Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brand This Moment

I am flying through days without realizing it. I don't know if it's the twins that make me lose track of time, or just everything in general, but the days are here then gone before I know it. It's almost sad in a way. There is no way to stop or freeze time; I find myself trying to slow every moment with a certain amount of gratitude and awareness. Perhaps if I really do stop and pick those pretty flowers I will add seconds to my day; maybe if I enjoy the vast beauty of the endless hills and puffy clouds I will have noted a few more minutes--bottled them into my sub-conscious so that I can enjoy them again. Monuments and treasures, I'm trying to force them into my mind. Do something powerful; do something memorable, I keep trying to tell myself. Brand this moment.

"This too shall pass," doesn't only apply to difficult things, unfortunately. Our lives are truly but a vapor.

Brand this moment.

That was a letter I just wrote to my friend. Makes me think: How do we brand moments? What can we do to make sure we've lived in the moment instead of in yesterday or in tomorrow? How will you remember your life; how will others remember you?

I've decided to compile a list of seventeen ways to live in the moment, either with yourself, or with others. The trick is to actually live in the moment, instead of only thinking about living in the moment. :)

1. Listen to the rain.
2. Dance to music.
3. Run.
4. Pray/meditate.
5. Drive barefooted.
6. Help someone move.
7. Pick flowers.
8. Serve at a soup kitchen.
9. Donate most (or some) of your belongings.
10. Give a huge sum of money to someone in need.
11. Bake a loaf of bread.
12. Hold hands with your best friend.
13. Sing a song (and think about the words).
14. Run through the sprinklers!
15. Watch and observe others.
16. Listen intently.
17. Read in the shade of a tree.

How will you brand today?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I'm reading the book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life." Can I just say, Go out and buy this book immediately if not sooner? No, really. Stop reading this, go buy it. Srsly--there's a link right there, click on it. Go buy it, then come back and read what I have to say about it and why you'll thank me for forcing you to buy (and read) this book that will change your life for the better period-exclamation-point.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

Okay, now that you're back: Hi! So while I was reading that book you just purchased, I'll go ahead and tell you the feelings I felt that you will now inevitably feel. (Since I feel somewhat responsible for the feelings that will be felt, I'll go ahead and say, "You're welcome" right now. You're welcome!! :))

Well, first and foremost, I felt understood. This guy totally understands what it feels like to be human! I'm sure we all do (if we don't, we officially have a problem); but no, I mean, he understands how I feel. He can put it into words--he knows how to articulate it. Hope, excitement, anticipation, enthusiasm, motivation. These are all really great feelings, btw.

He's funny. I'm funny? So we have tons in common already. We're both human, understand what it's like being so human, and we're both funny. (I'm sure you're funny too; so now we all relate, being that we are all human and funny.)

This book is inspired by a memoir he wrote that someone wanted to turn into a movie. They needed to spice up the story a bit, because, as we all know, movies need to climax faster than "books" do. For that matter, books don't climax the way movies do. The character in a book can have an internal climax and you feel it, but in the movie, there has to be an external climax (since it's visual) for you to feel and relate. (He explains this all in the book very well, which gives you a great understanding of what he means anyway.) (I am totally not doing this "idea" justice, FYI.)

Since I've started reading this book, I've begun to feel more capable, less afraid, more certain of what I "need" to do. There are other things in my life right now (the embrace of minimalism, as it were, the understanding of priorities and even short-term goals, etc.,) that have helped me grasp this concept even more.

I am feeling that God is preparing me--he's setting me up. It's time. I keep feeling like, "Welp! It's time!" Time for what, you say? Time to get off our booties and live life. Wait, wait, you know what I'm going to say next!: to the fullest.

The book is full of Donald Miller's personal experiences with couch-potato-ism to living-fully-finally. He has bright alternatives to an otherwise bleak lifestyle. He promotes getting-out-there-ed-ness while relating to I've-been-holding-back-paralysis. If you feel like you've already been living fully, you'll enjoy the book even more, because it will encourage you and mentally pat you on the back for being such a great influence on yourself.

This blog is incomplete without you having actually read the book, but when you do, we'll be able to look at each other, square in the eyes, and say, "I knooooow!" And then we'll probably end up doing something fantastic with our lives.

We'll really make memories.

This is what minimalism is all about: letting go of possessions that hold memories, and embracing experiences that do.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Reach For The Stars

I guess I've been successful to a degree in my adaptation to minimalism, considering I only have one entry in this blog!

