. It's up to us to find it and choose it over the negative.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment 
before starting to improve the world.
~ Anne Frank


  1. Love this post and love that you chose to try and focus on something positive. :) I admire you for purging through all the junk (email, websites, etc.). It's something that would clear a lot of mental clutter for us all but a challenging thing to do.

  2. Thank you Staci - I keep your blog on my list because you have reached out and made a connection with me. That's what matters most, really. We have this great tool of technology that can be such a blessing to us and help us to meet other people that share our interests :) It's just a matter of keeping things in check and not letting it get out of control. Because the purging...not so much fun lol

  3. Thanks for the links. A few I know about and a few are new to me. I've also reduced the amount of blogs/sites I read. It can be info overload for me if I try to keep up with it all.

  4. Hi Sandra, I hope you enjoy the links. A few are people I have found online, a few are my friends, all are great! I enjoy your site and what you post, and have kept you on a list of what I read because we share similar interests too :)