TLE Bookclub: Soulful Simplicity By Courtney Carver
I will admit that for someone who wants to one day have a boutique style walk in closet that rivals Carrie Bradshaw, the idea of minimalism and simplicity is oddly fascinating and very appealing to me. And believe it or not I do not know why that is, maybe it's my souls way of telling me that more will never make me happy, or it's my bank account telling me that i better get used to humble because that is exactly where i am staying. Nevertheless i am always happy and excited to read anything about having less or the minimalist lifestyle more so than i am about Marie Kondo-ing my life. Insert Courtney Carver's book soulful simplicity.
If you google Courtney you would probably see something about Project 333, the movement she created based on the idea that we can survive on 33 pieces of clothing nothing more.I remember reading about this project years ago and thought that there was no way that would work for me, yet here i am years later reading her book and understanding deeply why this project makes so much sense and why the movement to simplify needs more of a spotlight.
Courtney's story starts with her being overworked, unhealthy and in debt ( basically everyone on planet earth). She gets a life changing diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and makes a decision that would ultimately change her life as well as the lives of those around her. She can either medicate and keep living the life she is living, or she can make major changes that initially seemed so out of the norm. She of course decided to make major changes, some of which included, downsizing her home during a time when the economy would not afford her much of a return on her investment, paying off her debt, and detaching from her possessions, only keeping the things that had real meaning and would be missed.
What really draws me into Courtney's story and her message is how simple (yet challenging for most) her actions were. She decided to live with less, end of story. She didnt do anything that deserves a prize, or create a cure or anything that would garner real celebration or recognition. Yet her lifestyle is not one easily adopted by the masses. There are probably hundred if not thousands of books on living with less, yet social media is dominated by the idea that more is better. That buying the latest trends, and spending on that vacation you can't afford doesn't matter once you look good.
Maybe Courtney herself would still be in hustle mode if she were not forced to make a change. I think Courtney's message and story is part cautionary tale and part common sense. We are afforded one life, and one body, treat if well or you will one day find yourself wishing you lived differently. The common sense part is that the worship of busy, the love of money, the cluttered home, and the detachment from what we really innately need is making us unhappy.
My Take Away
What i loved :
I love how straight forward Courtney is in her book. She doesn't sugercoat anything she uses her life as an example, and gives very simple steps to make changes in your life.
" One of the reasons we keep out lives so complicated is so we won't have to listen to our inner voice telling us what we need to do to make out lives work better."
"Gradually, i began to see how simplicity allowed hope to replace fear, and i became healthier and happier that i was before my diagnosis."
This book challenges me to:
1. Examine my definition of Success.
2. Examine my emotional attachments to stuff.
3. Make room for what really matters.