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Living intentionally

The rise of influencer marketing and what it means for authenticity online

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For some time now, Instagram has been my least favourite social media platform.

 

When I first started blogging, I jumped on absolutely every social media platform –like you do–  and I treated Instagram like a visual diary.

 

I used it to document all of the sweet, funny, lovely moments of each day and I would connect with other bloggers who were doing the same. 

 

But A LOT has changed since then.

 

These days, with the rise of influencer marketing, owning an Instagram account comes with a lot of responsibility.

 

As a member of the platform, if you want to be taken seriously, you are required to curate an aesthetically pleasing feed for your followers.

 

There is no room for spontaneity or images that depict real life anymore. Influencers have created a world where everything needs to be colour coordinated, perfectly proportioned, edited and filtered so that it looks like something you would find inside a glossy magazine. 

 

I really struggle with how fake some of these accounts seem to be. Authenticity is something I value a great deal, as I talked about in my post- authenticity and finding happiness by being myself.

 

the rise of influencer marketing, how to build an instagram community, remaining authentic online, honest blogging, authenticity, vulnerability, blogging tips, building relationships with your followers, mindfulness,

 

At the beginning of this year I found that logging into Instagram made me feel not only bad about myself, my home and my life but also about my creative endeavors.

 

I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to get a perfectly curated feed. I never knew what to say in my captions. And recording videos for Insta-stories made me feel terribly awkward. 

 

Instagram reminded me of the way I used to feel in high school.

 

How there were all those little cliques and segregated groups. The sporty kids, the nerdy kids, the quiet ones and the popular ones.

 

No matter how much I told myself we were all just PEOPLE, I always felt intimidated by the popular kids. There was something about them that I could never match up to. They always made me feel inferior with their designer jeans and the effortless way they managed to always be the centre of attention. 

 

That’s how I used to feel on Instagram. Small. Insignificant. Impossibly confused. 

 

My feed seemed to consist of influencers with hundreds of followers whose picture-perfect lives were a billboard for everything I am not.

 

For the longest time I have just felt left out and left behind. 

 

I am no supermodel. I don’t have abs worthy of bikini-on-the-beach shots. I don’t go out every Friday evening to share snaps of my cocktails. I don’t have a beautiful all-white, marble counter-topped kitchen.

 

I’m just well, ordinary. 

 

Most days I go without wearing make up. I prefer to make coffee at home rather than spend money going out all the time.

 

I feel embarrassed taking pictures of myself in public with everyone looking at me. And my bedroom is dark, cozy and totally un-aesthetically pleasing. 

 

But nobody wants to see ordinary on Instagram. They want flashy, beautiful, and air-brushed. They want a real-life fairy tale all sparkly and tied up with a bow. 

 

So it leaves me wondering, where does someone like me fit in? What have I got to share that people would actually care about? 

 

I couldn’t answer these questions for awhile so I just stayed away.

 

I hardly ever posted. I became an Instagram lurker, one of those people who likes pictures and watches everyone else posting but never participates. 

 

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But slowly I drifted back and decided I would take Instagram seriously again.

 

If I wanted to be a serious blogger, then I needed to not just lurk online but to participate, to share and be part of this world.

 

So I started editing my photos to make them a little nicer. I started putting in a bit more of an effort to figure out the colours and style that I wanted to display in my feed. 

 

I started to see Instagram as just another outlet for my creativity

 

I discovered it could be another place to be curious, excited and inspired. 

 

And in the process I found there was a community of people just like me. People who weren’t there to make sales, who didn’t look like models, who weren’t portraying these impossible standards. 

 

I found people with the same values as me.

 

Who were passionate about mindfulness and living intentionally and being present in the moment.

 

People who weren’t pushing consumption, asking their followers to buy more and more and more. People who just wanted to share their art, their words and their pictures with the world. 

 

My kind of people.

 

And so Instagram has become one of my favourite social media platforms. I place where I can connect with other creatives. I place where I can feel inspired and uplifted. I place where I can create and share my work. 

 

 

I think the rise of influencer marketing is a double-edged sword.

 

I hate the way it encourages mindless consumption. The way it makes us feel like we are always lacking something. The way it portrays a lifestyle that is unrealistic, even for those taking the photos.

