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Less is Best – Even for the Holidays!
Several years ago when I left Atlanta, Georgia to live in
Santa Rosa Beach. Florida; a local resident offered some advice, “I
know you are used to living in a major city, but here, ‘less is
best.’ Less is best at the beach!”
Over the years, this
shared piece of wisdom has become ‘less is best’ not just at the
beach, but everywhere. My move to the North Carolina Mountains two
years ago has only reinforced this way of thinking.
wonder how much is too much? Many are finding themselves rethinking
how many more years of hard work it will take just to own that
special car, boat, or house. Others are finding themselves spending
all their spare time maintaining a home that exceeds their needs.
With a collective deep breath, we can step back and challenge old
paradigms, because less truly is best.
Why not contemplate
downsizing and being able to work less? Most people say, “Oh I
couldn’t do that! What about my obligations?” That is the secret to
this dilemma, ‘my’ obligations. They are not God’s obligations and
they are not universal obligations, they are only ‘yours’.
Recognizing the difference gives each person the opportunity to
change them. The other secret is simply choosing to challenge those
obligations and putting them in a balanced perspective.
natural to feel constrained by obstacles and circumstances at times,
but change can be encouraged in these situations. Through focusing
on positive thoughts, it is possible to gain a new perspective. Try
thinking, “My obstacles are shifting now, the path to simplifying my
life is open and clear.” Consider this thought a powerful intention
that has been set and can be reaffirmed whenever needed. To complete
the affirmation thank God for removing any constraints. Put it out
there for the Universe to hear!
Isn’t peace what everyone
wants and strives for? Peace can’t be attained when life is filled
with one should after another and one obligation after another.
There are no shoulds and should nots except for what you create for
yourself. Feeling stressed, overloaded, overwhelmed, and
exhausted? By looking at the shoulds that are in your life and
reevaluating them, those feelings can be avoided.
afraid to eliminate their shoulds or downsize their life. They hold
onto thoughts like; “What will others think if I don’t keep up the
same lifestyle?” or “Will I become bored with life if I’m not
challenged by my obligations?” The better question to ask is; “What
will I become?” This marks the beginning of a wonderful journey of
discovery and growth, which is not boring at all!
It may be
too extreme to go to ‘less is best’ all at once. Start by downsizing
just a little and seeing how it feels. Remove one financial
obligation and three shoulds over the next two months; the freedom
and space that will be gained is profoundly exhilarating. Without
those chosen obligations scattered throughout your life; stress
levels lessen, making room for more peace and calmness each day.
Concerns about how others view these changes will fade along with
the old paradigms about keeping up with others’ expectations. With
time, the initial fear about these changes with morph into
enthusiasm for a new way of living and being. Moreover, as you
journey on this path you will meet others who value the same thing –
a simpler, healthier lifestyle.
These same principles can be
utilized in every aspect of daily life, including the holidays.
Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, exhausting, and
sometimes even disappointing. When the big day arrives, so much
effort is spent meeting various expectations that little time is
left to spend with family and friends.
What could be done
differently? Focus on ways to enjoy one another and let any
expectations slip to the wayside. Evaluate what are the most
overwhelming and time consuming aspects, and look for ways to
lighten the load for everyone. Have an open discussion with those
involved, stating the desire for a simpler celebration with a focus
on quality time. If your family is resistant to change, start
slowly. If only a few things are changed each year, most won’t even
take notice. However, the rewards of more quality time with one
another, and a more relaxed, fun day will be noticed by everyone!
Start now. Incorporate ‘less is best’ thinking and doing into
this holiday season, and continue it throughout the year. The
difference will be noticeable. It will be easier to be more joyful,
and isn’t that what holidays are all about? Enjoy more joy!
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