What’s in Your Intentional Lifestyle Bag?

May 17, 2016

intentional-lifestyle-bag

Over the past couple of years, I have taken countless steps to live a more intentional life – that is, a life where the choices I make must align with my values and goals – and the results have all been positive. By choosing to want less, I have the opportunity to save more and travel more. By working less, I am able to live more (which I’ll talk about next week). By choosing to get rid of things like Facebook, I remove many distractions and negative thoughts from my daily life. And by limiting my interactions with toxic people, I free up more time and energy for those who matter most.

Whenever I make an intentional decision to live the life I want, I can feel a physical weight lifted off of me. It’s almost like carrying a backpack around every day, the contents of which are all the things you choose to have in your life. The more things you choose to keep, the heavier your bag is, and the tougher it will be to reach your destination. You get bogged down by more stuff, more work, more commitments, more responsibility, more stress, more people and so on. Your bag gets so full that it is literally bursting, and is so heavy that you can feel it dig into your shoulders and hips with every step.

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How to Prepare for a Solo Writing Retreat

May 9, 2016

tantalus-ridge-squamish-bc

Before I tell you what my plans are this week, I want to congratulate the two winners of The More of Less by Joshua Becker whose names were chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Congrats, Lisa and Michael! I’ve notified you both via email and your books will be in the mail this week.

I’ve always loved the idea of going on a solo writing retreat. Getting out of the city, unplugging and going offline, writing all day and breaking up the work by spending some time outside; it sounds like a dream getaway. So when the opportunity to spend a week in Squamish presented itself, I took it – and (in between some public speaking I’m doing) that’s where I’m hiding out this week!

There’s only one thing I have to accomplish while I’m in Squamish: I need to write the sample chapter for my book proposal. The chapter is the last big piece of this project, and I need to finish it – ASAP. Lately, it has felt impossible to focus on much of anything in Victoria, so it is literally the perfect time for me to spend some time alone and get down to work.

There’s always a lot to wrap up, in the days before any vacation, but this has been especially true of the days leading up to this trip. On top of finishing my regular assignments, I’ve been doing a lot to prepare for this little retreat of mine. In case any of you have thought of taking time off to work on a creative project, here are some of my tips for what to plan, prepare for and pack.

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Book Giveaway: The More of Less by Joshua Becker

May 4, 2016

the-more-of-less

When I made the decision to embrace minimalism two years ago, I started reading everything I could find on the topic. There were stories of people who could fit all of their belongings into one bag, people who lived in tiny homes, and people who didn’t (seem to) have homes at all but instead travelled the world. I found each story fascinating, but not always entirely relatable – that was, until I found Becoming Minimalist.

Joshua Becker’s story was so normal. He was married with two kids, owned a house and had filled it with too much stuff. Then one day he decided to declutter and purge most of it, and discovered the life-giving benefits that come from living with less. Like a good writer, he started a blog to document what he was learning, and he has since shared his story + let countless other minimalists (myself included) share their own stories on his site.

I met Joshua at WDS in Portland last summer, and was pleased to find he was exactly who I imagined him to be: kind, inviting and a firm believer in the power of community. We talked at length about our various projects and hopes for the future, and I left WDS knowing I had a new friend in my corner. When I was recovering from surgery in February, Joshua sent me a copy of his new book to read. I devoured it in two sittings, and now I want to share it with you.

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