Posts Tagged ‘white space’

The Joy of Essentialism

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Have you ever heard the saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear?” Well that is what Greg McKeown is for me–a teacher. I am on my second reading of his book Essentialism. I discovered this book last year thanks to a course I was taking online by Hilary Rushford (she taught a great class on doing less by the way!) and this book changed my life.

So now that I have made some MAJOR changes over the last 9 months personally and professionally (we’ll talk about those more soon – I promise!), I decided to read it again. I knew that I would hear things that I didn’t hear the first time around because I am already in a different place thanks to my pursuit of a simpler life and my resolutions to find more joy and love myself more.

I think the biggest gift from Greg’s book is this:”If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.” WOW! Talk about a litmus test for what to allow in your life! And I don’t know about you, but I think I have a harder time dealing with some of the small things like whether to go out with my girlfriends on a weeknight vs. staying home and getting a good night’s sleep than I do with big business decisions sometimes. But whether the decision is big or small, this concept makes the choice crystal clear. If you waiver at all, the answer is no. What a relief that is to me in so many ways. It stops the conversations in our heads, the guilt, the waffling. What a lot of time this one concept can save in our decision making and in our lives in general. Time that we can spend doing something truly meaningful.

Greg and I have a similar vision about people. I love to help others find their passion and purpose, live their best life, find happiness and joy in their businesses and in their homes. And I see so many people doing things because they think they “have to” but not because they want to or like to. And I have definitely felt that way at times. But the truth is this…

Very few things are essential. There are so FEW things that we really must do to be happy or profitable. This is completely in line with my mantra “Say no to the good so you can say yes to the best.” What stresses us out, overwhelms us, makes us want to escape work and life, is saying yes to all those non-essential things that we somehow can’t say no to. How many times I have heard people I am consulting with on their businesses say “Well, they aren’t my ideal client but they were a referral from a friend so I HAVE to take them on.” No you don’t! Or what about when people say “You know, I don’t want to offer that service, I don’t even like doing that, but I feel like to be in this business we have to have that service or people will not hire us.” Ok, so they don’t hire you – you don’t like working that way anyway! The list of things that I hear people doing daily that they don’t want to but “have to” is endless and if we are perfectly honest, it’s also a lie. We DON’T have to do it. We have a choice.

Oh wouldn’t life be so beautiful and people so happy if they had the courage to live a life that is true to themselves. I want this for my daughter, heck I want this for me!  I want this for my niece and nephew, my husband, my mom, my brother, my friends. I want this for our world. A life of authenticity, to truly be who and what you want to be. That would be the most refreshing and inspiring world I could possibly imagine.

I can’t say enough things about this book by Greg McKeown and how this way of thinking has changed my mindset. And it builds so beautifully on other great books I have read like Tim Ferriss’ idea in The 4 Hour Work Week of making as much money as you can in as little time as possible so you can spend the rest of your time doing what you want. Yes, that definitely fits my idea of the essentialist lifestyle and it’s a plan I am putting into place more now than ever.

I don’t know about you, but hitting mid-life made me re-think what I want for the next half of this life. And I definitely want more listening, pondering, meditating and enjoying the most important people in my life. One of the most interesting things in the book to me was discussion of priorities. The word “priorities” only became plural in America in the 1940s. Prior to that is was priority, singular, because really you can only have ONE MOST important thing. But in the ’40s, Americans started trying to do more and be more and at work we were expected to accomplish more.

And now in our lives and businesses we talk about priorities and the list could include dozens of things. DOZENS! Then we wonder why in the world we are so tired, so overworked, so confused and so ineffective all the time. This way of thinking is a sure-fire way to fail every single day. And I don’t know about you but I feel like that often. I rarely feel like I win when I go head-to-head against my to-do list.  But if we had one true priority every day, could we really hit that? I suspect we could. If we removed all the non-essentials from our to-do list, it would probably be really short.

So I want you to know the JOY I am finding in Essentialist thinking and in the quest to move closer to this way of living. It is definitely what helped me find more Joy in Quitting and I know that the more I practice the “Disciplined Pursuit of Less but Better,” the more Joy will surely come into my life and the lives of those I love. Cheers to Essentialism!

Joyfully yours,

 

 

 

Shopping Guide: Luxuries for the Bath

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I love making my bathroom feel as pretty and relaxing as a spa or fine hotel. And with all this talk of my two resolutions for the year–finding more joy and loving myself more–my new Kohler Vibracoustic tub has become a big part of my daily existence. Not only does it make millions of tiny relaxing bubbles, my favorite part is that it plays relaxing music of your choice above and below the water for hydrotherapy. It helps me escape a busy day. It’s amazing!!

So needless to say, I am spending more time in my new Master Bath than ever. Now with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I am thinking all things bath related would make a perfect gift for yourself or someone you love.

Here are some of my favorite bath and vanity products that make self-care easier than ever. Wishing you more downtime to be good to yourself this year!