 

But I love that it enables small businesses and lesser-known creatives to shine. I love that it makes connection and community possible. And that this form of marketing gives power back to the people.

 

How do we choose authenticity over perfection online?

 

By following people who are genuine.

 

Those who share their behind-the-scenes and aren’t afraid of the messy aspects of life. Those who are honest about which of their content that is sponsored. Those who only share what they truly love and believe in.

 

By un-following people who make us feel less-than.

 

You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. It doesn’t matter how cool or popular they may be, you don’t need to compare yourself to them. There are only so many people’s pictures you can scroll through in a day, so they might as well be people you actually LOVE to follow.

 

By choosing community over competition. 

 

Search for people who care about the same stuff you do. Find your community and build them up. Comment on, like and share others accounts, there is enough space for all of us to be creative and successful.


 

Let’s chat about this in the comments…

 

How do you feel about Instagram, influencer marketing or social media in general? 

 

The best simple living podcasts to encourage mindfulness

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I love podcasts. I love that I can take them with me wherever I go. I love that they are filled with such inspiration, humour and wisdom. And I love that they have this magical property of turning any dull task into a delight. 

 

I used to try listening to podcasts on the bus to university but I found myself getting increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t turn the volume up loud enough so I could hear them speaking without bursting my eardrums in the process. 

 

So I stopped listening altogether for a while. 

 

Then, when I started driving myself to and from work, I rediscovered the joy of podcasts. They gave me something to look forward to as I left the house, in the dark, at an ungodly hour and joined the humming, early morning traffic. 

 

Podcasts have this way of making mundane, daily tasks a pleasurable experience.

 

Suddenly, cleaning dishes, commuting to work or brushing your teeth becomes a time to relax and reflect. What once felt tedious becomes a routine I thoroughly enjoy.

 

I now find myself itching to go for a walk each day so that I can slip my earphones in and start listening to the next episode in my queue. 

 

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It’s exciting to me that podcasts are so rapidly growing in popularity. I’m delighted that more and more creatives are using this platform to share content. 

 

I love reading blog posts but I find there is something really special about hearing a person’s words in their own voice. 

 

As you know, I am a simple living enthusiast. I am passionate about slowing down, being mindful and living in the moment. And I love nothing more than connecting with or discovering other people who feel the same way. 

 

I wanted to share with you some of the people who inspire my writing. These are my go-to podcasts, the ones I’ll always make time for. Some of them I’ve been listening to for years and some are fairly new to my collection.

 

All of them will inspire you to live intentionally, to not take anything for granted but instead to appreciate every precious moment you have.

 

The best simple living podcasts to encourage mindfulness:


 

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Image: Christy Nockels

The Glorious In The Mundane- Christy Nockels

 

Christy is a Christian musician and I’ve mentioned her lullaby album before in my post about ways to calm down when you are feeling anxious for no reason. I listen to her album on repeat on bad days.

 

And her podcast is just as beautiful as her music.

 

Each season she has a theme which she centres the episodes around such as ‘home’ or ‘postures of the heart.’

 

In every episode, she starts by telling a story from her everyday life. I know a lot of people who hosts podcasts do this, but I think Christy does it the best.

 

Her stories captivate your attention like your teacher did as she read to you while you all sat cross-legged on the mat. Her words have this way of making you feel lighter, softer and closer to God.

 

Christy will remind you to gently look for the beauty in the ordinary (hence the name, ‘glorious in the mundane.’) After listening to this podcast you will have a greater appreciation for the wonder of life, even in the dull moments. 

 

My favourite episode: Build my life | Episode 25

 

 

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The Next Right Thing- Emily P. Freeman

 

I came across this podcast last year when I was in the middle of job hunting and feeling so terribly lost (the theme of my twenties I feel.) I was drawn to the title because boy, did I need some help figuring out my next right thing.

 

Every episode of this podcast feels like a warm hug. A pat on the back. Someone giving you a little cheer as you drag yourself closer to the finish line.

 

Emily provides guidance and wisdom as we try to work out what to do next. She reminds us of the gentle nudges we often miss that are also known as our intuition. 

 

This podcast will encourage you to take things slowly, to give yourself a little grace, to take the little steps that lead to big steps until you eventually find your rhythm. 

