~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #137
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A work of art gazed upon and appreciated by millions, created by the hands of a talented often ahead-of-their-time individual dedicated hours, perhaps months to their creation.
A full and luscious garden, cultivated over years of planning, tending and careful editing and replenishing.
A relationship built on admiration, truth and kindness, strengthening with time, patience and careful attention.
The foundation for living simply luxuriously begins with the concept of a life of quality over quantity in all arenas of our lives. It is an understanding that to build our lives on superficial expectations that appease the outside world whether for appearances or applause is to leave us living in a shell which provides a lack of intimate comfort and joy.
And so, as I have been observing ever more reassuringly and mentioned in the last episode of 2016, it is a conscious decision to live a life of quality that will in time, gradually, deepen the life you have the opportunity to experience. Whether it’s choosing to live in a town or community that may be more expensive and therefore take more time to save up to live in, as well as forcing you to downsize, but ultimately brings you more peace of mind, an ease to be yourself and those you love to blossom, or choosing to enjoy food that your body needs and rise to the abilities it is capable of rather than reach for what is expedient and temporarily satiating, a life of quality is enriching. But as you may have noticed in both of these examples, it takes a conscious awareness of what you need and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Clarity, focus and preparation are key, but these investments pay off.
How do we then, as we step into 2017, welcome in more quality reduce the quantity that tempers what is possible?
As I mentioned here, it requires of each of us to take a simple, but significant approach, to not take on too much at once, but rather one item at a time. So why not take it month by month?
Inspired by a few of my resolutions for the year, I contemplated how I could be most successful, and this is what I’ve come up with. Each month one idea, task or concept will be the focus and I will check in regularly to share how I am doing, and you too can share your journey.
The first month of January, since so many of our resolutions tend to reflect on how well or poorly we ate during the holiday season and we want to feel better, not merely look better, we’ll be tasked with the following:
~Reduce or eliminate entirely one food or food type that does not serve you well
- UPDATE: Click here to see how the month progressed at the mid-way point
I’ve chosen to leave this month quite broad because we all have our triggers. We all know what is helping and what is hurting, what is a weakness and what is easy to walk away from.
I have chosen sugar. For one month I am going to eat in such a way that eliminates refined sugars (not natural sugars such as fruit). Recognizing that not all situations that involve food will be under my control (dining at others’ homes, work events, etc.), the goal is to eliminate, but there may be lapses. However, I want to observe how I feel as I refrain from eating refined sugars.
After reading about a recently released book, The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes, my challenge was solidified. For one month, let’s see what happens.
Having done this in the past, but not as publicly, I remember the experience being very positive in a variety of ways (better mood, a fierce ability to discern sugar in unexpected items – ketchup, cheap chocolate, etc.), and I look forward to seeing if I can observe the same and perhaps more observations that cultivate more quality regarding my health and overall everyday routine.
Over the holiday I gradually began the reduction, as if to wean myself off of the refined carbohydrates, and in just one week, I felt better in my body. So we’ll see how it goes.
I will check in on Wednesday January 18th to share my progress, successes and oopses. I look forward to hearing what you have chosen to reduce or eliminate as well and learning how the journey is going on the 18th.
Each month we’ll tackle one item to reduce or eliminate in our lives, as a way to reduce the quantity and enhance the quality. Below is a look at year.
~Curtailing the negative commentary (internal and external)
With so much that is worth attaining and welcoming into our lives, time and attention is needed to be successful. Patience is required. And while sometimes we just want to pounce, so long as we are assured that the path we are on is the right one, we can allow events, our health, our relationships to progress at their natural pace. After all, we first need to know what we want to plant in our garden, then we must plant it followed by much patience, but confidence knowing that we have invested wisely, and in its own time, it will bloom and then we will be able to savor all the goodness.
I look forward to stepping into this journey and sharing my experience with you and hearing about yours. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week.
~The Simply Luxurious Life Mission Statement
~Images: (1) Portland’s Japanese Garden (2) my mother’s garden full of dahlias (3) Norman & Oscar along the Oregon coast during a special trip this past fall 2017.