Simplicity

Simplicity

A Life Well Lived
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What has our world come to? The mere evolution of society as a whole is mind-blowing to me. Yes, technology has had a major role in this transformation, but we have drastically changed as human beings. Our very being was founded on nothing - literally nothing. A big, mighty guy in the sky said "let there be light," and there was light, and then there was us. Things as simple as electricity, a wheel, fire, and sliced bread were deemed as revolutionary innovations at the early stages of our human development.

Today we so easily take for granted things like this and even simpler concepts such as human connection, face-to-face conversation, and life itself. When was the last time you were able to take time and sit back and actually notice what color the sky was? When was the last time you actually stopped and felt the sun shine on your skin? When was the last time you read a good book or had a meaningful conversation with a loved one? Hopefully you don't have to think too hard, but many of us in this day and age do.

We spend day to day letting the hours fly by, being caught up in our fast-paced commute to and from work. We stay glued to our phones, afraid we'll miss something even though we only refreshed our Instagram feed five minutes ago. Since when did a life portrayed behind a glass screen become more important than the real one we get to live in?

One of the most influential people in my life is my grandfather. As I get older, I find myself spending more and more time with him, having genuine conversations about life and all it entails. Both he and his wife have guided me through many trials and offered me spiritual support when I've needed it most.

He and his wife live a very different life from most people today. They don't have a computer, laptop, or smartphone. All of their important information is stored safely in physical objects such as folders, books, and journals. We can only get in contact with them via landline or the one simplistic cell phone that they share. We all joke with them about how archaic they are, and that if they had a Facebook they'd be able to see more of what all of us are up to. But, they find no urge to change what they're doing.

My grandpa explained it to me this way: he quoted Hoagy Carmichael and said, "accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives, and don't let Mister get in between." I was confused at first, but then he explained it to me. Mister represents all the extraneous things in your life. Social media, Facebook, reality TV, and all the extra stuff we spend so much of our time obsessing over. He told me that when we accentuate the positives in our life - like family and the blessings we've received - we are able to open our minds to being truly happy. And when we learn to eliminate the negatives, happiness is able to flow into our lives. But we have to make sure we don't let all the unnecessary "Misters" get in the way.

Both my grandfather and his wife choose to live a simplistic life based around accentuating the positives in their life, eliminating the negatives, and not letting Mister get anywhere between them. Through this, they are able to focus on their health, family, and happiness without spending time stressing over social media, who deleted them off of Facebook, or anything else that could get in the way of their joy. Witnessing such happiness and simplicity has inspired me to direct my life towards one of gratitude and joy.

Take time today to accentuate a positive, remove a negative, and not let a Mister get in between.

Cover Image Credit: http://vsco.co/eriluhv/media/5a5a62615acee963953ea516

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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4 Ways Clutter Is Negatively Affecting Your Health

Clutter affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

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If you're aware that your cluttered space is causing you stress and discomfort, it might be helpful to understand how and why clutter affects our health. When we clear our space we are more likely to feel at ease, relaxed, and tranquil. There is no better time to freshen your space than at the start of the new year when we are already setting new intentions and re-assessing goals and putting new ideas into motion.

1. Clutter produces dust and exacerbates allergies

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Have you ever gone through your closet or bookshelf, only to see the visible layers of dust and dirt that were hidden behind your items? Clutter gives dust and other environmental fibers a place to accumulate. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or tired and fatigued in your space, it might be time to de-clutter - your itchy eyes will thank you!

2. Lack of organization in your belongings leads to stress and anxiety

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I know I'm not the only one who has had the experience of needing an item before running out the door, only to realize it wasn't where you left it...and now you need to tear apart your entire room looking for it. Sound familiar? Having too much clutter leads to a disorganized space that provokes anxiety and stress and can have a strong, negative impact on your day to day life. Whoever came up with, "a place for everything and everything in its place" was definitely onto something.

3. Clutter puts your nervous system in overdrive

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Cluttered environments are taxing on the nervous system. The sensory overload prevents us from being able to relax and rest, and keeps us activated in our sympathetic nervous system, AKA "fight or flight". This means we're more likely to be on edge and hyper-aware than calm and relax when at home.

4. Living in a cluttered space impacts your mood and self-esteem

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Our brains thrive off of order and organization. When things are disordered and chaotic around us, it's natural to feel irritable and frustrated in response, lowering mood and reducing our self-esteem and self-worth. Rather than thinking about the things you want to get rid of when de-cluttering, focus on what things you want to keep and what you want to have in your immediate environment.

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