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SEEK BEAUTY AND LIVE JOYFULLY
My children are so joyful. They are easily lost in the moment so I try not to rush them to and fro. When we have a destination, we try to leave early so there is plenty of time to enjoy the journey. Little things bring big smiles. New discoveries bring wide eyed amazement. Small adventure open up whole new worlds. I hope they hold onto this joy.
For now, they rely on me and my hubby for their well being and happiness. But as they grow older and more independent, they make more and more choices for themselves. Each choice can move them toward happiness and satisfaction or away from it. As I guide them to make choices that are right for them, I have high hopes that they will live joyfully.
I want them to know that to live passionately they do not need to have flashy, high profile lifestyles. They do not need to be jet set travelers or extreme sport adventurers. Instead they need to have an understanding of what is important to them. Their passions are determined by their own priorities and style.
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. - Albert Einstein
We all have limited resources, including limited time and money. How we choose to spend our resources can profoundly affect on our lifestyle. Knowing our personal priorities is important when making choices that are right for us.
While you may never have thought long and hard about your personal priorities, you still probably have a sense of what they are. Faith and family top my list, but your list will be as unique as you are. Consider writing down your personal priorities to bring them into focus. Once our personal priorities are clear, making choices which affect our lifestyle should be a little easier.
Take the path which lets you remain true to our own style.
Style is more then just the clothes we wear or how we decorate our homes. It is a distinct manner of expression which affects almost every aspect of our life. Finding our own style is a lifelong search for beauty and happiness.
Everyone has their own unique style, but not everyone knows how to express it. It is very common these days to be enticed by and adopt styles defined by the media or popular designers. While these pre-packaged styles may be quite nice, they most likely do not truly and fully reflect your unique style.
Some people easily fall into their own style, but the majority of us need to explore, discover and just live life before we understand our own definition of beauty. Also, as we move through life, our definition of beauty changes and evolves.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. - William Morris
Making our home a beautiful refuge which reflects our style is essential to soulful living. Surrounding ourselves with beautiful collections is one way to bring style into our homes (more...). Our home should be a sanctuary that restores us. Time spent inside our sanctuaries eating, sleeping, bathing, and performing daily chores should restore us. Time spent with family and friends should restore our body, mind, and spirit.
BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
While we may feel guilty about spending resources on ourselves, it is actually one of the most important things we can do for our family and loved ones. Keeping ourselves strong physically, mentally, and spiritually, makes us a better wife, mother, sister, daughter or friend. It makes us a better husband, father, brother, or son. It makes us better able to offer our comfort and support when loved ones are in need. It is essential to a happy life.
Taking care of our physical self is not just an act of vanity. While we may feel it is shallow to judge people by appearances, it is an inherent tendency of humans to use their senses to compare and make choices based on what is visually appealing. Furthermore, physical appearance covers more than just good looks. It is a reflection of personal hygiene, self care, health and vitality. How we present ourselves to others not only has an impact on how they see us, but also on how we see ourselves. Feeling physically attractive and being physically fit can positively affect other areas of our lives as well. As published by the National Academy of Sciences, recent studies show that staying physically fit can also improve cognitive performance.
The care of our cognitive self includes emotional balance and stimulating our mind. It is important to balance our emotions. While each of us has stress and fears, they should not prevent us from living life. In times of emotional turmoil, support from loved ones, time alone, and emotional releases can help us find balance. Acceptance and forgiveness may also be needed to achieve emotional balance. Once our emotions are balanced it is important to find activities that stimulate our minds. We can stimulate our minds in many ways, including reading, puzzling, and learning. Learning is a life long endeavor which can keep us young at heart.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. - Albert Einstein
The care of our spiritual self can be achieved in many different ways. Attending church, meditating, and yoga are a few that easily come to mind. Artistic creativity can also be spiritually satisfying.
After focusing our time and energy taking care of our needs, it is important to build upon the special relationships in our life.
We are social beings. Having meaningful bonds with others is also essential to a soulful life. Trust and affection grow with enjoyable time spent together. Trust and affection grow with honest and open communication. Trust and affection grow from care, comfort and support.
A balance between time with ourself, time with our family, and time with our friends is important.
BALANCE AND SIMPLICITY
I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind. - Albert Einstein
Balance is important in all aspects of our life. Balance is beautiful. Great artists, designers and architects attain beauty through visual balance. A beautiful musical composition is also well balanced. We are inherently drawn to balance so even untrained eyes and ears notice when the balance just isn't right. Attaining balance in the different aspects of our life can lead to a more fulfilling life.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein
Balance is easier to achieved through simplicity. Simplicity is not deprivation, but removing the irrelevant. Simplicity is removing unnecessary items from our life, so the important items are not lost in the clutter.
It is easy to lose your way when you don't know where you are going. Define your priorities and define your style. Seek beauty and be joyfull.
COLLECTIONS Page 1 (goto Page 2)
Wonderful collections, on display in our homes, can reflect our personality and style. The whole process of collecting can be very satisfying, from the excitement of hunting for the perfect piece to displaying them so our family and friends can enjoy them.
EVALUATE WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN
If your collections are already overflowing, it may be time to evaluate what you already have, and see if they bring you the same joy they did when you first started collecting them. If they do not it may be time to let them go. It is nice to pass once prized collection pieces on to someone else who will appreciate them. If you are not ready to let your prized pieces go, but they do not fit with your current lifestyle, (like grandma's quilts), it may be time to store them so they can be enjoyed later. If they do still make you smile, but they are overflowing your space, it may be time to just downsize your collections or find a new way to display them.
STARTING A NEW COLLECTION
While we make a conscience effort to start some collections like baseball cards and Hummels, other collections start off just because we stumble upon something we find adorable or pretty, and before we know it, we have a collection.
Researching and learning more about our collections can help us make more knowlegable choices when selecting pieces. It is also very satisfying to understand the history of the pieces we own. Read all you can on your collections and never pass up the oportunity to talk with seasoned collectors.
If you are collecting vintage or antique ceramics, always be aware that there may be lead in the clay or glaze which can get into food served or stored in them. If you are not sure if your ceramic ware contains lead, use them for display only.
A new collection may be just what is needed to make chores more enjoyable. If you find making dinner to be an unpleasant chore, surrounding yourself with pretty, nostalgic, or whimsical kitchenware is one way to bring more joy into your kitchen. If you already enjoy cooking, adding wonderful food preparation or serving pieces to your kitchen, might make cooking that much more satisfying.
Here are some popular or interesting kitchenware collections to consider: