The Simple Abundance Path

I have been reading Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It is a fantastic book that you should go out and buy. But until you do here are some ideas on self-renewal by Breathnach.

I have now finished the book, but I am still on the path. I hope to continue my journey through all my days.

Start a gratitude journal. Every night write five things you are thankful for in your beautiful journal. Mine has a little cherub angel on the cover. (Jan 14th) It is hard to stay depressed when you find things to be thankful for.

Put acrylic picture frames up with pictures of your family and friends. Things or people you are grateful for. (Joyful Simplicities for January)

Go on a weekly "creative excursions." These are trips you take alone to wherever you want. i.e. a bookstore, an art exhibit, dinner out. Listen to your voice. (Feb. 1)

Find your rhythm. Find regular bedtimes, mealtimes, quiet times. Create rituals. Feel the flow of your day. (Feb. 6)

Create a sacred space. This is a spot where you will take your inner journey. Where you write in your journal, pray, meditate. Find a small area and fill it with things you love- candles, flowers, pictures, your Bible, whatever you feel you would like to have. This space is yours. (Feb. 28)

Set aside your Sabbath. Whatever religon your Sabbath is or whatever day you decide to take- celebrate it. Go to church, don't do chores, rest, rejuvinate, don't go shopping unless just for fun. "Your activities on the Sabbath should uplift you and provide enough inspiration to sustain you during the week to come. (Breathnach March 3)

Create a Hope chest. If you don't have a chest find a basket or some container to hold things that you hope to do someday. Those quilt squares, that writing, your piano music. This is a place for your hopes and dreams.(March 5)

Create a toy box. You need to play too. My shoebox holds crossward puzzle books, a Boggle game, a microphone to sing to the radio, a deck of cards, stickers and a children's story. I'm hoping to find more things to put in my toy box. (March 6)

Make a comfort drawer. This drawer is to cheer you up when you are down in the dumps. In my drawer are scented candles, pretty pajamas, popourri oil, malt syrup, a bag of candy, letters and other feel good memorablia, love letters, face mask, raspberry scented lotion, bubble bath, and craft magazines.(March7)

Replace your old ratty dishtowels, take a spring walk, make a pretty spring wreath for your front door. (Joyful Simplicities for March)

If you had 10 other lives to lead what would you be doing? Now see if you can't add some of those lives into the life you are currently living. I am a singer in an imaginary life. Circumstances make it so I can't be in the church choir for the moment, so I sing all over the house. (April 3)

Discover your favorite colors and patterns. Visit a fabric store. Look at paint chips. Now find ways to introduce your favorite colors to your life. (April 7)

Don't forget little luxuries like cashmere socks while waiting for that sweater, strawberry fragranced lotion, candles, new lacy undergarments, manicures, pretty new earrings, etc. (April 9)

Stay active, but don't refer to it as exerise. Instead try "Creative Movement." Do what makes you feel good. Go on long walks, go swimming, try yoga or tai chi. (April 15)

Walking meditations. Take solitary walks to clear your head, notice the surroundings, swing into the rhythym of walking. (April 16)

Learn to accept your hair as is. This week I cut my fine hair short, finally realizing my thin locks were never going to look as luxurious as Cindy Crawford's long hair.(April 17)

Take a daily bubble bath to relieve stress. (April 20)

Learn about aromatherapy. I have the scent of vanilla through my house with essential oils, sachets and candles.

Awaken your senses. Treasure the aromas around you, taste your food rather than stuffing it down, take pleasure in seeing little details, hear the sounds around you, touch and hug, listen to your intuition. Make the most of all your senses. Delight in doing nice things for them like good food and perfume.

Read Diane Ackerman's Natural History of the Senses, visit a hat store, buy new underthings to replace old ones, buy a new CD, find a new perfume. (Joyful Simplicities for April)

Don't regard cleaning house as housekeeping. Instead refer to it as housecaring. Caring for our homes can be an expression of our authenticity. (May 8)

Memorize these words and live them. (May 10) If you take it out, put it back.
If you open it, close it.
If your throw it down, pick it up.
If you take it off, hang it up.

Remember it is progress of creating order to your home, not perfection that matters. (May 15)

Browse your home with paper and pen. Look at all your belongings. Whatever isn't useful or beautiful, write it on your list. Now write on your calendar to do one room a month. Get rid of all that you put on your list. (May 16)

Tackle one junk drawer (May joyful simplicities)

Putter to some music. Rearrange and go through momentos (May joyful simplicities)

Display one of your collections. (May joyful simplicities)

Rent old movies and check out the decor. (May joyful simplicities)

Read decorating books. (May joyful simplicities)

Redecorate Bedroom. Make a beautiful bed with wonderful sheets and bedcovers. Get rid of the clutter that doesn't allow you to relax. Add personal touches.(June 5)

Turn your bath into a spa for a week. Have a daily bath using different oils, foam baths, bubbles. Treat yourself to facials, exfoliations, manicures, etc. every night.(June 6)

Make your living room livable. Bring joy to it.(June 7)

Bring order to the kitchen (June 9)

Create a little area that is just your own. (June 10)

Create a plan to handle paper (June 11)

Make your linen closet beautiful (June 12)

Make yourself a fancy pantry with homemade jelly and lovely labels, and special foods. (June 13)

