Radical Simplicity and a Beautiful, Messy Life

Oh Friend, You Are Not Too Sensitive

Girl called too sensitive

Friend, with the soft heart and the tears that are quick to flow.  I see you. I am you.

And I know you've been told your whole life that you are too sensitive. But you are not. You are exactly who you were made to be.

"You're just being too sensitive" is what a bully says to get us to shut up and accept their abuse. We won't. 

"You take things too personally" is what people say when they want to be able to mistreat us without any consequences. They can't.

Too many of us heard these words from the ones who were meant to nurture us, to build us up.  Instead they tore us down, used our fragility against us. 

Some of us are still hearing these words. 

But YOU, my friend, are not too sensitive.

The human  heart is meant to break and mend. To experience the pangs of harsh words and broken intentions.  To react to a broken world, broken relationships, broken community.

Your tender heart was crafted intentionally.  It is meant to be, just the way it is. 

We, the sensitive ones, are the poets and prophets.  The ones who weep at a hurting world and still hope for healing when others have grown hard.  

Stay soft. Let your heart be wrenched by this heart-wrenching world.  Be sensitive.  Engage this broken world with all your senses and bravely trust that your fragility is a gift in a world that esteems power and bravado.

Be kind, my friends, to the inner child within.  Do not ask him or her to grow cold or distant or quiet. 

You are not too sensitive.
This world so desperately needs your tears.

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10 Things I Gained by Unfriending Everyone on Facebook

Desk with computer

I recently left facebook.   Not entirely, I still have an account so that I can manage my blog's page and my super awesome facebook group Radical Simplicity  I can still follow pages and groups that inspire the life I want to lead, but I unfriended everyone.  I have zero facebook friends.

My news feed is full of articles from my favourite bloggers, posts in facebook groups that I really value, and the occasional advertisement.  I spend a fraction of the time on it than I once did. 

This may sound a tad dramatic, but it has seriously already been life changing.  

Here are 10 things I've gained by unfriending my facebook friends:

1. Less Distraction

Since leaving facebook, my productivity has been THROUGH. THE. FRIGGEN. ROOF.  I think there might be more hours in the day now.  Is that a thing?  I had no idea how much time I was wasting on facebook until I gave it up.

2. More focus on real relationship

Last week I sat in coffee shops on two separate occasions with two separate friends, sharing about our lives and struggles and joys.  I text often with my closest friends, and last weekend I had a phone conversation (like, actually talked on the telephone.  Apparently that's still a thing) with a dear friend.  The friendships that matter most aren't affected much by my choice to leave facebook, because the real friends will reach out beyond social media to spend time with me.  I'm at a stage in my life where I need quality over quantity in my relationships.

3. Less crowd sourcing my life.

Since leaving facebook I've become aware of how often I asked my facebook friends for advice and input.  While there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, there is also something to be said for just figuring out the next right thing and doing it.

4. More going to God first

 A wise friend of mine likes to say "Have you prayed about it more than you talk about it?"  Since leaving facebook it has become clear to me how often I went straight to the internet to complain about things.  Instead, I'm now forced to take those concerns to God.

5. Less cliques, gossip and drama.

This was one of my driving reasons for leaving in the first place.  People often behave on FB in ways that they never would to your face.  I decided to leave behind the drama and seek meaningful real-life relationships.

6. More social interactions in public.

When waiting in a doctor's office or at a bus stop it was my habit to dissappear into the land of facebook.  Now I'm forced to have awkward conversations with the people around me, or atleast to see them and smile!

7. Less comparison.

Comparison is the thief of Joy.  And it is so easy to see other people's photos of their clean homes or their happy relationships or their expensive vacations and feel a sense of discontentment.  No matter how authentic and real people intend to be on social media, their financial stress and the dirt under their sofa and their puking kids don't land in our news feeds.  We end up comparing our insides to their outsides, and our messy life to their Sunday best.  No facebook friends means I'm not evaluating my life based on unattainable metrics anymore.  I'm too busy building the meaningful life I want for myself and my family.

8. More journaling and self reflection. 

My epiphanies don't go on facebook anymore, they go in my journal where they belong.

9. Less arguing.

I'm feisty.  And I find it hard not to attend every argument in my newsfeed.  Even when I refrained from chiming in, the argument was happening in my head!  By opting out of facebook friends all together I have more serenity and can focus more on positive things.

10. More sleep.

Facebook doesn't tempt me with the hypnotizing pull of one more scroll of the thumb anymore.  I don't lay in bed with my phone in my hand, taking in other people's lives.

The Verdict

Since de-friending my facebook list I have been way more in-tune with what I'm feeling and why.  I don't have a million tiny interactions a day sending my emotions and self-esteem on a roller coaster ride. I'm busy taking care of myself and my family, pouring into my friends, and crushing my goals.

My experience is that less social media equals more emotional health and better focus.  I'm busy keeping my own side of the street clean, instead of monitoring yours.  I'm refreshed and motivated.

Guys, the only thing I regret is not doing this sooner!

psst... Let's stay connected.  If you decide to break up with facebook like I did, why not follow me on pinterest, instagram, twitter, or sign up for my weekly newsletter.

Four Essential Mindsets on Your Minimalist Journey

Minimalist Journey

Progress, not perfection.

Have you heard the old colloquialism about how to eat an elephant?  You do it one bite at a time.  Chip away at the clutter a little more, week after week and eventually your home will be the minimalist retreat you hope for.  Rome wasn't built in a day and old habits take time to change into new ones. 

Make it personal.

We've all seen inspiring stories of people who committed to have a certain number of items, say 100, and then decluttered until they met that number.  That's great for them, and it can be a great reminder of how few items a person actually needs, but that method is not practical or attainable or even desirable for each person.  This is your journey, and minimalism for you will look different than it will for others.

Live in the now.

It can be so tempting to hang on to things because of the what-if's of life.  What if my other can-opener breaks?  What if I lose some weight and those jeans fit again?  What if I want to read this book someday?   But we cannot live in all the what-if's of this unpredictable life.  Build the life you want with just enough baggage to carry you through and trust that you will have the things you need as you journey forward.

Choose contentment today. 

As you progress towards your ideal minimalist life, it is important to be content with where you are today.  Being discontent with our too many belongings is no better than being discontent with too few. The point is to stop searching for contentment in things that perish with the using.  Seek contentment in the deeper and more meaningful things in your life, and accept yourself wherever you are on your minimalist journey.