• Colin Leama

    When it comes to most things in life, being a extremist isn't the answer. Life is, in fact, simpler than we make it out to be, don't you think? Yet most of us live it trying to unveil it like it's an ancient, mystical secret. This is also true when it comes to our beauty habits.

    From jars of probiotics and supplements… to colon cleanses, painful treatments and food restrictions, we make ourselves believe convenience and health come from the packaged stuff.

    What if our bodies were really that complicated that we could only be healthy and beautiful by eating goji berries and drinking detox juices every morning? Wouldn’t that be awful?

    I personally believe that our bodies are simply miraculous and giving. If we love them and treat them well (most of the time) they'll treat us with the same level of love. Of course, this might not be the truth for people who sadly live their lives with life-long health issues – but for the average, lucky human being it's really a no-brainer.

    Below are my cheat tricks for a natural cleanse:

    1. Drink water instead of juice: I can almost feel a lot of you frowning as you read this... but hear me out. For ages, humans have been able to live in good health and be hydrated by the mere act of drinking water. That's my best detoxifying trick – and let me tell you, I’ve tried several other whacko ways.

    2. Eat your probiotics: Some people's diet plans might require for them to take a probiotic supplement... but for those who eat real food and have no dietary restrictions or allergies, eating probiotics is the best option. I'm not only talking kimchi (though I personally love it) but kefir, yogurt, miso, apple cider vinegar… among others. The aim is to make healthy bacteria in our bodies available to fight the bad ones.

    3. Cut down your (bad) sugar and fat intake: I had to add the "bad" part because there are plenty of GREAT sugar and fat sources. You can easily pinpoint if something is "fat but good" if it comes from the earth or even an animal. Avocado, eggs, fruit and vegetables are examples of the best natural sources of fat and sugar.

    4. No-juice life: Most of my Brazilian friends look shocked when I tell them I'm not a juice drinker. I do like an occasional vegetable juice drink but I NEVER drink fruit juices, not even natural ones. My policy is that the more fiber, the better and the more filling. So instead of juicing, say, 4 oranges to make myself a cup of juice, I peel the orange and eat it whole.

    5. Liver health is simple: Realistically, no one in this world has perfect liver health – that goes for non-drinkers too (Ok, maybe Gwyneth Paltrow). Everything we ingest can damage our liver, even common painkillers and viruses that are out of our control. To keep our liver in good health, cutting down (Notice I'm not saying removing) on the things that hit it the hardest is a great practice. Have 1 cup of coffee instead of 4 (guilty on that count), make drinking wine a "rare thing" and make refined sugars and complex carbs an absolute NO.

    Last but not least, we all have an acute sense of what's right and what's wrong for each one of us. We know it because our bodies and our skin react to anything and everything we put in and on them – so being balanced and listening to our bodies is always the best way to show them some love.








  • Over the Holidays, our routines are punctuated by what we expect to be a time of recharging, rest and peace–but all the rush and the additional to-dos are anything but soothing and relaxing. Yes, even the calmest holidays can bring the biggest storms.




    Emily Laye

    Over the Holidays, our routines are punctuated by what we expect to be a time of recharging, rest and peace–but all the rush and the additional to-dos are anything but soothing and relaxing. Yes, even the calmest holidays can bring the biggest storms.

    Self-care is the key to keeping everything else in some sort of balance. Don't forget to be present and mindful this holiday time. Take time out for yourself to be alone... maybe take a mindful walk or spend a few minutes in meditation. Stop what you’re doing when something is making you stress out and simply breathe.

    This season is a time to enjoy and to be with the ones we love–but do not feel obligated to anything that makes you feel anxious or uncomfortable. Make no commitments you cannot handle and above everything, take some time to truly rest, to take naps and to do things slowly, truly enjoying the moment.

    Happy Christmas to all!

    P.S. There's a sale up on the shop. You get a 50% off your order this Holiday weekend. Code: HOLIDAY. x


  • Anna Pirkola

    One of the biggest human struggles since the beginning of modern times has been the attempt to achieve a balanced life. We push, pull and try to fit everything in, falsely believing that we can be everywhere and do everything all at once–spreading ourselves thin.

    If you were born in the late 80’s like me, you can attest to the revolution of technology. Life as we knew it changed before our eyes . . . suddenly everything went wireless, we no longer needed booth phones to call when away from home, video games were all the rage and all we could hear was that technology was here to make our lives easier.