Decorate for summer.(June 14)

Fragrance your home with candles, sachets, food, potpourri, powders, etc. (June 16)

The pleasures of gardening. (June 19-30)

Catch lightning bugs, drink homemade lemonade, eat watermelon and ice cream, buy a straw hat. (June joyful simplicities)

Have three moments today to fulfill the cravings of your mind, spirit and body. (July 1)

Every day can be redeemed through simple pleasures.I had an awful day the other day where I just kept getting behind. Finally I decided to spend a few minutes reading a novel. I felt so much happier by just taking that little pleasure. And I eventually got caught up. (July 2)

Enjoy some of your cookbooks. Find some new recipes. Try them out.(July 5)

Cook comfort food to calm you down like pasta or chicken pot pie. (July 7)

Cook soul food with a relative to remember your heritage. I need to get my grandma to teach me to make banket.(July 8)

Make nursery food like pudding and french toast fingers to relieve stress. Chocolate pudding can make anything better. (July 9)

Cooking is art. Be creative, enjoy the process, let yourself shine through. (July 11)

Have family dinner time be a celebration. Turn off phone and TV. Eat together. Fellowship. (July 15)

Cook seasonally. Right now is a great time for berries and some vegies. (June 16)

Take time for solitude today. (July 19)

Carve out time alone to acquaint yourself with your authentic self. (July 20)

Snatch solitude when you can. Sometimes the only time I can get is in the afternoon while the kids are occupied for a bit. (July 23)

Go to the beach, Read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea", go stargazing. (Joyful Simplicities for July)

Mark off one hour a day in your planner for personal time. (August 3)

Cut out some TV and see how much free time you have. It's all repeats now anyway. (August 4)

Let nature nurture you. Spend some time outdooors. Summer is quickly leaving us. (August 6)

Read books you loved as a child like "Little Women", "Little House on the Prarie" and "Nancy Drew". I think I will start with "Anne of Green Gables." (Aug. Joyful Simplicities)

Join a book club, browse used book shops, hang a handmade sign saying "If not now, then when?" (Aug Joyful simplicities)

Go antiquing (Aug 8)

Ask what your gifts are (Aug 10)

Remember God is with you, helping you when you create or use your talents. (Aug 12)

Have the courage to create, show up and create without judging (Aug 14)

Browse a bookstore(Aug 21)

Read poetry (Aug 22)

Use music to be uplifted, to reduce anxiety etc. (Aug 23)

Look at the visual arts (Aug. 24)

Explore the world of theatre, dance or opera (Aug 25)

Watch a movie (Aug 26)

Try needlepoint or other handicraft as meditation (Aug 27)

Make a september resolution (Sept. 1)

Enjoy apple cider, bring out winter clothes, celebrate the autumn equinox (September Joyful Simplicities)

"Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate:
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Acknowledge your successes (Sept. 14)

"Authentic success is living each day with a heart overflowing." (Sept. 15)

Remind yourself, when you feel fear as you move beyond the comfort zone, that the fear will subside as long as you move forward (Sept. 20)

There is a time for everything, but you can't have everything at the same time (Sept. 28)

Make work nicer with an assortment of teas and cocoa, prettying up your workspace, making a comfort drawer of things like sewing kit, extra hose, chocolate bar, and notecards, creating a toy box for work, packing a cosmetic bag for the office, playing music, using aromatherpy and feng-shui (Sept. 29)

Visit a pumpkin patch to pick out your pumpkin, take a Sunday drive through the autumn splendor, dress up for Halloween (Joyful Simplicities for October)

Cope with Stress by cultivating gratitude, an hour a day of solitude, begin and end each day with prayer, meditation, reflection, simplify, keep house picked up and more ideas. (Oct. 9)

The ultimate result of all ambition is to be happy at home. (Oct. 14)

Give at least one compliment a day to another person and to yourself. (Oct. 21)

Create a bill paying ritual. Flowers, music, box full of stamps and other necessities. Drink tea. Whatever makes this less of a chore. (Oct. 25)

Tithing, affirming your abundance. Give part of your money to church or charity. (Oct. 29)

What does your soul need at this moment to feel peace, contentment and joy? Now do it. (Nov. 2)

Prayer. Conversation. Communion. Connection. Intimacy. (Nov. 8)

Experience the flow. Create rituals that tap into that part of your brain. Change routines when you are stuck. Try daydreaming. (Nov. 16)

Friends. Plan annual outings together. Go out to lunch once a month. Have a book club. Make them a get well box when they are sick. Show them how much you love them. (Nov. 18)

Play hooky one day this week. Do something frivolous and self-indulgent. Get a manicure. Go to the movies. Read all day. (Nov. 22)

Write your personal grace, watch the thanksgiving parade, choose your own advent calendar. (November Joyful Simplicities)

Make a birthday ritual. Bath, music, give self gift of a new dream, look at old photos. (Dec. 18)

Play the Glad game. Find one good thing about any situation. (Dec. 20)

Share your blessings with a shelter for women, really decorate the halls, look at January's aspirations, get rid of regrets of the past year. (December Joyful Simplicities)

I hope you get the book. If not I suppose you can join my continuing journey to the authentic self. Take care. Sweet Petite

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