 

My favourite episode: Stay in today | Episode 36

 

 

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Image: Apple Itunes

Hashtag Authentic- Sara Tasker

 

I stumbled across Sarah’s book and subsequently, blog through another blogger I follow.

 

Sarah is what you might call an Instagram guru. She runs her own beautiful blog, Instagram and a super successful business teaching others how to do the same.

 

Her podcast is so down to earth. You get the impression that she is one of the sweetest people on earth. She talks about mindfulness, creativity and social media in a way that brings together what can sometimes feel like polar opposites.

 

You will love this podcast if you are a fellow creative, a business owner, or someone who finds Instagram beautiful but impossibly confusing!

 

My favourite episode: Live in Manchester | Episode 67 

 

 

 

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Image: Katie Dalebout

Let It Out- Katie Dalebout 

 

You may have seen Katie’s book ‘Let It Out’ around online. It’s a guide to journaling and one of the BEST journaling tool kits I’ve come across.

 

Her podcast has been one I have followed for a long time. What I love about it is that she doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects. She mainly focuses on health and well-being with topics such as self care, therapy, and body positivity.

 

Katie talks earnestly about a lot of things that are really rough about your twenties. She makes you feel like you are not alone. Her gentle, warm voice leaves you feeling comforted like you just caught up with an old friend.

 

 

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Image: The Commoner’s Communion

The Commoner’s Communion- Strahan

 

Strahan is another Christian musician but he’s actually from New Zealand which makes me really happy. Not only does he create fun, folksy music but he is also an incredible speaker.

 

I’m disappointed to say he hasn’t released any new episodes of his podcast in quite awhile but I highly recommend you go and check out his older ones.

 

Strahan is one of those beautifully articulate, poetic, wordsy people who reminds you that everything is sacred and special. His podcast makes faith and Christianity more accessible and less old and stuffy.

 

My favourite episode: New | Episode 4

 

 

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Image: Jessica Rose Williams

The Little Chapters- Jessica Rose Williams & Kayte Ferris

 

This is one I only just came across recently but I loved the episode so much I had to add it to this list. 

 

I love how chatty and friendly these two ladies are. The conversation I listened to was really interesting and encouraging. 

 

This podcast is very real and authentic, it will inspire you to reconsider some of the beliefs you hold and take actions to improve yourself.

 

My favourite episode: Abundance vs Lack | Episode 15


 

What are your favourite podcasts?

How to be happier: finding joy in your ordinary life

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Do you ever get that feeling of discontentment with your life? That itchy, scratchy feeling of wanting to GET OUT NOW. Wanting something bigger and better than what you have at the moment. 

 

It’s a wonderful thing to be filled with ambition and to chase after your big dreams. We shouldn’t limit ourselves or be satisfied with living a small, mediocre life. 

 

There is a whole wide world out there of possibilities to explore and places to experience. 

 

A dream for the future isn’t a bad thing.

 

But if your dream leaves you constantly feeling a little lacklustre then perhaps you need to be reminded of the good in your everyday life. 

 

Hopefully, one day you’ll be able to travel the world, or start your own designer shoe label or own your own home but your life doesn’t start THEN, it starts right NOW

 

I’m terrible at living in the now, I spend most of my time longing for the not yet. Waiting for all those hopes and dreams to be fulfilled before I start living fully. 

 

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything will work out once you have x, y or z. We think this way so often. We believe we’ll be happy once we’ve lost weight or moved houses or had a kid.

 

The thing is, that may or may not be true. And it would be an awful shame to get that thing only to realise that you still aren’t happy.

 

That’s why we need to learn how to be happier and content with our life right now, exactly as it is.

 

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I know it can be hard to be satisfied with your everyday life because it can feel terribly ordinary and unbelievably dull.

 

It isn’t glamorous to be sitting behind a desk all day or scrubbing coffee stains off your white shirt that you just washed. But the thing is, for most of us that is what our everyday life looks like. 

 

I think part of the problem is that we get this skewed view of what normal life looks because of what we see on social media. People are always posting glamour shots of their most recent holiday or the party they went to on the weekend and we translate that as their everyday life. 

 

But in reality, nobody is on holiday or partying all the time. Real life is full of boring, mundane moments. 

