Even though I don’t read much, I’m a sucker for a good book. So I was thrilled when I heard my good friend, Courtney Carver, was writing an inspiring book, Soulful Simplicity, How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More.
Courtney shares her story in moving from a stressful, cluttered, busy life that led to a devastating diagnosis to a life with better health, more space, time, and love. Each section of the book is packed with practical suggestions too so you can create your own soulful simplicity.
Below is an excerpt from the book, one that I think will make a huge impact on anyone looking to life outside the status quo and find meaning.
The Busy Boycott: a 21-day Challenge to Help You Slow Down
Busyness has become more pervasive than clutter in complicating our lives. We have plenty of decluttering strategies, but what should we do about our busy lives?
I’d like to suggest a busy boycott. You might not think you have time for a revolution right now, but if you ever want time for a life that matters, this is the right time to revolt.
Try the following twenty-one-day challenge and practice each of these three simple steps for seven days each.
1. Stop talking about it. (Days one–seven)
For all that is good and holy, let’s stop telling each other how busy we are. Perhaps, if we can physically remove the word busy from the conversation, we can stop thinking about it so much. When you tell someone how busy you are, you remind yourself too. You might feel busier than you actually are. Not only that, but often “I’m so busy” comes across as “I’m too busy for you.”
For the next seven days, ban the word busy from your vocabulary. This may be more challenging than you think. When you catch yourself mid-sentence using the word busy, use it as an opportunity to change your response and the conversation.
Tip: Avoid hearing the word busy by asking better questions. Instead of “How are you?” try “What made you smile today?” My daughter often asks, “Did anything interesting happen today?” By changing the questions and conversation, you open up space for connection.
2. Do less. (Days eight–fourteen)
Instead of searching for more efficient ways to do it all, do less. Say no, and protect your time for what matters most to you. Work with people who want your best, not your busiest. Stop comparing your lists, your life, and your love.
Every day for the next seven days, eliminate one thing from your calendar or to-do list. Don’t postpone it, let it go. If you are really worried about missing something, write it down and put it in an envelope. If you don’t miss it or even remember it at the end of the week, toss the envelope.
Tip: Know your strengths. What do you do best? What can you delegate or release completely?
3. Linger longer. (Days fifteen–twenty-one)
A busy life says, “Hurry up! You’re falling behind. Do more!” A slow one says, “You can stop now. It’s okay to be still and listen to your soul or stop to say a prayer in the warmth of the sunshine.” There is no guilt in self-care, and no shame in lingering or waking up slowly.
Slowing down supports your commitment to create and protect your newfound time and space. Savor good food, conversation, and beautiful views. Fall in love. Smile. Breathe. Then, fall in love again.
Tip: Lose the guilt. Instead of thinking about the opposite of busyness as laziness, consider that the opposite of a busy life is a full, intentional life.
If busyness has compromised your health, relationships, or work or if it has silenced your soul, take action with a busy boycott. With more demands on our time, the advances in modern-day technology, and our desire to be seen, accomplished, and important, the pressure is on to do more with less. Instead, join me, boycott busy and be more with less.
Courtney shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.
Her soulful simplicity started with making herself whole, and once she had a glimpse of remembering who she was, what she stood for, and what made her smile, she wanted more.
With each thing she let go of, she took another step closer to the real her. As she made more space, more time, and more love, she remembered who she was. Now many years later, she’s become fiercely protective of the connection she has with her heart and soul.
Courtney shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we live with less, yet gain more—more space, more time, and even more love. I hope you make time to read it, because I know it will impact you as much as it has impacted me.
I am blessed to be a part of her life, as we share the desire to help people find their meaning and live a life of purpose. We devote ourselves to this journey, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to do it alongside her.
She has been kind enough to allow you to download a sample chapter of the book.
Take the path of minimalism to more peace, love and tranquility with her new book, Soulful Simplicity. Get back to who you are and what you love.