    What started off as something that could ease the pace of our lives, ended up making us feel dissatisfied. It’s made us work harder, longer and feel a constant sense of unfulfillment. It’s like we cannot ever achieve our goals. Technology was supposed to connect us . . . but it’s pulled us away from real life–to the point where we now understand the difference between being “in” and “out of” real life (well, some of us still do).

    I used to think that faster was better. Only a year ago I was living my life like a race, doing everything on autopilot and living my entire life logged on, isolated from the real world–incapable of switching off even for the sake of my health or my relationships.



    The non-stop mentality is making us sick. In my book 30 Days To Minimal Blogging I explain how my response to anxiety in the past was to do more, to try harder and to never, ever stop hacking at the things that were difficult to deal with. We are tackling our challenges in the wrong way; we are doing more than ever but in that we are getting less and less life out of our days.

    Fast living at all times isn’t natural; the bigger, better, stronger philosophy is what brought us fast food–a disconnect with what we put on our plates. It’s made way for big chains, for dehumanizing services, for automating our consumption–without truly making things that once used to be an experience, what they should be.

    That’s why after spending my life trapped in the "do-not-stop" and the "boss-everything" mantras, I reached the tipping point and I needed to rewire the way I defined living.

    I’ve said this before: that often times the answer to changing a radical point of view is to start with a new radical approach and tweak that. So, my response to my fast-paced life was to make a 180 degree turn and start living slowly. Rethinking my approach to work, to myself, to my family, my relationships and my surroundings. In other words, I started being mindful.

    The Slow movement is not just about diminishing the speed at which we do things–it’s about being aware of ourselves and the things outside ourselves, about understanding when the right time is to be slow and when it’s time to be fast–and recognizing the difference at all times.



    Certainly, living on the slow side is a challenge in this modern era we live in and it has doubly so been a challenge for me and for my business. We live in times where people feel entitled to a response almost immediately as they send in an email, where everything is urgent and no one can wait. I’ve had to force myself to comply with a daily schedule, to switch off on my weekends, to connect more outside of social media and find gratification in simple things–in cooking a simple meal, in spending 15 minutes in meditation, in having a conversation with my daughter and sitting in the learner’s seat once in a while.

    By taking simple actions in our lives, we contribute to everyone’s life–we add significance to the lives of the people we love, we contribute to our communities by buying local, we say no to dehumanizing treatment by making better choices. We re-educate people to wait and at the same time we allow ourselves to be better at what we ourselves do.

    It’s imperative for our health and our happiness that we learn to slow down by doing what we can to add more life to our days and we that we collectively start redefining what’s truly good and what it means to be truly stronger.

    It is time for all of us to remember that slow can also be a good thing.










  • Anna Pirkola

    How lucky are we that the year is finally winding down?… Time will soon be still, peace and joy will soon be at our doorsteps and as the year subsides, so will our commitments, emotions and worries.

    Or will they!?

    No. Sadly, we already know that this time of the year is far from still. Our commitments will duplicate, the rush to check goals off the lists we made a year ago will become top priority and worries will be guaranteed. This is not, (regardless of how the movie industry attempts to make it seem) the most wonderful time of the year.

    The holidays are a time when everyone runs on expectations–either of the role they should be playing or the role that they want others to play. This guarantees a slew of new to-do’s: trying to catch up with people that we barely ever see the rest of the year, attempting to fulfill our forgotten goals (turning us into that so familiar breed of holiday monster fighting to fit into a size "x" dress before New Year’s Eve), sobbing on the kitchen floor for having burnt a batch of ginger cookies... and swapping out our plan "A" of signing up for French lessons with frantically downloading Duolingo on our phones–just so we don’t have to feel like we’ve failed.

    True story: Two years ago during this "oh-so-wonderful" time I was knee-deep in work, trying to catch my breath in the middle of all the commitments and struggling to make up for lost time with my daughter–I (as many of us do) ended up over-committing on all fronts because I had for years made it up in my head that the holidays should play out like a perfect orchestra.

    I predictably made countless unfulfilled promises to little EP–(in full-on holiday-beast mode) offered myself to cook Christmas dinner AND New Year’s supper after someone had simply asked if I could "give a hand" in the kitchen department... This consisted of spending a lot of my "free" time at the market... and later on with a hand stuck in a turkey’s cavity or my head stuck in a hot oven. I woke up on Christmas morning to the gift of swollen tonsils and a fever, looking like... Oh, well! I should probably spare you the visuals. Needless to say, it was a sour experience.