Organica is the name I've chosen for my experiment of all things fresh and new. It's a play on the words "America" and "organic", in hopes of merging the two together. I'd like to transform my otherwise typical "American" mindset to that of a raw, fresh and more simple thought-process, thereby making it more "organic", I suppose you could say. Through this reformation, perhaps I'll encourage you to minimize and think more organically yourself.


  • Application: While I have much, much to learn about living more simply, I can quite enthusiastically report that I am doing much better than I once did. Purging does feel quite right, and thus far, Husband and I have emptied closet (wish I could pluralize that word!), desk, and file folder container-thing. I can't say that I have ever been the most organized individual, but I could probably tell you all there is to know about the subject; as mentioned before, I devour self-help manuals like they are water to the soul.

  • Donations: Because of our insistence to completely remove anything and everything that goes unused or is not used enough (sadly, I am trying to put this into effect with, to which I am indebted oh-so-much for loving us so), we have picked out a quite noble thrift shop in order to bestow all our lovely (and not-so-cherished) items that can be resold and loved properly by treasurers that we could not be. The thrift store is of Assemblies of God, and has a sign screwed into the wall inside a quaint dressing room stating, "You do not steal from us, you steal from GOD," or something to that effect.

    I loved it. It was so direct. It was so in-your-face-you-can't-hurt-us-because-God-is-our-strength-we-don't-have-to-judge-because-God-will-at-the-end-of-the-day great. (I gave them a ten dollar donation as well.)

  • Difficulties: Yes, I've had difficulties. The couch, as stated above, but also, what about those two pictures that aren't hanging on the wall but are in the family room floor? What about my two bathroom drawers filled with things I just know I'll never use, but.I.might.someday that clutches my heart? What about how I know I want a bike, but I really shouldn't purchase it right now? And what the heck am I going to bring and not bring to Texas? (These are all random thoughts, which of course make them difficult!)

  • Organizing: I will say that the "mental" aspect of minimalism (i.e., "decluttering") has been the most fruitful part of this journey. It's true, the house isn't immaculate and I don't have tons of goals achieved, but I feel like I'm finally beginning to understand concepts that have taken me all of my life to understand. While it's common knowledge to pursue things that you enjoy, or even, pursue those things that which you feel make you more purposeful, I can't say that I've ever truly done those things. Maybe you can say that I'm the jack of many trades but the master of none. That's primarily because I'm like a fish, floundering about instead of streamlining to an actual destination.

    With that being said, I've simplified a list of true goals that I can say for a matter of fact I've wanted to achieve since I was 12 years old. Every one of these things. Though I feel reticent to share them (for fear of losing momentum), I won't completely withhold them:

  • I've always wanted to be a runner. I don't know why, but it's always been a desire, so I'm "running" for it (pardon the pun).
  • I'm a singer,
  • a writer, and
  • I love playing the guitar. Even if I've put my guitar down for years, I'm picking it back up (it's like riding a bike, you know), and playing as much as possible now.

  • These are just the beginning. What about you? Are there things in your life that you can minimize while reaching for your hidden talents?

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    The Experiment of Minimalism & My Limited Experience Of It

    If you want to know the truth, I've never been into the whole "organic" thing. I thought it was for people trying to make a statement--for people who were trying to get attention. When I became interested in all the health benefits, I'd quietly and secretly add them to my life without advertising their introduction as not to be lumped into the untouchable hippie group. When I was beginning my twenties, and before then, I didn't equate health and being relatively conservative with my diet and the environment God has given us to steward with politics. It wasn't until I became older and became worried that people would think I was "one of those."

    Well, I'm not "one of those" in my opinion, but maybe I'm "one of those" to you.

    What I can assure you is that I'm "one of those" who cares about my personal environment (my home), my family, my life, and whether or not we're all in a healthy place to grow up. I want my kids to live long healthy, happy lives full of joy and excitement; I want to shove vitamins down their throats and force them to play in the sunshine. I want to limit the time they spend with video games, and insist that they paint and draw pictures. I will insure they get their daily dose of vocabulary practice by enforcing the reading of good literature that is advanced and probably challenges their grade level.

    But I'll probably forget to insure math gets the same attention. (Not my strong point...)

    I want my life to be full, overflowing, to brim over onto others. What I DON'T want is to be the wrinkly old lady gossiping about others as I cough my lungs out.

    The idea is, my life is a neverending process of getting-better-ness. I'm okay with that, I particularly enjoy finding new ways to improve.

    I'm the girl you'd see, her nose stuck in a great self-help book. Not because I'm ailed with problems, but because I want all the answers.

    And there you have it.