I am convinced that living with less is not about sacrifice. When you move the things that don’t mean much out of the picture, you can focus on the things that really matter. With the superfluous out of the way you can engage in meaningful activities, spend time with people you love and discover joy and gratitude for the small pleasures in your life.
While there are major life changes, accomplishments and achievements that can make us happy, it’s in the daily, small pleasures that we define our lovely lives. Often, we are too busy or distracted to notice and appreciate them, but they do matter. These small things, little gestures and tiny happenings will make your heart swell, lift your mood and make you a better person if you give them a chance.
How to embrace the small things
Stop Comparing. The easiest way to suck the joy out of something is to compare it to something else, or compare your experience to your neighbor’s experience. Each small thing can stand on its own and each experience can be brilliant in its own way. Choose joy over comparison.
Be there. Savor your small things by being present for them. Instead of making your to-do list while sipping your soup, realize that there is magic in that perfect combination of tomatoes and sesame oil. Pause and enjoy it.
Share. Enjoying simple, small pleasures is great, but sharing them makes them so much better.
You can begin to enjoy simple pleasures long before you’ve cleared the clutter, or are really living a more with less lifestyle. You can start anytime by simply identifying and showing gratitude for something small. Think about what made you smile in the last day, or the last hour. What teeny, tiny thing shaped your day?
My small pleasures
- a tiny release in my lower back at the end of yoga class
- getting lost in a good book.
- 40 degree day (It’s January, I’ll take what I can get.)
- a kind email, comment or review
- warm, soft blanket
- toes in sand
- napping with the animals
- dark chocolate
- my morning routine
- laughing with my sister
- admiring icicles
- taking a walk
- a perfectly dry cappuccino (with almond or soy milk)
- Sunday dinners with my husband and daughter
The small pleasures you shared with me on Twitter.
- a really good hug
- watching a bird going about its business and paying me no mind
- enjoying a nice hot large cup of tea
- cuddle time with my pups
- reading in the sunshine
- doing something creative
- taking a walk with my son
- a glass of wine in front of the fireplace
- walking my dogs and enjoying how much fun they are having
- sitting on my balcony in the sun listening to an audio book with eyes closed
- bubble bath
- old jazz songs coming up in the radio
- browsing old photo albums with my grandma
- sitting under a tree for shade on those hot summer days
- petting my cats
- looking at my garden
- morning coffee
- holding hands with my husband or mom
- large glass of water and time with God
- perusing through my favorite book store
- running by the beach everyday followed by a swim
- writing just for me and photos of everyday moments
- walking Como Park Zoo & Conservatory and watching the turtles and sloth
- sleeping in on Sundays
- red wine and running
- walk in the woods
So maybe we should sweat the small stuff after all and give all the small things the recognition and gratitude they deserve. In a moment of true gratitude for something small, you realize what this whole living with less thing is all about. And you will want more.