    The thing is that while I looked disastrous, my house looked more joyful than myself: there was the tree, the lights, the smell of ginger cookies... If only I had felt as good as the darn house looked.

    What I’m trying to get at is this: The Holidays SHOULD be a wonderful time. It should be a time to spend with our loved ones, to give of ourselves, to indulge in traditions and to ponder the year that’s almost gone–but not at the expense of our emotions and health.

    Living intentionally takes all our self-imposed, non-negotiables out of the equation. It makes us gentler with ourselves. It helps us see the importance of still acknowledging ourselves in the midst of all the chaos. So before we go out there–trying to check off goals and hit the Holiday jackpot by making this the most memorable Holiday experience in the history of the Holidays, let's take care of other things. Ourselves.

    Here are 7 things you can do before the Holiday time:







    Susanna Vento

    1. Hygge-up your bedroom

    Hygge, a Danish term defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." Pronounced "hoo-guh," the word doesn’t have a direct translation in English, though "cozy" comes close. Making your bedroom a little safe and cozy space (before you run around trying to make everything else look inviting) is taking care of yourself.

    Think candles, woolen blankets, slippers, feet-warming rugs, nice scents. Or, if you, like me, live in a hot country: soft linen sheets, fresh scents, diffused daylight, open windows... Whatever makes you feel serene.






    Lina Östling

    2. Take an experimental yoga class

    When it comes to yoga, the benefits far outweigh any excuses in your head. Maybe you think that it’s "cult-ish", that it’s a "girl thing", that it's difficult or boring. Yoga, for me, is something that oftentimes saves me from my next panic attack. It’s a time that "forces" me to reconnect with myself. It helps me do something physical–to concentrate on something outside my routine, my worries and my obligations.

    I don’t do yoga for enlightenment, to be honest. For those things I go to prayer and meditation... but yoga is a thing that inevitably gives you an awareness of your self–it reminds you to be mentally flexible, it makes you feel capable and strong. That’s why I recommend it. I’ve seen even the toughest bodybuilders reveling in its remarkable benefits.

    My favorite yoga style: Flow yoga.





    Mikkel Mortensen

    3. Start a vision board–and make it a thing.

    I was recently asked about the things I do that bring me happiness–and I couldn’t have been more shocked myself to find out that building vision boards can do that in your life. After thinking about it for a while, I realized the following: My vision boards make me focus on the things I want to experience. They set a kind of creative frequency in me that usually influences my work and my emotions.

    Yes, it’s also entertaining to make them... but their return in the actions you take towards your dreams and the empowerment that comes from them go far beyond mere fun.









    Jennifer Hagler

    4. Schedule one hour of non-negotional "you" time every day.

    You’re probably innocently thinking (like I used to): "But I do spend time alone!" Really? You do? Think about this one harder. I personally used to think that my evening shower was my "me" time, that my time preparing supper while catching up with an episode of (that series that was all the rage last year) on my iPad was spending quality time alone. Lie. We need true time for ourselves–time in stillness, time to do whatever and however we want to do it... but by ourselves.

    Time off screen, off duty and off our routine is precious time. An hour every day doing something unplanned–something that we can do for our own sake is precious. Make it a habit to write it down every single day. It doesn’t have to be at a specific time of the day (unless you want to)... just take one hour to be in your own company.






    Karen Mordechai

    5. Learn a new recipe

    I don’t know if this is something other people do... but I can spend years on end cooking the same repertoire every week. Thankfully, my abilities in the kitchen department are not that limited–but yes, it gets boring at times. The funny thing is that I own at least 10 cookbooks and most of them have gone untouched after purchasing them.

    If you're like me, it’s time to dust those off. Let me tell you why:

    Learning to do something new is an eye-opening experience. Cooking, in this case, puts us in a position of awareness and discovery–it awakens our sense to new flavors and textures and it builds up excitement within us–waiting to see how things turn out, giving us the pleasure of having accomplished something that is so gratifying... something that plays with our every sense.








    Riika Kantinkoski

    6. A new evening ritual

    Since we’re being honest here, I have to admit that for the longest time (and given my daily juggling of work, home chores, homework, errands, play times...), my evening routine consisted of 2 steps: 1. Face the bed and 2. Fall flat on it, eyes already closed.

    One day, while working at my desk, I held my face in my hands in desperation. Nothing seemed to be working out. I ran my hand through my crispy, dry hair and thought "Oh, God! I really need to start taking care of myself... but how?". I made the decision right there and then, that I, Ana, would no longer ignore the things that I really needed–and a winding-down routine is what I came up with.

