Going back to a simpler life based on living by sufficiency rather than excess is not a step backward. Rather, returning to a simpler way allows us to regain our dignity, puts us in touch with the land, and makes us value human contact again.Yvon Chouinard
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive.Some thoughts on the real world by one who glimpsed it and fled, Bill Watterson (via alifelivedwell)
For years mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that “unless you love yourself, no one else will love you.” Women were told that they didn’t need men, and vice versa. People without any relationships were believed to be as healthy as those who had many. These ideas contradict the fundamental biology of human species: we are social mammals and could never have survived without deeply interconnected and interdependent human contact. The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.Bruce D. Perry, M.D., The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook (via psychotherapy)
It’s easy to feel uncared for when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need. And it’s so hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection on your worth. But the truth is that the way other people operate is not about you. Most people are so caught up in their own responsibilities, struggles, and anxiety that the thought of asking someone else how they’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind. They aren’t inherently bad or uncaring — they’re just busy and self-focused. And that’s okay. It’s not evidence of some fundamental failing on your part. It doesn’t make you unloveable or invisible. It just means that those people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own world. But the fact that you are — that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others — is a strength. Your work isn’t to change who you are; it’s to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone’s acknowledgment or affection, you are enough.Daniell Koepke (via thoughtsforbees)
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are people who will feel threatened by the idea of you liking yourself. This is because if you like yourself, you’ll believe that you deserve to be treated well, so you won’t tolerate it when they treat you badly, and they either don’t know how to treat you properly or don’t want to treat you properly, so they know you liking yourself means that you will invariably leave them or stand up to them. When somebody wants you to be insecure or to doubt yourself, it’s because they want to use those insecurities and doubts against you. To hell with those people. They don’t care about you. They just want to be able to treat you like dirt, and they’re scared you won’t let them, so go ahead, scare them; love yourself.
Power is me convincing you that I have it and you don’t.
Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.Pema Chödrön
Your needs don’t make you too much. They don’t make you selfish or weak or greedy. They make you human. We all have needs. And those hungers aren’t something we should feel ashamed of. They’re normal, we didn’t get enough of them as children hungers. Affections we’ve been deprived of by the people who are supposed to care for us. Connections we needed to feel whole and spaces we needed to feel safe. Cravings we’ve been taught we didn’t deserve. Appetites we’ve learned to suppress and fill with guilt. Again and again we’ve neglected our needs because we’ve been taught that they were too much— that we were too much. But we don’t have to any longer. You don’t have to. Whether you need support, alone time, affection, connection, validation, or reassurance that you are loved — it is more than okay to ask for what you need. Making your needs known isn’t about being demanding or selfish. It’s about self-care. It’s about creating a safer space for yourself. It’s about using your voice and speaking your truth. It’s about giving yourself permission to take up space. It’s about listening to your hungers and honoring them. It’s about honoring yourself.Daniell Koepke (via remainsimple)
I have always loved the gaps, the spaces between things, as much as the things. I love staring, pondering, mulling, puttering. I love the times when someone or something is late—there’s that rich possibility of noticing more, in the meantime … Poetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own.Naomi Shihab Nye, from Contemporary Authors (via apoetreflects)
People say I love you all the time - when they say, ‘take an umbrella, it’s raining,’ or ‘hurry back,’ or even ‘watch out, you’ll break your neck.’ There are hundreds of ways of wording it - you just have to listen for it, my dear.The Curious Savage (John Patrick)
Whatever your difficulties - a devastated heart, financial loss, feeling assaulted by the conflicts around you, or a seemingly hopeless illness - you can always remember that you are free in every moment to set the compass of your heart to your highest intentions. In fact, the two things that you are always free to do - despite your circumstances - are to be present and to be willing to love.Jack Kornfield (via aestheticintrovert)
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.Bill Bryson
For you to insult me, I must first value your opinion.
Practical Advice for Difficult Women (#20 - 9th December)
There will come a time when you want to cut off all your hair. Do it. Realise that the thing you want rid of doesn’t lie in the long curls that frame your face so perfectly. Live with short hair for a while. It’ll grow.
You won’t always want to talk to people. That’s okay. When it’s late and you hear your friends talking in the next room, you don’t have to join them. You’re allowed your solitude. It makes company sweeter and it teaches you how to survive alone. You will need that skill.
In the winter, you’ll believe that nothing will ever grow again. You’re wrong. Every year, London looks like it’s on its last legs, wheezing through those last cold days in March. Every year, spring comes like an explosion and the city shakes off its sleep.
Mundane problems will get the better of you sometimes. Don’t worry. Try as you might, life cannot be an endless, beautiful, intense moment. Find comfort in money worries and late trains; they’re a welcome rest in between heartbreaks and breakdowns.
People will call you a cynic, a wry smile on their faces. Pay them no mind. You alone know that you are capable of a love greater than anything they can comprehend. You alone know that you are not willing to sell your identity and respect to the first smirking halfwit to pass by. It is not cynicism. It is reverence for your own vast and fathomless heart, and it makes sense only to love someone who understands that and is awed by it.
You will not always get what you want when you want it. Accept it. Your goals are not set in stone and you are not on a fixed trajectory. Sometimes, life will take its time and you will have to play the long, interminable game. Play it well and with as much grace as you can muster. Live at your own pace.
At night, you will occasionally wake up afraid, wanting to die. Don’t give in. Night plays its tricks, but you are not so easily fooled. Your mind will play its tricks, too. It will make you believe that you’re not who you are, but you must not give in. You take a breath and you tell yourself that you are here. That you always were.
Such a simplified lifestyle can be truly wonderful - you’ll finally have time for the things you really love, for relaxation, for outdoor activities, for exercise, for reading or finding peace and quiet, for the loved ones in your life, for the things you’re most passionate about. This is what it means to thrive - to live a life full of the things you want in them, and not more. To live a better quality of life without having to spend and buy and consume.Leo Babauta, Thriving on Less: Simplifying in a Tough Economy (via theshoreandthesea)