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intentional

Pursuing Slow Living & Why It’s Important

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 6, 2017

What’s important to you?

Be honest with yourself. What is really important to you?

 

Are you looking to have a family with two kids and two dogs? Do you want to travel the world and explore new cities and countries several times a year? Are you hoping to begin your own business?

Whatever life goals you have for yourself is wonderful. But, the problem the may be holding you back is busyness. Busyness is something we’ve turned into a new normal, and it’s not how I want to live my life. It’s something that doesn’t make me feel blissful because busy doesn’t always mean we’re working toward that life we so desperately want.

Busyness can mean you’ve put too much time and energy toward work projects and you’ve tacked on an additional 10 hours unpaid for your time, energy and money. You could have spent that time relaxing, recharging, spending quality time with friends, family or yourself.

I don’t want my life to become so busy that I forget what it’s like to have free time. I don’t want to feel guilty when I have a day off because I’m used to having my day planned with zero time to relax.

That’s why I’m choosing to live life a little more slowly. I’m focusing on something that’s essential for my well-being, and you should, too. There’s a beautiful saying in Italian that truly resonates with me and this lifestyle: dolce far niente, which means the sweetness of doing nothing. Italians are masters of enjoying the small moments of everyday life without worrying about being busy and rushing to the next task or meeting. They are wonderful with enjoying these simple moments in life, and practicing slow living.

Why slow living is important:

1| Perspective

Perspective is something I talk about a lot here on the blog because I think it’s important to gain new insight and learn a different way of looking at life and how we live it. For me, living more slowly and intentionally will give a new perspective on what I truly find valuable to me. It’s how I’ll know what’s worth spending time and energy on.

2| More 

More time. More energy to devote to what you’re truly passionate about. More money because you’re not in a rush to go, go, go and get your drive-through breakfast and coffee every day. There’s more of everything in your life that’s good when we decide to slow down and live the life you want to live. More time to enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. Dolce far niente.

3| Fulfillment 

I feel fulfilled when I know I’ve had a productive day at work, but I can go home and live my life without worrying about work. I do ever want to bring work home with me, and I don’t plan to. Home is where I can dedicate time to myself and to those important to me. It’s where I can relax, enjoy reading, workout, cook, blog, or anything in between. I feel fulfilled knowing I don’t need to check off 10 things off the ever-growing to-do list. Stress and busyness are created from ourselves, so it’s important to recognize who is responsible creating for the chaos and who is also responsible for removing the chaos. Both answers include you. It’s up to you which life you decide to live.

How can you work on living slowly?

Disconnect from social media and from your phone to actually enjoy time in a cafe with your bestie. Don’t feel the need to rush through Sunday dinner with your family. Instead, savor the meal, talk about your week and the week ahead. Make time to be present in the current moment you’re in rather than rush to the next part of your day. Be content with what you’re doing. Dolce far niente. The sweetness of doing nothing.

Living slowly and practicing this concept can mean that you wake up 30 minutes earlier to actually wake up, make breakfast and enjoy your coffee in your home before beginning the day. It’s about removing the rush and chaos from your day-to-day life. It’s about enjoying your day without feeling like busyness has taken over what you love most.

For me, instead of talking and enjoying the moment I’m spending with Josh and his family for dinner, I’m thinking about my week ahead, new ideas for my blog, book topics to write in the future, and so much more. My mind can’t fully shut off because of my internal need to keep going and keep feeling busy. Instead, I plan to put my phone away, shut off those work-mode thoughts and enjoy Sundays.

So how will you live more slowly? How will you practice the sweetness of doing nothing? Do you have any tips on this lifestyle? What busyness and chaos do you want to remove from your life? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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5 Tips If You’re Interested in Minimalism

Posted in Lifestyle
on June 7, 2017

So, you want to be a minimalist?

Well, to be honest, I don’t truly consider myself a “minimalist” because there are a ton of expectations surrounding that word that I don’t agree with. But, I do tell people that my lifestyle has minimalist/intentional living ideas in it. Whether you’re just beginning your minimalism or you’re reevaluating your lifestyle altogether, here are 5 tips I give to people who are interested in pursuing a more simple, minimalist lifestyle.

1| It’s not all about Pinterest

Just because you see photo after photo of a perfectly white kitchen, white furniture, with very little color doesn’t mean that you aren’t a minimalist if you don’t want to replicate that in your own home. Although there are people who love white everything in their home and who a minimalist, that doesn’t mean all minimalists live in a perfectly white home. The same can be said for your wardrobe or anything else in your life. Just because it’s shown that way on Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s the only way.