    It really doesn’t take a long time, but it does work miracles–at least in the way we feel.

    Every night, since that crispy-hair incident, I take a long shower before bed, I dry brush my skin some days, some others I put a hair mask or a facial mask on, I massage my feet before bed, I put on my pajamas and lying down in bed I meditate or read and slowly fall asleep.

    It doesn’t matter whether you have 20 minutes or 1 hour. That little bit of time of shaking off the day and relaxing will make you sleep more comfortably and peacefully so you can wake up more energized.



    Amara AU





    Maison Louis Marie

    7. Find a new scent

    You probably didn’t see this one coming–but hear me out: From this post you might have already gathered that I’m a creature of routines and habits... and that, I am. I can be "that lady" who owns 6 perfumes but only wears one and keeps on buying the same. My friends can already feel my presence just by the smell of my perfume... and while that might be a positive thing, I recently decided to change my scent. And what a difference it’s made!

    Switching up such a common thing can have a great and renewed effect on us. Especially with the transition of seasons that have such a profound effect on us and our daily routines and habits.



    Whether you take on one or all seven of the pointers above, keep this in mind: A simple Holiday starts with you–with how you feel, with your own expectations and with your right to claim your freedom and allow others to be free to enjoy this time in the same calmness, simplicity and honesty.










  • Tom Newton

    I’m soon approaching that age in life when women start feeling an urge to splash out on high-end skincare products... and when things that never mattered to me now matter. Things like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Collagen, Propylene Glycol Hylorounic Acid and lots of other complicated jargon.

    Though the thought of being forever young sounds inviting to some, what resonates a lot more with me is the chance to age gracefully and naturally.

    Lines of expression are exactly that. Marks on our faces that say we’ve laughed a lot, that we’ve had a full life. That we’ve aged—therefore we’ve had the privilege to LIVE.

    The “beauty” industry is there, waiting for us to start questioning how to go about flash-freezing our age (on our faces) so they can fill our minds with more doubt and more worry—making it seem glamorous and necessary to buy the most expensive “miracle” products; products that contain things we cannot even pronounce, let alone pinpoint what it really is that we are putting on our faces.

    The one thing they do not tell us, though, is the most important and least glamorous secret... and that is that good skin starts from within. Literally, health starts from your gut. Isn’t that so enticing? I know it isn’t, but that is the honest truth. Your gut is the most responsible for your immune system, where detoxifying enzymes and nutrients are created—so smothering a detoxifying mask on your face every week or spending a ridiculous amount of money on masks containing rich live nutrients serves no purpose if you are not eating well.



    Your skin is very telling of how well you eat and how much water you drink. So before you make an appointment with your facialist or ask your dermatologist how many creams, balms, serums etc. to buy, make sure you are battling the war from within:

    1. Start your day with lemon I know coffee is a bare necessity or at least it is for me... but do not run to your coffee machine as soon as you wake up. Instead grab a tall, lukewarm cup of water and squeeze in half a lemon. This helps flush your digestive system and re-hydrate your body after your 8 hours (you better be sleeping at least eight!) of sleep.

    2. Take it down a notch Have a de-stressing routine daily, whether that’s hardcore exercise, yoga, meditation, a walk through the neighborhood or time of prayer. Look for ways in your day to find balance and peace; this does very well to your soul AND gut.

    3. Drink a lot of water (duh!) Like you’ve never heard this before. I know you have but, really, DO IT! Water is the best way to detoxify your system, it hydrates your skin and helps your digestive system—and who doesn’t want that, right?

    4. Eat probiotics and lower your sugar intake These 2 go hand-in-hand because sugar depletes good bacteria from your gut... so while you might want to introduce yogurts and some sort of pickled vegetable to your diet in order to produce good bacteria, you may also want to make sure that those are not filled with sugar.

    5. Hail to all vegetables! Make sure that the biggest portion of your meals is a good amount of vegetables (preferably steamed or sautéed). Why put a Vitamin C mask on your face when you can be eating delicious berries, tomatoes, baby spinach…

    Finally, let me tell you this: Beauty products, in general, should be there to enhance your natural beauty, not to change or mask your best traits. Show off those freckles, be proud of how thin or plush your lips are. Leave those eyebrows alone and please, protect your skin from the sun and clean it with love.

    Non-optional to have at your disposal: A mild cleanser, a good balm and sunscreen (always!).


    How do you take care of your skin? Care to share?