Joyfully yours,
Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

  1. Mullein & Sparrow Cacao Cleanse Bath Salts– These luxurious bath salts made with cacao increase blood flow, in turn, promoting healing and boosting collagen for healthier, softer skin!
  2. Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar– A cleansing bar with all of the benefits of Dead Sea mud! Just use morning and night as part of your cleansing process to detoxify, exfoliate, and reveal a new glow!
  3. Nest Fragrances Cashmere Suede Liquid Soap– I love Nest Fragrance products and this Cashmere Suede soap is no exception! A perfect blend of warm cashmere tones mixed with hints of tobacco leaves, black amber, and soft suede are sure to excite you and your guests!
  4. Simple Human Sensor Mirror Pro Wide-View Mirror– A lighted wide-view mirror with adjustable side panels will add ease to your morning make-up routine!
  5. Voluminous Canisters– Who says bathroom storage is boring? Keep extra soap bars, Q tips, cotton balls, or even bath salts in these shapely glass containers!
  6. Diptyque Roses Scented Candle– Sit back and relax to the scent of fresh roses for your next spa night.
  7. Juara Invigorating Coffee Scrub– Get an energizing boost in the shower with an energizing coffee scrub from Indonesian Sumatran coffee beans and finely crushed walnuts!
  8. Waterford Crystal Lismore Square Ring Holder– Place rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets in this gorgeous crystal ring holder for safe keeping!
  9. Hermés Eau de Mandarine Ambrée Hair and Body Shower Gel– A hair and body formula that mixes the classic, fresh citrus scent with amber to create a lively scent!
  10. AERIN Rose Hand & Body Cream– A lightweight cream that will soothe skin with magnolia and peony infusions with the decadent scent of roses!
  11. Short Silk-Trimmed Cashmere Robe– What is more glamorous and cozy than a cashmere robe? A beautiful shawl collared robe with silk trim in a feminine blush tone.
  12. Mercer Bathtub Caddy– Sink back into your tub with a good book and a glass of wine with ease when using your new bathtub caddy with an elegant polished nickel finish!
  13. UGG Classic Luxe Cotton Bath Sheet– Wrap yourself up in these pure cotton bath sheets, which are larger than the typical bath towel!
  14. Tory Burch Bath Soaps, Set of 4– Beautifully wrapped soaps in Tory Burch’s signature prints are filled with beautiful fragrances of peonies, grapefruit, and tuberose!

The Joy of White Space

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Henry Kissinger once said, “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” Does that sound familiar? I am embarrassed to admit how many years of my life could have been described that exact same way. But not anymore.

I crave white space. And I am moving mountains these days to have white space in my life. It’s critical to my happiness and my mental health. It brings me joy. White space traditionally means the area on the written page or screen where there are no words or characters. It’s about leaving room on the screen or page for elements to breathe. And personal white space is leaving room to breathe in your life or your schedule.

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Winston Churchill practiced lots of white space and I think we can all agree he had a remarkable and productive life, right? He would wake up around 7:30am every day and spend most of his morning in bed (this is my favorite place to work in the morning–who am I kidding, I’d work in the bed all day! ) Here, he had breakfast, read his mail, caught up on all of the national newspapers and dictated to his secretaries.  At 11am he would get out of bed, wash and take a walk in the garden. His lunch was from 1–3:30pm most days, and was usually a full three-course meal with his family and guests. After lunch he would often work again until around 5pm. He then took a nap–a long one–at 5pm everyday for an hour and a half.  At 8pm he would have dinner—dining again with family and guests. Usually he returned to his study for another hour or so of work after dinner. I don’t know about you, but this honestly is a perfect schedule in my opinion–a beautiful mixture of rest, work, love and enjoyment–every day.

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White space is exactly that. Room for taking a nap everyday and not hiding it, or explaining it, or feeling guilty about it. White space means time with family or friends, including making spontaneous plans with them and having the freedom to make them happen. White space means alone time. And for me, some of the most important white space is work, but on whatever I want, for as long as I want. What a treat to lean into my creativity or brainstorming exactly when I want to, when the mood strikes or when the ideas come. And I believe if we use our white space as an opportunity to live in our sweet spot, to do our life’s work, to live our purpose–then a life full of white space can bring financial freedom too.

A great example of a famous lover of white space who has made a great living doing what he does best is Tim Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Work Week.  Here’s a peek at Tim’s typical schedule. Mondays and Fridays are generally off-limits for phone calls from Tim’s assistants, so he has the flexibility to take a long weekend on either side. How’s that for white space?  Tim also schedules very few things into his calendar period.  That way he doesn’t need to stress about multi-tasking to get things done. Tim says: “The goal is to spend as much time possible doing what we want by maximizing output in minimal time. I don’t have to do anything in my schedule. I choose to do them because I like them. None of them are financially-driven or unpleasant obligations. If the chance to do something more fun comes up last-minute, I can cancel all of them.”

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We have to remember that choosing a life that is right for us, even when no one else you know is living this way, is not only ok, it’s imperative. And just because this sort of schedule (or lack of one) isn’t culturally celebrated or even accepted in America doesn’t mean that you can’t create a life full of white space perfect for you. The glorification of busy is old news. White space is the new black. And on this second week of my 52 weeks of JOY, living with white space is far from empty…it’s what fills me up!

Wishing you much more white space in your life this year!

Joyfully yours,

Tobi-Signature