life lessons

My Real Life Off Social Media

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It has now been more than 30 days since I have been on social media other than posting a medium.com article from the medium.com site. I have not scrolled through Facebook or Instagram in more than 30 days now and I can say that I don’t plan to in the foreseeable future. I set off on this experiment to un-clutter my mind and to gain back so much time in my days. I thought that I would take 30 days off, and then go back to a different schedule with social media. The main reason I went off social media is that for the first time in my life I could see that I was really getting addicted to something. I found myself checking my phone way too often and even times when I was off my phone I was wondering what was going on Facebook or Instagram. I often took so many photos only to think about posting them. This is not to say that sharing about our lives is a bad thing, but when it overtakes your days and your time, that is the time that the addiction has taken over our lives.

I feel that I have gained so very much from being off social media:

  • Connecting personally one on one with friends and family. Whether it is through a text, message, email or phone call, it is very special now to actually just communicate one on one with a friend. I find it’s much more personal to share photos or happenings in this way.

  • Connecting more with people in person. I have always loved to get together with friends every 1-2 months in person for coffee, tea, lunch, brunch, dinner or any fun activity. It’s really an important way to connect with others and keep our friendships alive and support each other. This month I have 3 events with friends on the calendar. I’m so thrilled about this!

  • Having more time to work on projects at home. The other day I took a day off and: rearranged my son’s furniture in his room so it works better, repainted a bathroom vanity, spent time making myself a latte at home and read an interesting book.

  • Having more space in my mind to truly think about the important things in life, what I want to do for myself, my family and the world.

  • Feeling free to be myself and create the life I want to create for myself and my family.

  • Taking time to daydream and plan amazing things like travel.

  • Taking time to make recipes I have been hanging on to in books and notebooks for such a long time.

  • Actually making many of the recipes I found on Pinterest.

I feel that the benefits are so very many! So far my friends have really understood and reached out to me outside of social media and I really appreciate them for that.

I found it interesting what was said in this New Yorker article about social media. It points out that even though through social media you can remain in contact with lots more people, you are spread more thinly trying to keep up with all of them and your ties are weaker:

With social media, we can easily keep up with the lives and interests of far more than a hundred and fifty people. But without investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones. We may widen our network to two, three, or four hundred people that we see as friends, not just acquaintances, but keeping up an actual friendship requires resources. “The amount of social capital you have is pretty fixed,” Dunbar said. “It involves time investment. If you garner connections with more people, you end up distributing your fixed amount of social capital more thinly so the average capital per person is lower.”

from “The Limits of Friendship” The New Yorker- by Maria Konnikova

For me personally I would rather strengthen friendships that I already have outside of social media and do more in-person networking. I have found that the type of work that I do requires a strong connection to someone, or a strong referral from someone who really knows the work that I do. I am strengthening these by getting to know people in person and really learning about them in real life. I feel that for me personally this is the life that I want to lead. I know that others really enjoy and can handle social media and it helps them remain in touch with people. I think that everyone has a different threshold, and for me I function better with one to one communication. For others, I think there is a place for social media.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you tried a few days off social media? How have you felt? I have decided to now share my thoughts through this blog only and I will share it on social media for those that find it easier to find me there.

Thank you so much for joining me here in this space.

With lots of love,

Trista

Joyful Minimalism:

If you are ready to explore your things but need support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients.


I have 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:


http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:


http://expansive.me

Soak It In

Beautiful Big Lake Oregon where we went camping last weekend.

Beautiful Big Lake Oregon where we went camping last weekend.

Last weekend we went on an amazing camping trip with another family. I grew up going camping almost every year and we would go to a lake for a few days and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I find that every year I have a need for going camping, at last for 1-2 nights in an area that has a lake or a stream so that I can really refresh my mind and get clear on things.

My dear husband really doesn’t care for camping, his ideal day is one mostly spent at home reading, watching shows or movies, going out to eat and things like that. He enjoys his quiet time and alone time very much. So, for that reason my son and I went camping with another family while my husband had the freedom to stay home and enjoy his time as well. Whenever we are in a nature area lately he’s told me to “soak it in.” He loves to joke about it, thinking that just walking a nature trail will be all it takes to fill my need for nature. I love it!

For me there is something amazing about being out in nature truly away from town and from all conveniences even for 1-2 short days that does something amazing to restore your mind and your spirit. It clears away all of the mental clutter, and is really like a fresh start to a new season for the year I find.

Something truly remarkable happened on this trip. My son really, really loves to be in the water and loves to swim. He has learned to swim over the years by going to the public pool in the summers and practicing swimming every chance he got when we were on vacation at the hotel pools. Since our campsites were right on the lake, he was able to get in the water often. Right when we got to the site, he got right into the water in the clothes he was wearing and began to swim. Whenever he got tired, it would float on this back. He is so amazing at floating! He really wanted to cross to the other shore and since he had that goal in mind, he kept at it until he made it. I could do nothing except for trust him. I had to put my faith in him and trust that he knew how to make it to the other side on his own, and of course he did it!