  • Photography ©️ Cate Hill

    Creativity

    The thought of the term creativity often feels bigger than us... and that's probably because it transcends our own beliefs about ourselves. I believe it to be an ability not exclusive to just a select few of us. All of us are responsible for acknowledging creativity within ourselves and grabbing the bull by the horns.

    Creativity is not a manifestation of only those who make beautiful things with their hands . . . or come up with ideas that change the world. Anything that you create or transmit in an original way—tangible or intangible—and which provokes a positive response, is creativity at its best.

    To tap into your own creativity, you're going to need to strip away the preconceived notion that creativity is only related to art.

    Each of us is born to follow our own unique breadcrumb trail of ideas—be it in the area art, mathematics or science. It is when we become aware of our own special abilities, that we are able to contribute. Then we begin to walk in the confidence that we are finally doing what really defines us.

    You decide to be creative by making a conscious decision to dive into your passions in a very self-indulgent way—where you look to satisfy your own needs and your own curiosity first. Saving the world? Maybe you will. But that will only be consequential . . . and will have to wait a tad.


    Creatives

    We all have a genius living inside of us... but as we grow older, we start trying to slot into patterns that already exist, instead of scratching our itch to be who we naturally are. Before long we resign ourselves to there only being a few, limited ways to achieve the results we want . . . and that is what ultimately gives rise to a creative disconnect.

    When I think of creative souls, I think of people who understand that creativity inhabits them—in bucketloads... that innate power within them that makes their deepest desires tangible. Your soul is willing to turn off the "impossible" as long as your mind lets it.

    Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”—and you can see the truth of it in people who understand that beauty has a million different faces.

    People who live their creative passions live in the uncertainty of the outcome of what they create—and they're fulfilled by the mere act of producing something despite that uncertainty.

    It's simply impossible for you and I to look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are not creative when we've already set our minds on something that's wildly as creative as blogging is. I'm glad we agree.

    That said, feeding the creative you doesn't assure that failure is never on the table. Rather it assures you that if failure does ever come knocking, you will be able to pick yourself right back up and try again—because that thing you are trying to unleash is much bigger and more powerful than any obstacle—within and without.




    Process

    Whatever we set our sights on, we get bombarded with ideas that are sometimes brilliant and sometimes not so brilliant.

    Everyone... and I mean everyone that's in the business of creating their own online editorials, has this type of artistic streak—and more often than not, channeling it all is an uphill battle.

    There's no secret formula to unleashing ideas in your life. There's no one-pro- cess-fits-all method—it takes knowing what our end goal is and focusing on that to make the right decisions.

    What often fails us is not creativity or inspiration . . . it's our fixation on the things that we are pouring our time into. We need to examine our motivations before we decide to create and to ask ourselves:

    Am I really doing what I deeply want to be doing?

    If you answer is "yes", ideas will have your back . . . and they will grow in you as something intelligent, dynamic and interactive. Where there's passion there's inspiration and where there's inspiration, you find a way.

    The windfall of accepting that creativity is a part of us is a steady flow of ideas that can truly be of service to us. While your process is unique, the following stages are essential in every Creative's life:

    Preparation
    This is the first phase—and it focuses on sharpening your skills so that you can warm to those ideas: Creating a monthly mood board, for example, can help keep you in the flow for the next step.

    Incubation
    Gives your ideas time to sink in. In this stage, your conscious and subconscious minds converge, making true connections that allow you to rest on your thoughts without letting them overwhelm you or clutter any area of your life.

    Illumination
    This is your "Aha!" moment—when a concrete idea hits you and you are able to discern the essence and worth of it. At this point, you write down 3 key benefits of your general idea.

    Implementation
    It's time to put your idea out there. This when a product is shaped, a post is written, a marketing idea comes to fruition... fill in the blank.

    Eventually, creativity works with us as opposed to "for" us when we focus on things that truly motivate us . . . and when we come to understand that perfection is the killer of progress.

    Embracing those recurring moments where ideas are born is something that can help you build a better relationship with your process. It helps you to be better prepared and to rest on something—instead of feeling the urge to poke at it endlessly—which makes for a more mindful outcome.

    My personal advice is that you live your life fully, and manifest your creativity by making sure that your focus is on things that move you . . . that you satisfy your curiosity and never stop working with your own set of skills and beliefs. Do not give up when you feel like you've hit a brick wall. Those obstacles are there to shape us, not to have us throw in the towel.

    Whatever you do, don't ever tether your creativity to praise—or the lack thereof. If you even subconsciously make it dependent on that, you will continuously sell yourself short. There's no hollower place to be than having your happiness lie at the whim of others.

