• 'Seek beauty and you will find it.' Taken by Donna Sales in Kelowna, B.C.

“Seek beauty and you will find It.”

After watching too much news it was time to turn off the TV and go out to find beauty in this world. It didn't take long and wasn't hard to do. At the end of our street someone had taken the time to write inspirational saying on each street corner in different coloured chalk. Not sure who did this but it sure brought smiles to a lot of faces. Next, we popped into the used bookstore to have a little visit with the owner and on the way there came across a couple sandwich boards with feel good quotes. Then it was time for an afternoon caffeine fix and two lovely ladies sitting outside at the cafe made a fuss over Holly and offered to watch her while I went in to get my coffee. All this in twenty minutes. When the world seems ugly we need to remind ourselves there is beauty all around us if that if we choose to find it we most certainly will. Donna Sales, Calgary, AB

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The Joy of Simplicity: Creating Space for a More Authentic Life

January 9, 2012 By Candy Paull "The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed—it is a process of elimination."
 Elbert Hubbard When asked how he carved beautiful elephants from blocks of stone, a famous Indian sculptor replied that he just chipped away everything that wasn’t elephant. Deciding to simplify your life is like carving away the pieces of your life that no longer serve you. It clears space so a more authentic life—and a more authentic you—can emerge. True simplicity involves more than clearing the clutter from your home, making do with less, or organizing your outer life more efficiently. Authentic simplicity is a self-empowering choice to move out of the frenetic pace of an ever accelerating and ever accumulating worldview into a life lived more in harmony with the priorities of the heart. It is easy to be sucked into false urgencies, whether by screaming headlines or an overwhelming list of things that must get done before the end of the day. Focus on what’s really essential. Ponder these questions: 
• Do I consider the activities I engage in to be worthwhile? 
• Will this simplify my life or make it more complicated? 
• Is this something I love to do?
If many of the activities you engage in seem superfluous or onerous, it’s time to look at what’s most important to you and make some new choices. Lives based on having are less free than lives based either on doing or being.
William James Simplicity means different things to different people. For some it means paring down to the bone and a more ascetic approach to life. For others, simplifying might mean an adjustment in spending habits or restoring order in a chaotic life. Sometimes it can be a reordering of priorities. What does simplicity mean to you? What would it take to make your life a little less complicated, a little more satisfying? How might choosing simplicity become a liberating force in your life? Could cultivating an inner simplicity create a more spacious and gracious expression of who you are right now? Think of images of simplicity that speak to your heart, and how you can bring the essence of those visions into the life you live today. The ideas of a simpler life are like seeds planted in the mind and heart. Choosing silence over media distraction, emphasizing loving relationships above monetary calculations, and becoming a contributor to life instead of merely being a consumer are all ways to create a life you truly love. No matter how hectic life can feel, there is a sweet, slow sanity waiting at the center of your being; an inner serenity that carries you through whatever life has to offer. Choosing a simpler life means that you put more of your energies into creating instead of consuming. Rather than being defined by what you own, you define yourself by expressing your creative gifts and making a meaningful contribution. Instead of consuming the world’s resources, simplicity helps you find ways to contribute to the good of all. Appreciating life’s simple joys offers an antidote to the constant craving for more. Choose to delight in the gifts life brings your way. Enjoy the simple things in life: sunsets, delicious food, loving friends and family, beautiful flowers, and peaceful pleasures. Your soul responds to beauty and serenity. Order and harmony are the hallmarks of a life of simplicity and joy. Timeless simplicity creates an oasis of serenity in a busy life. Make a commitment to clean up, clear out, and bring order into your life. "The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying his life."
Carl Jung Conscious Simplicities. A few practical suggestions for creating a simpler life. • Create an oasis of restful serenity in your home. Things run more smoothly when the house is ordered, freshly cleaned and the atmosphere is lightened by your elbow grease. Cleaning house can also be a time to put your thoughts in order. • Focus on quality instead of quantity. Instead of cluttering your closet with trendy clothes that will go out of date, enjoy a few classic pieces that take you through the years. • Concentrate on enjoying the things that money cannot buy, such as time for family, friends, and creative pursuits.
• Donate clothes and household items you no longer use to a charity of your choice. Cultivate a spirit of generosity by giving away something you have enjoyed so that someone else may enjoy it, too. • Each night before you go to bed, list five simple pleasures in a gratitude journal.
• Set aside time for mending and making repairs. Enjoy the satisfaction of creating order and harmony as you make something useful again. • Create a schedule that balances busy times with down time. Make quality personal time and getting enough rest a higher priority and you will be rewarded with greater energy, clearer thinking, and a more relaxed attitude toward the ups and downs of life. • Take stock. Evaluate the activities and pursuits you currently put your time and energy into. Are they consistent with your innate gifts and talents? Do you see them as fulfilling your priorities and life purpose? • Go outside and listen to a birdsong chorus, or look up into the sky to the clouds floating by. Be aware of the rhythms of nature that continue despite the stock market, the bad news, and the daily cares of life. It will lift your spirits and place human cares in a higher perspective. Simplicity offers a deeper, richer way of being present to life. Choosing simplicity helps you make room for the important things in life: love, friendship, beauty, fun, creativity, and following your heart to a place of deep contentment and peace. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." 
Leonardo Da Vinci Candy Paull is the author of The Art of Abundance, The Art of [...]