This trusting moment was such an important lesson of letting go and knowing that things always work out. He knew in his mind and through his swimming practice that he could make it, he had no doubt! He really taught me a lesson in trusting myself as well and knowing that whatever I intend and set my mind and hear to, will come to me. I soaked in that moment and was so very proud of him for accomplishing what he intended to do, and I was also proud of myself for trusting in him.

When we have the mindset that he had, that everything always works out, fear melts away. We trust life to show us the way and light our path. We trust our instincts and everything that’s around us. This truly is the way to live. I did soak in that moment and many more in those two amazing days.

My son asked me why I stood so long at the edge of the campsite just looking at the lake, looking at a chipmunk on a piece of driftwood, watching the fog drift over the lake. I told him I was soaking it all in, really being in that moment and soaking in the tranquil effects of nature on me.

What moments do you soak in? What places do you love to go? How can you trust and let go that it will all work out? I would love to hear from you about these moments in your life.

Joyful Minimalism:

If you are ready to explore your things but need support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients.


I have 2 consultations to choose from that help guide us to how I can best help you de-clutter your space. I also have an hourly rate after that for me to de-clutter and organize your space in a detailed manner.


Services:


http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:


http://expansive.me

Trust

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Trust. We must trust in life daily even when our trust is challenged.

Have you ever had times where things seemed to really be sailing along in your favor and you felt on top of the world; then out of the blue some things cross your path and seem to create obstacles to the life you are seeking?

This of course has happened to me. I am learning that the most important things is to build up your trust in life. The phrase that is important to remember when a challenge or an obstacle comes up is:

Life is always working out for me

This is a phrase that I need to remind myself of from time to time. Life can cause you to make detours into the realm of fear, just as in the sign pictured above. We can allow ourselves to sink into despair when things aren't working as we expected them to. Or, we can learn to trust that life is always working out for us. There are many mysteries that we do not understand. That is why: cancellations, deals that don’t work out, clients not following up and so many other things are actually things working out for us IN DISGUISE.

We can use obstacles as a gift or we can choose to be negative about them. The choice is ours. Of course it is very normal and natural to be unhappy about them for a short time. We can allow ourselves to have feelings of anger, upset or annoyance for a short period of time. Then, we can let go of it and realize that life is always working out for us.

Many times I have had cancellations or meetings not working out due to one circumstance or another, but then even better things come along later that fit better into the lifestyle that I am seeking. Sometimes opportunities that seem great don’t work out because they truly aren’t for us. Believe it or not, life is really looking out for us and making sure we stay on the path we are truly meant to walk on to be our best selves, to create win-win situations for ourselves and others.

What ways can you see that life really was looking out for you in the end?

I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

Happy Failures

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The other day I sent a photo of my side garden to a long distance friend. I told her that this now successful side garden made up of mostly free plants that I got from my Aunt’s garden, some plants I got from the farmer’s market long ago and about 3-4 perennials that I bought and planted was a result of many “happy failures.” This story of the evolution of my side garden is one that can teach us a lot about failing and getting up again in life.

I remember at one time there were two large trees there. They were two close to the house and provided too much shade and roots for planting much in the side garden. We had them removed. Then, I tried some different plants there. First, I started with some annuals. They did ok, but required a lot of watering and much more fuss than what I have now. Later I planted most of the plants that I have now when my Aunt was thinning out her garden and she gave me lots of plants. I worked as quickly to plant those plants along with the large plants that I got from the farmer’s market. Part of the front of the garden was still bare. Over the years I tried different plants there. Some of them didn’t like the full sun, others grew too “leggy” and I didn’t like the way they looked with the rest of the plants and others were too small or short and got “lost.” in the other plants. A few days ago I bought one last perennial to fill in a gap for a plant that eventually died because that spot wasn’t right for it. Now, I feel that I have a fully lovely and functioning garden which will take little water and maintenance other than occasionally weeding in that area. Luckily the plants are now mostly so large that there aren’t many weeds that grow there. I’m so glad that I learned so much from this garden. I learned what plants grow best where, how much sunlight they need and also that it’s important to space plants of different heights in different spots.

This garden project reminds me also that even when we “get it right” there will be work to do. The garden must still be watered and weeded in order to flourish. So is our life. Even when we find the perfect mix of career/business/family/friends/free time we still need to stop and nourish ourselves along the way. We need to stop and see if we are truly thriving where we are currently rooted, or if we need to make a change to really grow and blossom in our lives.

How can we equate this garden project with life? Here are some ways:

  1. There are many things that we will try in life that may not survive or may not be a good fit for us. This can be relationships, careers and places we live. They simply may not agree with our true selves or how we want to live.

  2. Sometimes our projects don’t take root because we think we “ought” to do it, or it’s the next logical step, but our hearts aren’t in it.

  3. Sometimes we need a break. Our area of the garden is “too shady.” We need to take a moment to step out into the light to see our true potential. We need to stop what we are doing and look within for the answers.

  4. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn a particular lesson. We need to look at difficult times and challenges as lessons that come to teach us something. Just like some of the plants that didn’t do well in that area were telling me- move me or compost me. Sometimes we need a different perspective or need to learn to quit and move on to another project, job, home or relationship.

What have your happy failures taught you? I’d love your comments below on this post with your stories!

Joyful Minimalism: 


If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 


I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from:


Services:

http://expansive.me/services