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

How Much Clothing Do Kids Need?

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How many outfits do kids need compared to adults? It is a very interesting question. As adults of course since we are not growing anymore, we can keep our clothing and shoes longer as we are not outgrowing them. Kids are different since usually we need to buy clothes for them around 2 times a year or sometimes more often if they go through a sudden growth spurt.

How much is enough and how much is too much? I used to buy a lot more clothing for my son when we was younger. Of course his clothes got dirty faster when we was a little guy, and of course there were diaper explosion accidents. Fast forward to now when he is 10 going on 11 and now I’ve gotten much more minimal when it comes to his wardrobe. I also used to buy special outfits for Easter and for Christmas. Now, I just buy two “nice shirts” in the fall that can go for any winter/spring holiday and then one “nice shirt” in the spring/summer. Those are more than enough for any occasion we may be attending- and for picture day too! I am aware that girl’s clothing presents more of a challenge because there are more choices/accessories. However, I do believe that a similar effect can be achieved.

For fall/winter here is what I usually get for my son:

5 or so long sleeved shirts

2 collared shirts

5 pairs of pants

7+ pairs underwear

7+ pairs socks

1 pair of shoes (I only buy him 1 pair of shoes at a time. I never really buy formal shoes unless they are really needed)

3-4 pairs pajamas

1 coat

For summer:

5-7 pairs shorts

5-7 short sleeved shirts

1 collared short sleeve shirt

1 pair sandals/flip flops

1 pair swim trunks/swim shirt

underwear/socks/pajamas as needed

I think that this minimal wardrobe works really well. His closet is not stuffed with clothes and he can easily find what he needs. When he outgrows his clothes I can just pass it on to others. That’s great!

We are going on vacation this summer and I know that he has 7 days worth of clothing, then we will do laundry. This way we can pack light, but still have a very enjoyable trip.

I would love to hear from you on how much clothing you get for your kids each season and also how much you buy for yourself each season!

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

It's Easy

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What if your life could be made easier just by having an “easy button” like the one pictured above? What if you could help your brain look for easier solutions and the path of least resistance to any situation? It really can be done. You can help your brain look at a situation as easy or help it to work through a tough situation by just getting the work done. Here is how.

Recently my accountability partner came up with the “It’s easy” phrase to help herself look for the easiest way to deal with things, or the fastest way to make progress. Simply by stating out loud- “It’s easy.” to herself she was able to move through her work and it helped her brain come up with the best solution moving forward.

Many times we are the main roadblock for our progress. We can look at things as overly complicated, or daunting or simply impossible. This outlook severely inhibits our pathways to joy in our life. The words that we choose to tell ourselves or tell others about our lives are very important. They are far more powerful than we know. If we repeat to ourselves out loud or in our head, or even write about difficulties over and over again we are creating paths of difficulty. To create a path to ease, we must focus on the ease of life.

Here are some ways you can try this in your own life:

  1. When you catch yourself getting frustrated and overwhelmed with something in your day- say to yourself (I am using my name as an example, but use your name) “Trista, this is easy.” This will start your brain thinking of easier ways to move through your day.

  2. Look for evidence in your life that things are easy and write them down. Maybe you have had a busy week and something gets canceled- celebrate that and realize it’s life’s way of showing you that it’s easy and now you can take some time to relax or get other things done. Look at cancellations as little gifts! It gives you some extra time you didn’t think you’d have! You can also put a coin or a rock in a jar for every time you encounter something that is easy in your life.

  3. Ask yourself “How can I make this easy?” Maybe there is something on your list that you can offload to someone else, or just cross it off if it isn’t a high priority- easy!

  4. Another way to make things easy is to of course remove extra things in your environment. When there are too many objects in a room, it’s harder for your to concentrate and find the ease in your days. Decluttering a space to do your work and to relax is really important.

  5. Carve out a part of each of day that feels like a vacation. That will set your mind into easy mode. For me, that means sitting outside in our garden at the patio table sipping coffee or tea and just watching the beautiful birds and listening to the sounds of nature. I make sure to do this every day so that I feel that I am on vacation and things are easy, things are taken care of.

I hope that this makes your life a little easier!

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


What space are you creating?

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This spring we are nearing the end of a project to clear some large items and a few boxes and bags of small items in our garage in anticipation of buying an electric car in the coming months. This photo above is my dream car- a red Tesla!

I have a super fun game that I play every day to see how many Teslas I can spot on the road. It’s super fun! Many times I see this red one too! My favorite!

It’s often great to have a goal in mind for the space you are creating while de-cluttering your home. Having those pictures of dreams in your mind can really encourage you and spur you on going forward.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your spaces:

  1. How do I want to feel in this space? What does peace in this space look like and feel like to me?

  2. What do I picture myself doing in this space?

  3. What new possibilities am I opening up in my life by clearing out the clutter in this space?

  4. What surprises am I allowing for by creating some space? Empty spaces as well as empty drawers and shelves can create great energy for many things to show up in your life! You will be surprised!

Now that our garage space is nearly cleared the energy feels light and every day I see more and more Teslas! They are like a trail of beautiful dream “breadcrumbs” on the way to my intentions coming true. I can just see the car in that space. Create more space for more possibilities in your home and in your life.

When you clear a space for yourself and your dreams in your home and on your calendar you are creating freedom and peace for yourself. You will be shocked at the amazing outcomes!

What spaces are you making for yourself? Feel free to comment below! Make sure to leave space in your home and on your calendar for your dreams to grow!

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