 

So the trick is finding the good in those moments. Making the most of our everyday. Choosing to live right now instead of waiting for the next big thing.  

 

 

How to be happier with your life right now

 

Make every day special

 

Do you have those things that you store away in cupboards and only bring out on “special occasions?

 

I mostly do this with clothes. I have this pair of sparkly, silver shoes which I absolutely adore. My mum calls them my ‘Wizard of Oz’ shoes because they make me look like Dorothy.

 

But I often stop myself from wearing these shoes because I feel like they might be a little too jazzy for everyday wear.

 

Isn’t that stupid? I think we need to make every day a special occasion. Every day is a perfect day to wear your favourite sparkly shoes or drink from your best teacups.

 

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Indulge your passions

 

We all have those things that we are obsessed with (maybe even to an embarrassing extent.) I think it is a shame that we spend so much time trying to fit in and avoid being weird or quirky or interesting.

 

If you want to know how to be happier with your life, try simply allowing yourself to indulge in your passions. To be as weird or geeky or girly as we please.

 

To be proud of exactly who we are and to just love what we love without shame.

 

Let go of ‘shoulds’. 

 

Life can be especially draining if you are stuck doing something you hate just because it is what you believe you “should” be doing.

 

I think life is too short to live in submission to ‘shoulds’. 

 

I spent three years at university studying science because I thought it was what I should be doing and I was completely miserable.

The sooner you realise you are in charge of your life and can do whatever it is you please, the better!

 

The only things we should be filling our days with are the things we love.

We shouldn’t go to a concert with our friend just because we feel obliged to. We shouldn’t take the job just because it’s what our parents wanted us to do. We shouldn’t join that yoga class we hate just because we need to exercise more.

 

Saying NO is okay. Having an opinion is okay. Doing what you think is best for YOU is okay.

 

Practice gratitude

 

The greatest way you can learn how to be happier with your life right now is just to start noticing all the good that is already in your life.

 

When you actually take the time to note down all the little things that make you smile each day you’ll find there is a great deal to be thankful for in your ordinary life.

 

I’m a big fan of writing my happy-thank-you-more-please notes down in a journal so I can remember them now and look back on them later.

 

 

There are always going to be dull moments in our lives. We are always going to have to do boring, maintenance jobs because that is part of being an adult.

 

But that doesn’t mean our lives have to be ordinary. Your life is what you choose to make it.

 

Are you going to live a drab, dreary, humdrum life or are you going to choose to be happy today?

Mindful eating: 5 simple ways to be present while you eat

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Food plays such an important role in our lives. It is our source of life. It is what sustains us, helps to heal us and is the very building blocks our cells are made of. 

 

Food is what we plan and divide our days by. Food is a place of connection for us, a link to the past and a way of breaking down the barriers that languages and social conventions create.

 

As a nutritionist, I see food as a fuel source but as a poet, I see it as a thread that runs throughout our lives, rippling and twisting as it enriches and nourishes us.

 

 

Food is so intertwined with our everyday lives that over time we can forget its significance and true joy. Eating is something we do at least three times a day and yet, a lot of us seem to struggle with it.

 

Most of us are very good at eating, but what we aren’t so good at is mindful eating.  

 

We eat meals on the go. We shovel our food down to get the next thing done. We eat in front of the TV, at the kitchen bench as we scroll through our phone, and at our desks while we continue to do our work.  
 
 
It’s no surprise then that we feel hungry often, terribly sluggish and crave unhealthy foods to satisfy our appetites.

 

Most of us have forgotten the way our ancestors lived.

 

The way they spent their days scouring the land looking for their next meal. The way they gathered together and pooled their resources. The way they cooked over an open fire and ate in the flickering glow of its warmth.

How they sang songs and told stories and stayed beside that fire long after their meal was finished. 

 

Nowadays, we are always in a hurry, our lives leave no room for such frivolity.



I think we need to make mealtimes an event again.  

 

We need to return to that place of respect and appreciation for our food. We need to just slow down and enjoy life instead of always rushing on to the next thing. We need to make eating about more than just getting fuel.  


 

Mindful eating is a celebration of food. An act of  gratitude, an attempt at forging a connection and a search for deeper satisfaction.

 

It’s about being present while we eat for the sake of our health, our relationships and our general well-being.

