My Kind of Minimalism

my kind of minimalism

My decluttering challenge continues, inspired by an array of YouTube videos showing me how to minimise my possessions step-by-step.

There are myths around minimalism – imagine a bedroom with just a bed, a cupboard and nothing else, bare, white walls and empty spaces.

But the designer minimalism is unrealistic for me. I want my place to look like a home – but without the clutter and mess.

My kind of minimalism involves a different approach – getting rid of what collects dust and cannot be stored in cupboard spaces available.

So this week, I focused on window sills, cupboard tops, under bed storage boxes and tables.

In the process, I have noticed that I have far too many vases, photo frames, souvenirs from bygone holidays, dried flower arrangements and dusty ornaments (cute but pointless gifts from well-meaning family).

I even found some old magazines in a box under my bed I didn’t even know I had (WTF 😄) Gone into the recycling bin!

Another bag has gone to the charity shop, and my cupboard tops and window sills are free of clutter – a breath of fresh air.

It also makes a massive difference, when table tops are kept clear of everything but one or two items, such as a candle, flowers or a fruit bowl.

my kind of minimalism - table top

But my kind of minimalism doesn’t end here. Reducing clutter is great, but it needs to be maintained.

Reducing and minimalising rather than hoarding and accumulating to refill the cleared spaces.

My kind of minimalism involves radically cutting down on waste and consumption.

This calls for a new attitude towards materialism. Do I really need all these CDs, books, and DVDs?

Nowadays, I no longer buy CDs but listen to music on Spotify and other streaming services.

While I still have a sizeable book collection (mostly non-fiction and reference books), it has been culled severely in recent weeks, and once I have finished reading a novel, I pass it on to a friend or the charity shop.

The charity shop is also a good place to buy these things second-hand. I have found a few DVD bargains at just 99p, and once I have watched the film, again I pass it on to friends or back to charity.

There really is no need to own these things cluttering up your space.

Here are some other products and household items that often turn quite sneakily into large collections:

  • toiletteries and make-up
  • household cleaning products
  • crockery (mugs!) and kitchen gadgets
  • pens and paper products (if you are into art journaling)
  • hobby supplies, such as yarn and fabrics
  • seasonal decorations
  • towels
  • bedlinen

Sometimes we sleepwalk into a pointless abundance of stuff, which tends to prompt us into buying underbed storage or a bigger cupboard.

But the moment we contemplate buying additional storage, alarm bells should be ringing.

Benefits of reducing consumption:

  • not spending money I don’t have (no debts)
  • no need to work “hard” (no more overtime madness to fund an extravagant lifestyle that drains my health)
  • reducing my carbon footprint
  • not spending more money on extra storage or even a bigger place to live
  • more money to invest in quality rather than quantity
  • ability to save money for rainy days
  • less stress

So far I am really enjoying my new minimalist adventure. There is still much to do and keeping up with what I have achieved.

My big role models are the new tiny houses that have become so popular in recent years.

My aim is to fit everything I own into a tiny house. Perhaps I won’t achieve it, but even if I get only half way there, it would be fantastic.

What are you working on decluttering at the moment? How has adopting minimalism changed your life?

Let me know in the comment box below, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Christiane

Subscribe to receive new posts straight into your inbox:

I Am Not What Happened To Me…

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. - Carl Jung

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become – one of the many life lessons the Tarot has taught me over the years.

There is much beyond our control, but we can choose how we react to what life throws at us.

Rejections, breakups, abuse, loss….

Once you become aware of how your life experiences have influenced and affected you, you have the power to choose what kind of person you want to be, and what kind of life you want to live.

You even have the power to choose how you want to feel.

You have the power to choose a new direction, being different, and cultivate kindness and joy.

You have the power to choose change, forgiveness, healing.

You have the power to choose living in alignment with your talents, needs, values and resources.

Be your own magical influencer.

It is never too late to make that choice.

What are you choosing today?

Live more Magic with the Tarot

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Stagnation – Making the Most of Feeling Stuck

Stagnation - making the most of feeling stuck
Cosmic Journaling Oracle cards – for healing, growth, mindful living and divination

Stagnation – the opposite of moving, growing, progressing.

An uncomfortable feeling of restlessness, the urge to get up and go, but you can’t…

Who wants to be stuck in limbo?

Waiting for a new job to come up (especially when you are unemployed).

Waiting for new love to come into your life (when you begin to feel that you have been single for too long).

Waiting for a house sale to go through.

Waiting for someone to get in touch with you.

