Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You are More than Enough

The following is a guest post by Courtney Carver of Be More with Less.

When I first wrote Living in the Land of Enough as a guest post on this blog, I had no idea it would become a 7-part series on my blog, or translated into Italian, but the more I wrote about The Land of Enough, the more time I wanted to spend there. Today, as the series comes to a close, I thought it would be exciting to share the conclusion on the same blog where it started.
 In the very first post about the Land of Enough, I wrote about seven topics. Subsequently, each topic became its own chapter in the series. Here is a quick recap:

Visiting the Land of Enough
  1. Save Your Money. There is no need for credit cards or therapeutic shopping in the land of enough. There are also no overdraft fees or ATM charges. Just put your cards away for 10 days. Then, keep a list of purchases you would have made if you were using your credit card, or if you were shopping for sport, and take note of the money that you didn't spend.
  2. Take Your Time. In the land of enough, you have time to breathe. Stop trying to squeeze so much in. If you are always running late, falling behind, or trying to catch up, try slowing down. Cancel a few unnecessary appointments and don't schedule any new ones if you can help it. Then, make a little time everyday for solitude.
  3. Disconnect. Set a specific time to disconnect each day. In the land of enough, there is less need to be plugged in. If you can, commit to not using a computer after dinner or before lunch time. Be mindful of how much time you spend online and are virtually available. Protect your time and your mind.
  4. Eat Real Food. Only eat food that you prepare. Summertime is the perfect time to eat fresh food – fruits and veggies are often fresh, local, and less expensive than buying them in winter. Do not eat anything from a box, restaurant or drive-thru. While you may choose to eat less by eliminating processed foods, you may find that you naturally eat just enough.
  5. Make Space. Clear out some space in your house. You don't need to take on big purging projects during this time to make space. Simplify one room (or even just the corner of one room) and keep it as clean and clutter free as possible. Even if the rest of your house is cluttered, this area can be a great reminder of how you might feel living with less.
  6. Entertain Yourself. Unplug your TV and plan to enjoy your friends, family, the great outdoors, or a book you have been meaning to read. Do not spend time and money on expensive shows, travel or recreational activities. While the land of plenty calls you to spend more money for entertainment, you already have enough right where you are.
  7. Say Thank You. As you go through these steps, you will find enough time and space to be grateful. Through prayer, thank you cards, or a kind gesture, share your gratitude every day.
I love the Land of Enough, but the challenging part for me is being there, and attending to my everyday life at the same time. Some of you commented that living this way all the time is not realistic, and I agree.
If you think that living this life is appealing, but impractical on a daily basis, don't give up all together. Instead, set aside one day a week, or month to live according to the recommendations above. Choose your favorite ideas and make them part of your life.

When you begin to spend even a few minutes a day in the Land of Enough, you will quickly realize that the experience starts in your heart and begins to change it. But even before you start to make changes, know that you are enough. Sometimes we think we have so far to go to get to where we want to be, that we don't even try. We think we don't deserve better because of our current situation. Regardless of your current habits or circumstances, you are enough. You've always been enough.There is one thing about The Land of Enough that I forgot to tell you. Because everyone there is living more authentically and simply, and because they don't live under a burden of constant stress, they are loving. Simply put, it is easier to love more deeply when you realize you have enough… that you are enough.

The transition from regular life to the Land of Enough takes time. Instead of trying to incorporate all of the changes at once, slowly and deliberately transition the best parts to your life.
What is one change you would like to adopt from the Land of Enough?
Read the entire Land of Enough series or visit Courtney's blog. She writes about simplifying and living life on purpose at Be More with Less. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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