 

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5 simple ways to practice mindful eating

 

Eat with others

 

When we have meals with other people we are more likely to make a bigger effort with our food and not just butter some toast and call it dinner. 

 

We tend to take time to prepare something special or at least something that resembles a full meal when we have company.

 

And we also tend to take our time eating the meal. Conversations meander, glasses are clinked together, stories are shared and laughter flows.

This coming together over a meal leaves us feeling not only satisfied with the food on our plates but also with the wonderful relationships we have in our lives.
 

 

Eat slowly

 

Take the time to appreciate what you are eating. Put down your fork between mouthfuls and chew your food more. 

 

When we eat slowly, we will often feel fuller sooner and therefore, consume less overall. Something I’ve learnt is that I am generally full long before I stop eating. If you were raised to finish whatever is on your plate then you might keep eating even past the point of feeling full. 

 

Eating slowly and chewing your food properly allows your body to digest the food easier and helps you to finish eating when you have had enough.

 

Eat without distractions.

 

Put your phone away. Turn the TV off. Stop reading the newspaper. 

 

Instead, try lighting a candle, turning on some soft music and focusing on just enjoying your meal. One of the best ways to be present while eating is to actually BE present rather than distracted by social media or the daily news.

 

An upside to this is that you’ll probably find your food more appealing and more satisfying if you’ve actually been present while eating it. 

 

Eat good food

 

Try to eat more fruit and vegetables. Try to eat more food that is fresh, whole and as unprocessed as possible. 

 

Make an effort with the meals you prepare. Mix it up and try new recipes, cook every recipe in single cookbook, try a cooking challenge. Make your mealtimes more exciting and pleasurable by widening your cooking horizons.

 

Buy good quality food if you can afford it. Shop at local farmer’s markets and make friends with the people who actually care about the produce they are selling. 

 

Say grace before meals

 

My dad has a grace he learnt at boarding school and he recited it every single dinnertime growing up. I know it word for word and although at the time it felt like an annoying impediment between me and the food before me, now I can appreciate its value. 

 

Even if you aren’t religious saying grace is a lovely practice. It’s as simple as taking a moment to appreciate everyone who took part in producing the food on your plate. Expressing gratitude for their hard work, the precious resources that went into making your meal and the blessing it is that we have food to eat.

 

 

The truth is, with our modern lifestyles we can be a bit hopeless when it comes to mindful eating. 

 

We need to get better at slowing down and making our mealtimes special again. Whether that be trying a new recipe, lighting a candle or inviting friends over to join us. 

 

Food is about more than just fuel. It’s a celebration of friendship, culture and satisfaction.


 

If you are looking for more ways to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life, then check out my 7 days of mindful living challenge.

If you want to add more rest, contentment and satisfaction into your life then this is where you should start. In just a week you’ll learn 7 different areas where mindfulness and intentional living can change your life. 

 

Mindful eating is just the beginning!

Do you struggle with mindful eating?

How to slow down and enjoy life without feeling guilty

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The lazy sunlight yawns through the partly opened curtains. 

I pour the coffee grounds into the pot followed by the boiling water.  

 

Three stirs to the left, then three to the right.  

The motions of my mornings, slow and serene.  

 

I hop from foot to foot as I wait for the coffee to brew.  

I take delight in the effort of plunging, the delicious anticipation. 

 

Gently I tip the coffee into my cup, inhaling to alertness.   

It’s deep and bold and makes me feel ever-so-slightly dizzy.  

 

I sit and sip and peruse the newspaper.  

Finding rest in the gentle morning’s embrace.  

 

 

My father is one of those people who just cannot sit still. No matter what, it always seems as though he is on a mission. He has an admirable dose of determination and a laser focus like no other.

 

I know for sure that it is him I inherited this particular trait from. It is him that I blame for my obsession with to-do lists and my antsy-pantsy need to get every, single task done.

 

We are like bees, buzzing so quickly from one job to another that if you blink you might just miss us.

 

But for every doer there is a thinker. A brake that causes us to decelerate. An anchor that keeps us moored to the shore.

 

They are the ones who urge us to stop for a lunch break. Who remind us that night time is for sleeping. Who will gently bring us back to rest when we are whirling around like spinning tops.

 

My boyfriend is one of those people.

