Getting through those winter blues

I was out for a walk the other day, with the little boy I babysit regularly. He’s just starting to talk, so when I’m with him I always talk to him and point out the leaves and the flowers, and mention the colors and the birds we hear and the cows we see (we do live in the Midwest).

This autumn I pointed out how the leaves were changing color and falling from the branches. I stepped on the fallen leaves and pointed to my ear to teach the word “crunchy”.

But now that it’s winter, things are looking a little more dreary than they were just a few months ago.

I looked out at the trail ahead of us and all I saw was brown. And empty, dead-looking branches. Not much to tell him about today, I thought. Luckily I have a repertoire of children’s songs up my sleeve from when I worked in a preschool, so he’s never without entertainment ;).

But I didn’t need to use the songs, because as I looked more closely at what I thought was a brown and boring path, I saw that there was actually still a bit of green in there to be seen. I just had to look more closely.

So I pointed out these little green leaves to him so he could see them, too. And it made me realize, that not only are things not as glum as they seem, but there are small pleasures to be found everywhere. (tweet that)

We saw patches of green, herds of cows, and pairs of birds flying across our path. What started as an unpromising outing had turned into quite a full experience.

I wont kid you and tell you it was as enjoyable as spring. There are still seasons afterall, and it was cold. But I recognized that I had been in a bit of a hopeless mindset because of the temperature. And I had let it make assumptions about my surroundings, and ultimately my outlook on life.

It’s true what they say, to see the world through the eyes of a child brings a whole new outlook. Because it wasn’t until I looked for the interesting things so I could show my little friend, that I saw them for myself.

What might you be missing when you look at your life? I bet there are some interesting things in there that you’ve forgotten about, or have been blinded to by your current outlook. Won’t you please find them? And then share them with the world?

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.

A minimalist meditation for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on what we have and to understand that we have enough. (tweet that)

Here’s a simple meditation exercise you can do today to celebrate gratitude.

Find a spot in your home to sit and just spend a few moments taking in all that’s around you. Look at your home. Look at what’s in it. Allow your mind to recall memories sparked by the different items. Equally allow your mind to recognize when items don’t bring up any feelings in particular, and could easily be removed from your space without any loss to you.

Enjoy the feeling of comfort that gratitude often brings, as we feel safe in our surroundings. This is your home. Whatever it is, you have made it yourself. Whether you brought in the items one by one, or whether you are living in a home that was furnished by someone else. It is your home.

Take note of how you feel as you sit in this part of the house. Are you calm? Stressed? Is your mind racing or at peace? What made you choose this spot in the first place?

Often we become so used to our home, we glaze over the items in it without ever really looking at them since the day we placed them on the shelf. Take this time of Thanksgiving to really look. Look at each item and feel gratitude for it.

If you find with some items that it’s difficult to feel genuine gratitude, take that as a sign you can live without it. Remove it from your home. This time before the holidays is a perfect time to donate items (especially in good condition) to second hand stores and charities.

By passing things on to someone who can better use them, we allow ourselves the chance to feel genuine gratitude toward the things we truly enjoy. Without the unnecessary clutter, we can really see those items which spark fond memories and loving thoughts. Aren’t those feelings what Thanksgiving is all about? Give yourself and your family the chance enjoy them. You might find it becomes one more thing you can be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends,

Brianna

 

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.