“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” – Winston Churchill
It seems to me that we experience the greatest pleasure after having not savored such a pleasure for an extended period of time, yet knowing based on previous experience, what it is to swim in its goodness. A bite into a buttery pain au chocolat at Poilâne in Paris after having been away for far too long, the caress of a loved one’s hand on our skin, an hour free of responsibility and full of calm after a busy week has come to an end, the sight of the ocean and smell of the salty waves as they waft over the sand after having been land-locked for too many months on end, or simply a decadent night’s sleep uninterrupted and naturally aroused by our body’s sleep clock. These are such pleasures that are only a taste of what are worthy of savoring especially when we have been deprived of their presence.
At the heart of The Simply Luxurious Life is not only the desire, but the need for simplicity. To get back to the basics of living well which requires of us all to who seek such a life to rid our lives, our minds and our bodies of the excess, the unnecessary.
And so I find myself, while beyond satisfied to have reached a long sought after goal with the book’s publication last month, vigorously seeking a life in which I can savor more fully what a quality everyday life can be. Over the past two weeks during my holiday break, I found myself cherishing the simple moments of either sipping a hot cup of tea, conversing with a good friend in long conversation, reading a purely pleasurable novel, gazing out the window on a snowy morning or snuggled up by the fire watching a favorite film, beyond intoxicating. And in soaking up such moments, I was reassured that indeed this is the life I have been wishing to cultivate. This is the life I have worked to curate so that I can be my best self, not only for myself but for those I love.
Now, per Churchill’s quote above, it is often the case that we must strive through complex, demanding or exhausting times in order to arrive at a full appreciation of a simple way of being.
So to be clear, in order to get “back to simple”, we must first have experienced the contrary concept – complexity, complicated, elaborate, superfluous, convoluted, cluttered, difficult, unclear, etc.
Most definitely, the goal over the past five years here on TSLL has been to bring more simplicity, thus bringing a more luxurious way of living into our everyday lives, but this year, the driving intention is to return to simplifying our lives in every aspect. From relationships to food to tidying up the home to entertaining to our attitudes as we go about reaching our full potential.
Why get back to simple?
- To allow what we cherish most in our lives to shine and blossom into what it is capable of when not strangled by extra demands, negative thoughts, and the “should”s in life that really do not improve our lives
- To bring more moments of absolute joy and contentment
- To slow down our lives so that we can fully appreciate and enjoy this one and only life that we have
How do we get back to simple? Here are just a few specific ideas to jump start this way of living in your everyday life:
1. Be honest. Tactful, but honest.
2. Choose relationships over things. Build trust, give respect, learn to communicate effectively, be appreciative no matter how small of action it may seem.
3. Eat real food. Savor the food you eat. Eat well, but in moderation. Don’t deprive, have a glass of wine, put the real butter in the recipe and don’t skip the pancetta.
4. Select bud vases instead of large bouquets to bring a touch of Mother Nature indoors without breaking the bank.
5. Refuse to view advertisements. Rely on your DVR, apps, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to save time and eliminate persuasion.
6. Style a uniform attire that flatters and functions ideally for your life. Purchase separates in different colors, shoes of the same style in different textures and designs, and choose jewelry that is simple, yet complementary.
7. Cook at home.
8. When in doubt, be kind.
9. Use one credit card and pay it off monthly. If you can’t, stop using it.
10. When hosting a cocktail party, offer two drink choices plus water.
11. Choose to set intentions rather than goals. Remind yourself of your intention each morning.
12. Less texting, more talking. Tone, pauses, pacing, all are missed when we don’t hear or see the other person speak the words they wish to share.
13. Break free. Step away from past hurts, stop assuming the worst and put your best positive energy out there. People, including yourself would much rather spend time with a sincere optimist, than a cynical realist.
14. Find time to spend more time with nature. Walks, hang a bird-feeder in your yard or outside your window, open a window, let the sunshine in, get off the beaten path and explore.
15. Always have signature thank you notes on hand. (My favorite.)
16. Stock your “company cupboard” with favorite teas and coffee blends for guests who stop by for a short visit.
17. Keep a stocked bar or wine rack if you need something stronger for an unexpected guest.
18. Opt for white dishes.
19. Choose being well-read over well-known. The former offers invaluable information in which you can control, the latter is out of your hands.
20. Choose experiences over things.
21. Err on the side of being a Romantic with only a foundation of a realist. (capitalization chosen on purpose)
22. Treat your body like the precious treasure that it is. Polish, polish, polish so that it, and thereby, you, can shine.
~SJP in action~
Each of these topics will be an area that will be explored as 2015 begins. You will notice that only a few of the above include fashion or clothing, and while I will never get away from style as it is a form of powerful communication, I will be focusing more on inspiration (Tuesday’s Style Inspiration) and separates that you can bring into your wardrobe so as to add to the overall quality and versatility to your capsule wardrobe. I will encourage you to invest so that you can relax when it comes to clothing. In other words, when you purchase an item knowing the cost per wear will be a wise investment, you can relax knowing you look your best, you don’t have to be shopping each weekend and your bank account won’t be unnecessarily stretched as you will know what to look for your style.
What will this year’s blogging schedule look like?
- Monday – Motivational/Inspirational post/podcast (always how to live a simply luxurious life, sometimes style, entertaining, decorating, but always a great way to kick off the week). Posted live on the blog and The Simple Sophisticate podcast on iTunes.
- Tuesday – Style Inspiration
- Wednesday or Thursday – Thoughts from the Editor, extra news and inspiration that catches my attention and I can’t wait to share.
- Friday – This & That, (the latest books, music, films, sales, articles, etc)
- Weekly Newsletter – delivered every Friday to subscribers, full of the past week’s posts, first-to-know TSLL news, plus an extra dose of inspiration exclusive to subscribers (learn more and how to sign up here)
Without question 2015 will be full of ways to curate a life of quality, so you can revel in what you have placed at the top of your priority list. It will be a year that will require purposeful attention and clear intention, but in doing so, you can then let go and let your life mosey where it wishes. And as it goes along the path that you have nudged it along, amazing, beautiful, often seemingly magical events will occur.
I look forward to hearing about your journey along the way and sharing mine with you as the year unfolds. May your new year begin auspiciously, and thank you for choosing to stop by The Simply Luxurious Life. Bonjour.
~Start the new year off with the basic tools for building your own simply luxurious life with the purchase of Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide (available in paperback and eBook format at Amazon and Barnes & Noble).
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