 

He knows how to slow down and enjoy life. It comes naturally to him in a way it never has to me, so we often are at odds with one another.

 

We are forces pulling in opposite directions. We are a paradox. An unstoppable force meeting an immovable object…that’s us.

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But I am learning how to slow down and enjoy life right now, in this very moment. I am learning how to sit still without thinking of my to-do list.

 

I am learning to find peace in those quiet moments and to practice patience in those painfully slow moments.

 

“Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday.” – Papyrus  

 

I’m terrified that because of my nature, because it isn’t often that I’m not in a hurry, I could end up missing out on life.

 

I could get so caught up in getting tasks done that I actually wouldn’t take the time to enjoy the seconds and minutes that life is made up of.

 

The irony is that sometimes I try so hard to make a moment memorable that I actually miss out on the enjoyment of the moment which is the very thing that makes it memorable.

 

But how do we become hummingbirds? Able to hover and rest in the moment.

 

How do we actually slow down and enjoy life?

 

Create a done list  

 

A list of the things you have achieved for each day or that week.

 

I often find that I can’t stop because I feel that slowing down means I am unproductive. And there is not much I dislike more than feeling lazy and unproductive.

 

So an easy way to get around that feeling is to prove to yourself that you have been productive. That’s where the ‘done’ list comes in. This means you can enjoy your time off because you know you have already worked hard and earned it.

 

Make time for it

 

Schedule that slow, restful time in your diary.

 

It might sound absurd to someone who is laid-back and doesn’t need to schedule time for rest. But for those of us who can’t sit still, having time set aside for relaxing can be the only way we will actually remember to do it.

 

Sit still or meditate

 

I’ve never been so great at meditation because my mind tends to wander and start working instead of resting.

 

I’m trying to get to the point where I absolutely clear my head and can rest there, but for now I find simply sitting still and absorbing the scene around me is all I need to escape for awhile. This brings my focus back to being present in that moment.

 

Again, this might sound excessive to some, but maybe try setting an alarm at random points throughout the day and for a minute just pause and take in what’s before you.

 

Notice the sights, smells and sounds. Be aware of how you are feeling at that moment and consider if there is anything you could do to make yourself feel better.

 

Do something just for fun

When you get stuck in cycle of constant productivity you don’t tend to leave a lot of time for goofing around. In fact, when other people try to get you to have fun it often ends in an irritated squabble.

 

One of the best skills to have is the ability to be adaptable. You can work on your flexibility by doing things just because they are fun.

 

Everything doesn’t need to have an ultimate purpose or a goal for you to achieve, some things (the best things) are simply just fun to do.

 

Be patient with yourself

Most of all you have to recognise that learning how to slow down and enjoy life isn’t always easy. As we move through life we will always be learning so we have to be kind to ourselves and extend grace where it is needed.

 

We might not always have as much patience as we wish we did. We might get frustrated by those who put on the brakes and slow us down. We might keep going and going until we burnout.

 

Eventually we will get to a place where slowing down comes naturally to us.

 

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” – Anne Lamott

Do you struggle with feeling guilty for slowing down?

13 super easy ways to make your life a little simpler

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A year or so ago I watched theMinimalism documentary. And from that point on I have become increasingly more aware of my consumption habits. To be honest, after watching the film I felt terribly ashamed and embarrassed about the way I had been carelessly allowing clutter to fill up my home and life.

 

I was in this continuous cycle of purchasing and discarding. Searching for newer and better things to replace the perfectly good items I already owned.

 

It is really easy to make shopping into a sport. A social activity. An outlet for stress. A way of taking control.

 

But it is that mindset which left my bookshelves overflowing, my closet heaving and myself still feeling empty.

 

A part of me wished I could do it better. If only I could make my life a little simpler. I wished I could find contentment with what I already had.

 


 

Then I came across another documentary, “Before the Flood.” In which Leonardo DiCaprio urges us to become aware of the impact we are having on the planet and to take action to prevent further harm.

 

With any emotive film, book or TV series, I am quick to jump on board their crusade. I want to do my bit. I want to take charge of my destiny. I want to feel like I have a teensy tiny bit of control or a say in how these things pan out.

 

So I felt the crushing weight of responsibility for my actions. I recognised my bad habits were impacting more than just myself but also the planet I called home and I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing about it.