Waiting in the queue, stuck in a traffic jam or at the airport

And then there are pandemic lockdowns to put up with… anything that stops you from getting on with life, and it’s all a little outside your control.

There is only so much you can do to influence your situation, and sometimes you will just have to sit it out until some movement takes place.

It is easy to get impatient, when the time of waiting seems to drag on forever, but instead of thinking that life is passing you by, you can accept stagnation as a gift.

Yes, it is possible to make the most of feeling stuck, because it does have its advantages…

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” 

Mandy Hale

Stagnation doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.

While you are enduring a long waiting phase, tiny shifts occur, internally and externally, without you realising.

A new perspective, a change of heart or mind, a new insight, new opportunities, changing circumstances or priorities….

Even while you are stuck in a long checkout queue, you can simply pause, take a deep breath and enjoy the standstill before you continue being busy again.

Getting back to basics, slowing down…

Stagnation in the Cosmic Journaling Oracle may ask you to embrace a waiting phase as a gift.

You have time to consider your options, discover new opportunities, enjoy the calm before the storm.

Stagnation may also suggest delays, lack of progress, your patience will be tested, self-restriction, rigidity, or the process of sowing, waiting and reaping.

Perhaps you have fallen into the trap of waiting for the future to come –

  • waiting for the weekend
  • waiting for summer
  • waiting to be happy again one day…

In this case, Stagnation reminds you to focus on the present and make the most of the here and now.

Questions to ask:

  • What area in your life are you currently waiting for something, and what is it you are actually waiting for?
  • What can you do to be more relaxed about it and even enjoy this period of stagnation?
  • Look back into your past and remind yourself of times, when you had to wait for something. How did you deal with it, and what happened in the end?

While a longer waiting period in life can be testing, it can also offer new possibilities and a reminder to make the most of the present, spending the extra time available on what you love.

Learn more about the Cosmic Journaling Oracle deck here.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Subscribe to receive new posts straight into your inbox:

Declutter Challenge: Reducing Possessions by Half

declutter challenge: reducing possessions by half

Reducing possessions by half can be a daunting task, but when I realised the other week that I owned over 30 pairs of shoes, most of which I hardly ever wore, I knew I had to be radical.

It wasn’t just the shoes.

Clothes, bags, books, CDs, DVDs, kitchen gadgets, candle holders, bric-a-brac…. despite regular clearouts over the years, all that stuff still managed to sneak up on me taking over my space and unconsciously my mind.

Not to mention all those tarot and oracle decks and books, which I have collected over the years.

Collecting, collecting…. why?

When did it all start, the idea that we need more and more, the quick thrill of the purchase, and after a short while placed on the shelf or in a box to be used again at one point… or never….

And yet, clinging to those pretty little things for years.

I have enjoyed reading and learning from the books on my shelves, and playing with all those decks, but time has come to pass them on to others.

Joy and wisdom to be shared, not kept.

Reducing possessions by half, where to start?

Shoes. Now I only own ten pairs including winter boots.

Then I moved on to the books. This one was hard.

There were loads of German books I brought to the UK when I moved here.

They had sentimental value, but I realised that they no longer offered me any new knowledge or inspiration.

They simply occupied space, nothing more.

I took six boxes of books to the local Oxfam bookshop, and more is still on its way.

As a result, I got rid of some furniture too, which has created more space for a more relaxed feel.

It is absolutely liberating when all the stuff goes. It is so easy to get attached to things, clinging on to them, thinking it’s impossible to be without them.

But it is possible to be without them, and life even feels better and lighter than before.

I have realised that a lot of things we keep holding on to can cause all sorts of uncomfortable feelings and emotions – memories of loss, bygone eras, endings, people that caused pain.

Why holding on to things associated with all that sadness and keep living in the past?

I have also donated most of my DVDs and CDs to charity together with lots of other stuff – four full bags.

Despite all this major clearout, this has just been the beginning.

My possessions haven’t been reduced by half yet, but I’m so happy about having had this breakthrough of letting go of things I thought I couldn’t be without.

Most important of all, my regained space is not an invitation to refill it again.

Next time I buy a pair of shoes, they will be replacements rather than additions. Same with clothes.

I love reading, so I buy books. But once I have read them, I will pass them on to friends or charity.

As nerdy as it sounds, but clearing out and decluttering has become a new hobby for me 😃

How are you simplifying your life today?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Subscribe to receive new posts straight into your inbox:

Why Regrets Are Good For You

regrets are good for you
Cosmic Journaling Oracle cards – for healing, growth, mindful living and divination

Regrets have a bad reputation. Whatever you do, they say, don’t have any regrets.