    If what worries you the most is to either meet everyone's expectations (or to avoid criticism), maybe you need to realize that most people are so caught up in their own love affair with perfection to notice your "unforgivable" imperfections, that what you think are mammoth-size mistakes are really tiny specs of dust falling through cracks without anybody noticing them.

    So... be kind to yourself when it comes to judging your own work—and instead of resisting, open yourself up to other people judging it, otherwise, you will never find the courage to put it out into the world, to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. And for God's sake! Be inevitable, unashamedly and humanly imperfect.

    Let your workflow and develop your style organically. Have the Universe know that you are up to the challenge.

    ___

    Excerpt from my book 30 Days To Minimal Blogging  Chapter 'Creativity', Page 98

    Curious? Get the book for free this weekend. Yes, really!

    Flash—Sale | This weekend → Get a custom logo, media kit, 5 blog graphics and a FREE copy of my book | 55% Off




  • Photography ©️ Alice Gao

    A little over a year ago I started noticing certain daily things were causing strange involuntary reactions in me: like a slight increase in my heartbeat every Sunday before bed, or a near inability to take deep, steady breaths while I worked on my computer or replied to emails.

    The symptoms worsened when my father got ill—until seemingly out of the blue I woke up one day and I started becoming paralyzed with fear at any given moment. Stress and negative thoughts weighed down on me to the point of making me experience the feelings of going through unimaginable tragedy and loss. The slightest day-to-day challenges would set me off on a panic attack. Air seemed not to fill my lungs and I would get more and more worked up until my body would eventually crash and I’d feel burned out. An exhaustion I'd never experienced before.

    I had no idea why after I had gone through so much in life I was suddenly unable to cope with the most common things. My creatively demanding job, of course, wasn’t helping. I was starting to lose touch with the things I loved and giving up on everything that I had built.

    My life was at that point where I couldn’t go left, right, forward or backward. I could just exist in that moment and try to change my attitude—because the situation wasn’t going to change any time soon. My father was going to get worse or pass away before he could get better and my daily work was always going to have its positives and negatives. I needed to relearn how to cope.

    I wish I could tell you I had that realization moment and I set off on a magical journey or rediscovery, but it was nothing like that. There was the preliminary part where my emotions and what I knew to be “me” had spiraled out of control, making me lose all of my sense of routine, self-love and the work I held so dear.

    One day, a few months down the line after going through the actual loss of my father, I was sitting on the edge of my bed, having just woken up from a vivid dream where I had taken a train ride with him. I woke up sobbing and feeling like my chest was going to explode. Suddenly I felt tired of it all—of imploding and feeling I had no control over my emotions.

    I had to face the fact that I was helpless and stop swimming against the current. I had to truly stop and realized that I had all this bottled up and it wasn’t serving me.

    Minimalism was one of the many things that helped in the process of picking myself back up. It made it so that I could grasp some perspective and focus on the present moment. I needed to let go of some of my emotional baggage and that is exactly what I did.

    I kept it simple. I did what I could manage every day and I kept my focus on the day-to-day with a heart full of love and forgiveness for what I thought I had neglected or left behind when I wasn’t able to cope.

    I committed myself to doing one thing at a time and to tackling that one thing that was the most terrifying at the beginning of each day. That meant I wouldn’t let it hang over my head and that I wouldn’t run the gauntlet of anxiety every single day. Being mindful helped me find true strength in times where I’d otherwise have lost all emotional control.

    With time and much persistence I’ve been able to react appropriately to each situation. That’s not to say that I no longer suffer from anxiety or panic attacks but they do not run my life anymore. Last week was a terrible week for me. I was anxious and down. I was physically ill and entertaining all the negativity I could... but what counts is today—and today I'm here.

    Even in the midst of experiencing paralyzing fear, I’ve been able to push forward knowing that I can do at least one thing every single day. That the emotions that don’t serve me are supposed to be let-go of and not bottled up... and that as terrible as today might seem, there is still hope for tomorrow—or even for a minute or an hour from now.

    Minimalism has brought mindfulness into my life and consequently comfort and happiness, even in times of grief, need and fear.

    For everyone suffering from anxiety or panic attacks like me, I’d suggest looking for professional help. I wanted to share my story with you on where I’ve come from so you know that you can come out on the other side too... but this might not apply to you, so this is not at all a formula to follow but a story of someone who knows how hard it is and who can now see light and hope in her situation.
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