 

I am not one who subscribes to the ‘this job is too big for me so I won’t do anything at all’ philosophy. No way. If I can make a change, no matter how small, you bet I will.

 

So first of all I got thinking about what is most important to me. These things would be the focus for my simple living goals, the hooks I would prop my coat on.

 

The things I value:

 

People. The relationships I have in my own life but also the indirect ones I am a part of as a consumer.

I wanted to be more intentional about who I spent time with, who I bought products from and who I followed on social media.

 

The planet. I love nature and being outdoors. I love that the country I live in is so beautiful and that we have the opportunity to appreciate forests, lakes and mountains that people travel from all around the world to see.

I wanted to be mindful of the products I purchased and the way they were processed so that I could help prevent further damage to our precious planet.

 

My health. I have spent a long time fighting against my body and I finally am in a place where I appreciate it for all of the marvelous ways it enables me to live.

I wanted to do more of what makes me feel good. I wanted to take care of myself so that I could live life to the fullest.

 

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With those things in mind I decided I needed to take action and make some changes. Thus my new philosophy for life was formed.

 

My simple living philosophy…

 

“To be intentional about the way I live in order to minimise my impact on the planet and others. To sacrifice convenience for the benefit of quality time, compassion and overall well-being. To live in a way that makes me so excited about the now that I forget about the not yet.”

 

Making tiny changes to my lifestyle has had a huge impact on the way I feel. I believe that when we live authentically, in a way that remains true to our core beliefs, we can stop fighting ourselves and find contentment.

 

So these are a few super easy things I have done to incorporate my simple living philosophy into my everyday life. Perhaps these are things you might like to try also…

 

How to make your life a little bit simpler:

 

Start composting-

I just started gathering food scraps and heaping them in a pile in our backyard. Then I would take that compost and return the nutrients to the soil in my garden. From nature to nature.

A lot of people think that food will decompose in the landfill but that isn’t actually true. Food scraps are trapped among the rubbish and unable to get enough oxygen to biodegrade.

 

Buy sustainable beauty products-

I’ve been working on buying products without palm oil and that come in recyclable packaging. I already have a strong appreciation for bar soap and I am keen to try out solid shampoo and conditioner bars.

 

Unfollow people who make you feel icky-

Stop comparing yourself to others. Only follow people who uplift you, inspire you or bring you joy.

 

Eat less meat- 

The agricultural industry is a huge contributor to global pollution and there is some speculation as to whether we should be eating as much animal protein as we currently do. I’m trying to include at least one vegetarian meal per week and when I do eat meat, I want it to be better quality.

 

Try growing your own vegetables-

I started this in order to better appreciate the effort required to get food onto my plate. I also wanted to become reacquainted with the lost art of preparing all elements of a meal by hand.

 

Buy secondhand first-

I absolutely love a bargain. But I also love that shopping secondhand first means less waste is created. We simply use what already exists.

 

Spend less time online- 

Find joy in being present wherever you are. Take less photos and spend more time actually enjoying the moment.

 

Buy quality products-

If I do purchase something new then I usually will spend a little more in order to get something of better quality. Because in the long run, quality products tend to last longer.

 

Reduce your plastic use-

The amount of plastic we produce is insane. Especially for products that get used once and then thrown away. So anything that can be used in place of plastic and reused is brilliant.

 

De-clutter your physical spaces-

Clear out your closet, your pantry or the backseat of your car. Make space so that you can actually breathe. This means you will also know what you have/what you need and can avoid over purchasing.

 

Be intentional with relationships-

Put down your phone when you are with someone. Make time to see old friends. Call or message often. Be the one who makes the first move.

 

Eat seasonally-

Learn what foods are in season then shop around for the best deals. Eating seasonally saves you money and means less environmental cost due to shipping from the other side of the world.

 

Support decent brands- 

If possible, make purchases from smaller, local businesses. Support brands that do good, and care about their workers and their environmental impact.

 

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And this is just the start of it. There are so many more things we can do to make our lives simpler and more intentional. If you want a little help getting started then check out the 7 days to mindful living challenge I released just last week.

 

Basically, it all comes back to awareness. Being aware of the impact, positive and negative, that you have on everyone and everything around you.

What little things do you do to make your life simpler?