Cinch by Cynthia Sass
Bestselling author Cynthia Sass’s brand-new release, Cinch, offers an effective, new weight-loss program that emphasizes innovative and healthy combinations of delicious, easy-to-find foods that leave you feeling full and satisfied. Order the book today and receive free gifts from me and many others! Click here to order.
Doing Work of Meaning with Lauren Mackler
Audio Seminar Download – Price: $9.95
Do you long for a career that’s more fulfilling but struggle to bring it to reality? World-renowned coach and bestselling author, Lauren Mackler, teaches you the hidden blocks that keep you stuck in unsatisfying work, tools for moving through those blocks, and strategies for creating a fulfilling career that liberates your greatest potential. Download the audio seminar and listen again and again! Click here to order.
Bestselling author and renowned coach, Lauren Mackler, teaches you her groundbreaking roadmap to achieve mastery of your life, and a greater sense of wholeness and well-being on your own or in a relationship. Featured guest teachers include bestselling authors Sandra Anne Taylor, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. Darren Weissman, Peggy McColl, and many more. Download the seminar and listen again and again. Click here for details and to order!
The Power of Slow by Christine Louise Hohlbaum
Tired of feeling rushed and stressed? Christine Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World (featured in O magazine, Redbook, and NPR) offers the gift of time this holiday season. Christine’s 101 principles helps you establish a more positive relationship with time, so you can have more of it! Purchase Christine’s book today, December 7th and receive free bonus gifts from me , Shirley MacLaine, Arielle Ford, Peggy McColl, and many other thought leaders! Click here to order.
Like many Americans, I grew up believing that more is more—especially during the holidays. Every December our living room was packed with piles of glittering packages, all beautifully prepared by my mother and unwrapped on Christmas morning to shrieks of delight.
When my own children were born, I wanted to make Christmas more about family than material gifts. My husband had grown up in Germany at the end of the war—when even food was scarce—so he enthusiastically supported my new, less-is-more credo. Our tree was lit with real candles, many of the ornaments were hand-crafted by our children, and each child typically received one main gift and a few smaller trinkets like marbles, a little chunk of amethyst, a hand-carved wooden animal, and a small, hand-embroidered sack of sweets.
While our Christmas tradition remained consistent, my more-is-more conditioning manifested in other ways. Seduced by the American dream, I convinced my husband to sell our “starter home” and buy a five bedroom house in an upscale Boston suburb. And as my husband’s income rose, so did our lifestyle and monthly expenses.
It was only when my marriage collapsed—along with my financial security—that I stopped the “keeping up with the Joneses” race. My children and I went from living in relative luxury as a doctor’s family, to struggling to pay the rent in a small apartment where I slept on a futon on the living room floor. For the first few years, I felt resentful of families living our old, more-is-more lifestyle, and I was wracked with guilt that I couldn’t give my children the nice home and material possessions of their peers.
Over time, I began to embrace our involuntary frugality as an opportunity. As someone who never learned how to manage money, our meager financial resources forced me to adhere to a strict monthly budget. Without the hottest video games and other electronic distractions, my children read voraciously and honed their artistic skills. Having experienced living with and without ample financial means, my children and I developed a more conscious relationship with money. And, most importantly, it taught us to place a higher value on one’s inner condition and character than on outward appearances.
Although my financial circumstances improved, simplicity has continued as my fundamental way of life. My home, office, and assistant’s office are all within 850 square feet, I drive a small, gas-efficient car, and my material possessions are kept to a minimum. The concept of simplicity is not something new, but rooted in many world wisdoms and traditions. Lao-Tzu said, “He who knows he has enough is rich,” and both the Christians and Buddhists advocated for balance between relentless accumulation and destitution.
A lot has changed over the past 2,000 years. As we, the world, and the way we live have become more complex, we’ve moved further away from living in alignment with our human spirit and with the earth. I believe this failure to live in harmony with our true selves, each other, and the planet is the root of many of today’s epidemics of depression, addiction, greed, financial collapse, and life-threatening illnesses, as well as the increasing incidences of earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.
The good news is that in response to the dismantling of life as we knew it, more people are choosing—or being forced—to forego the high stress and costs of a consumption-obsessed lifestyle, and live in a more simple and sustainable way. I know many people, including some of my clients, who have used the economic downturn as an opportunity to create a more satisfying life—one that may be more materially modest, but richer in family life, friends, and purpose.
In 1992, some 1,700 of the world’s leading scientists signed an appeal titled, Warning to Humanity. Written by Henry Kendall, it stated, “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course . . . that may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.” About ten years later a similar warning was issued from 100 Nobel Prize winners who claimed, “The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals, but from the legitimate demands of the world’s dispossessed.”
It is total madness to think that we can continue to deplete our natural resources and keep living the way we do indefinitely, and a dramatic shift toward a simpler way of life is needed if we and our planet are to survive.
I, for one, will do my part this holiday season. Amidst the holiday clamor, glitz, and television commercials telling me that love equals a big, beautiful pile of glittering gifts, I will remind myself that less truly is more.
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© 2010 Lauren Mackler
Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach, host of the LIFE KEYS radio show, and author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. www.laurenmackler.com