Cover of book Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

by: Courtney Carver

Check out the book on Amazon | your public library.
30 Highlights | 3 Notes
  • For thirty days you eliminate sugar, grains, alchohol, dairy and legumes. I've taken then Whole30 challenge several times, and I learn more about what my body really needs to thrive each time.
  • I leave my goals behind when I walk and notice my surroundings. Sometimes its hard to break away from work during the day to take a walk, but each time I do, I return with more clarity and energy.
  • As Thomas Edison said, “When you have exhausted all possibilites, - remember this - you haven't.”
    Note: #eq, Thomas Edison
  • Instead of working so hard to make ends meet, work on having fewer ends.
  • After writing quietly, or meditating — doing something to create a little stillness around me and in me — I put one hand on my heart and then cover it with my other hand, as if I were holding my heart. It's a gesture to tell my heart, “I've got you. I trust you. I am here to listen to you.” And then I sit with my eyes softly looking down, or closed, and I wait. Sometimes there's nothing, just me sitting quietly holding my heart. But the more I practice, and the safer my heart feels, the more she speaks to me.
  • Figure out what you believe. Until someone asked me “What do you believe?” I forgot how much that mattered. Take sometime to explore what you believe, not what you were taught to believe, or what you are supposed to believe, but what you believe when you are alone with your hands on your heart.
  • The process of letting go will be much easier when you take the time to understand why you own what you own and how it got there in the first place.
  • Author Colin Wright suggests a weekly reset to zero.
  • Tip: Lose the guilt. Instead of thinking about the opposite of busyness as laziness, consider that the opposite of a busy life is a full, intentional life.
  • My manifesto is a list of non-negotiables that guide me, especially when I struggle with the call to do more.
  • 1. I will not say yes when my heart says no.
    Protect what matters and say no with a kind smile. Instead of saying yes when your heart says no, be honest.
  • 2. I will measure more by what's in my heart and less by what's on my list.
  • 3. I will prioritize love and health.
  • 4. I will ask for help.
    I will get by alone, but getting by is not what I want for my life. When I ask for help and bring other people in, everything is elevated.
  • 5. I will work with people who want my best, not my busiest.
  • 7. I will not let my phone run my life.
  • 8. I will trade my FOMO for JOMO.
    Note: FOMO: Fear of missing out.
    JOMO: Joy of missing out.
  • 9. I will create space for solitude.
  • If I need to decline an invitation to spend time alone, I will. If necessary, I'll reschedule or cancel thoughtfully without explanation.

    Without solitude, I feel depleted. Without quiet, I become overwhelmed and grouchy.
  • 10. I will linger longer.
    I will watch sunrises and sunsets.
    I will slowdown and taste my food.
  • “ The fruitful uselessness of rest, play and delight can begin on a Sabbath morning. Wake up, but do not get up. Do something delightful. Use your imagination, be frivolous, be daring. Invent rituals. Do nothing of significance.”
    —Wayne Muller
    Note: #eq, Wayne Muller
  • How to create your own Sabbath
    1. Schedule your Sabbath. Put it on your calendar and make it important.
    2. Take a Sabbath eve. On the night before your planned day off, skip the heavy meal and alchohol. Go to bed early so you can wake up feeling peaceful and relaxed.
    3. Make a Sabbath Box.
      Put anything in the box that you don't want to use during the day off.
    4. Time-out. When I go on vacation, the thing I love most is not being aware of what time it is and not caring.
      Turn off your clocks and don't worry about what time it is. Eat when you're hungry, drink when you're thirsty, and sleep when you're tired.
    5. Leave the 'shoulds' in the Sabbath box. If you are really going to take a day off, don't worry about what you should or should not be doing.
    6. Make a promise to yourself that you won't spend the day after making up for your day off.
  • Practical ways to reclaim the lost art of lingering.

    Linger first. When you wake up in the morning, breathe and stretch. Look out the window before you look at your computer or phone.

    Take a long lunch. Schedule a lunch date for yourself.

    Create for thirty minutes. Try drawing even if you don't know how to draw or try an adult coloring book. Don't worry about technique or any sort of perfection, just make something with your hands and your heart.

  • When you are present, you are connected: connected to the people around you, to your work, or to whatever it is you are experiencing.

    Connection is one benefit of presence. Anothre is underreacting. Overreacting never comes from a calm, peaceful, present place. Anytime I've overreacted, I wasn't present. I was distracted, tired, or removed in another way. I wasn't really there. For a while I thought I was creating time to do more, but what I was really doing was creating the presence of time to show up. To show all the way up.

  • Why am I so busy? It's easy to blame busyness on the demands of the day, but take a closer look. Why is it important for you to be and appear busy?
  • What happens if this never gets done? Consider the items on your to-do list. What would happen if instead of procrastinating and moving your items to tomorrow's list, you crossed the item off altogether? if you can't let it go, can someone help you do it
  • How do I want to spend my precious time? Brainstorm ideas about how you really want to spend your minutes and moments.
  • Before simplifying furthur, think about what you really want out of this life of yours. Is this the time to simplify more, or is this the time to deepen a connection with someone you love? Is this the time to move on to your bookshelves, or is this the time to create something new or serve in your community? Perhaps it is simply time to rest.
  • If you are stumbling too, don't be hard on yourself. Instead stumble through with grace. Be curious and approach things with a beginner's mind. Keep things simple by eliminting excess drama, fear, and worry. Smile and breathe. Even though you can't see the finish line, everything is going to be okay. Enjoy the view. Look around as you are stumbling through. The end result may be where you have your sights set but the people you meet along the way and the lessons that present themselves are an important part of the journey. Keep forgiving. You are going to keep making mistakes not because you are flawed, but because you are human. Ask for help. Work with people who are willing to stumble through with you. My greatest teachers are always learning and willing to admit they don't have it all figured out either. Put your hands on your heart and keep coming back to you.
  • Drop the act. Start to pay attention to how you act around different people in different situations. When do you act less like you? Stop proving yourself or trying to make yourself fit in. Just be you.
  • Book References from Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More