2| Don’t make it overwhelming

The issue with calling yourself a minimalist is that you are immediately placed in a box where people place unnecessary expectations on you, and you feel trapped, overwhelmed and stressed. The purpose of this lifestyle is to remove stress in your life. If you decide that there are some things that are overwhelming about this lifestyle, take a step back and give yourself time. You don’t need to rush this process. You don’t need to follow through on every process just because some YouTuber told you to, which brings me to my next point.

3| THERE ARE NO RULES

I could write a novel about this because I’ll keep things short and sweet. There are no rules. There is no godly book of minimalism that gives a code to live by that you must follow or you will never be able to identify as a minimalist. You don’t need to downsize to a tiny home. You don’t need to be able to pack all your belongings in one suitcase. There are no rules with this lifestyle, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. What works for your will not work for someone else. That’s okay. That’s how it should be.

4| It can fit your lifestyle

The goal is to identify what your main goals are with wanting to pursue this lifestyle altogether. Are you looking to stop spending money unnecessarily on clothes, jewelry, shoes? Are you looking to save so you can pay off your debt? Are you looking to simple more simply because life has been stressful? Whatever your goals and intentions are: write them down and revisit them frequently to check your progress. Use that to work minimalism into your life that won’t bring any stress and will help you to achieve your goals.

5| You can stop/change 

Similar to anything else in life, if there’s something you don’t like about what you’re doing with this lifestyle, you can change it or stop it completely at any time. It’s okay if you work through some decluttering and downsizing to a smaller home if that’s your goal. If you want to practice saving, and conscious shopping but you don’t want to practice other areas of minimalism—that’s great, too. The point of this journey is to find what works best of your and your life. Something might not work for you, but you shouldn’t stress over it. Find what you love, and pursue it. Find what you don’t love and get rid of it.

I hope this helped anyone who was questioning whether or not this lifestyle would work for them. Although it can be very overwhelming to think about changing your life, remember that everything is temporary. You can apply this lifestyle to fit your needs and your life to help achieve your goals. You don’t need to follow any rules except the rules you give yourself on this journey. If anyone makes you feel stressed about not being “minimalist” enough, remind them that’s your journey and you’re happy with the way you’re living.

Have you ever considered minimalism? What is holding you back from trying this lifestyle? What questions do you have for anyone who is a minimalist?

Ki Signature

 

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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 2

Posted in Health, Lifestyle
on February 6, 2017

 

Congrats on making it through the first week of challenges from the 30-day Mental Cleanse. (Now you better go treat yo self to some wine, girl.)

For those who aren’t aware, Erin from “A Welder’s Wife” and myself created a month’s worth of mental-based challenges for you to try all throughout February. If you’re looking to cleanse your mind and focus on self care—this challenge is perfect for you!

Below are a reflection of the first week of challenges:

Jan. 30: Set two goals you would like to achieve during this challenge

My first goal is to set a little time for self care every day throughout February, so that I can appreciate that day. My second goal is to focus on that day’s challenge instead of thinking and worrying about upcoming challenges to be more present for each day.

Jan. 31: Treat your face to a special pampering facial

This is never an issue for me because I have a hefty sheet mask collection. I took the time to exfoliate my skin, and followed up with a sheet mask from Sephora.

Feb. 1: Go for a walk

Walking is the one thing I do whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. I was able to take a walk during my break at work due to it snowing nonstop here in PA. Taking a walk before work or on a break always relaxes me.

Feb. 2: Journal for 15 minutes

I typically write in my journal on Sundays, but I rearranged my journaling time to this day instead and it was a success. I was nervous about changing my normal routine to accomplish these challenges but it hasn’t been an issue yet!

Feb. 3: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal

I try go to sleep around 11:30, but I was happy to get to bed at 11 this night because it was a long week at work for me. A little extra rest is always important when you need it.

Feb. 4: Make a Gratitude list of everything you are grateful for in your life

I used to keep a gratitude journal that I would write in almost every night. This was particularly easy for me! Since then, I’ve pick up my journaling again a little more frequently, so I’m happy this was a challenge.

Feb. 5: Take a long bubble bath

I sorta failed this one. I don’t take baths much since I moved because our tub in shallow, but I treated myself to a pamper night by doing my nails, a hair mask, etc. I still feel good about this day and think it still counts, right?

Make sure to let us know how you did with the first week of challenges! Below are the next week’s challenges!

The second week of challenges: Diet & Exercise 

  • Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

  • Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

  • Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles a little TLC.

  • Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

  • Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

  • Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes. Bundle up!

  • Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week one? What challenges for the second week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

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