Even Edith Piaff’s famous song, Je ne regrette rien, boasts about not regretting anything.

Over decades, we have been conditioned to aspire to the ideal of living life without having regrets.

After all, regrets can be painful and sometimes soul-destroying. They can cause bitterness, resentment, shame, guilt and no doubt other undesirable emotions.

But what if regrets are designed to make you feel those uncomfortable feelings, so you can learn, make amends, heal and grow?

The trick is not to stay attached to the emotional turmoil remorse can cause.

Regrets are good for you, when you recognise and allow them to help you make positive changes in your life.

Having regrets is not a sign of weakness or “low vibes”.

They are expressions of your shadow, and your inner teacher is flagging them up for you to acknowledge and process them.

Regret is the result of pause and reflection, taking time to review a situation and gain wisdom from it.

Without regrets you would simply continue and make the same mistakes again.

Regrets can be an empowering force on your life journey, especially when you explore their root cause.

They can create turning points, shake-ups and even new opportunities.

Perhaps they have arisen from your lack of knowledge, fears, beliefs or behaviour.

On the other hand, they may have been the product of other people’s actions or expectations.

Regrets also tend to pop up relating to past experiences that can no longer be changed.

That’s when we all wish we had done things differently, but we also know that hindsight is a wonderful thing and only helpful when we apply its lessons learned in the present and future.

Looking back and reflecting on an event with regret helps us realise that we did the best we could at that time and as circumstances allowed.

Remorse can be the catalyst for radical change and transformation by alleviating or redeeming past actions that cannot be undone for the benefit of others.

Regrets are like bereavement; if you keep avoiding the pain and discomfort associated with them, you will continue to live in denial rather than processing them into something positive.

Regrets can also be pesky reminders of past experiences or action you would rather forget, and they keep resurfacing until you have made peace with them.

We feel the grief associated with remorse, but we also deserve to be happy again.

Questions to ask:

  • What is causing my regret?
  • How does it make me feel?
  • What does my regret teach me?
  • How can I do things differently next time?
  • How can I turn regret into relief?
  • What positive action can I take as a result of my regret?
  • What beneficial qualities am I developing/utilising as a result of my remorse?

The bottom line is, it’s okay to have regrets. It’s human. We make mistakes.

Lighten your emotional load by practicing joy, gratitude, forgiveness and patience while processing regret.

Regrets are part of your life journey and who you are. Rather than trying to ignore them, let them teach you and help you grow.

Regrets will always stay with you, but you decide how they affect you.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Celebrate The Little Things

celebrate the little things

While the pandemic has caused havoc over the last twelve months across the world, it has taught us that all we can do is surrender and accept what we cannot control.⁠

But it has taught us so much more. Humans have always managed to rise from destruction and disaster.

While we are still counting the costs and trying to fathom the enormity of our losses, there is also light beginning to shine through the cracks.

We have learned

  • to enjoy your own company⁠
  • to be inventive and resourceful⁠
  • to collaborate⁠
  • to be of service⁠
  • to be disciplined⁠
  • to cook and even grow your own food⁠
  • about our strengths and weaknesses⁠
  • about what we truly value and what is unimportant⁠
  • how vulnerable our way of life is⁠

What have you learned so far? ⁠

Take a moment every day to recognise and acknowledge your achievements, a-ha moments, the little wins, insights, flashes of delight, the peace and beauty of a moment. 

Celebrate the little things that give you joy and a sense of satisfaction.⁠

Amidst doubt and uncertainty, there is always a reason to celebrate something, even if it’s small, and even if we have to celebrate alone.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

PS: Check out Ten Tarot Affirmations To Overcome Anxiety

Enter your email address to receive the latest posts straight into your inbox:

3 Ways To Be Happy With Less

happy with less

Being happy with less has become a powerful mindset not only to survive but also thrive in these uncertain times.

Over the last twelve months we have all realised how quickly and profoundly life can change.

From one day to the next, livelihoods were destroyed, jobs put on hold and income became sparse.

Even in the richest countries in the world, people were actually going hungry.

It is now blatantly obvious that so easily we can all slip into poverty within just a short period of time.

Now is a good time to step back and reflect on how we can become more resilient and navigate financial insecurity during times of uncertainty.

One of the best options to succeed is to be happy with less, but how can you be happy with less without losing out?

It’s all about mindset based on your personal values. Once you are clear about your values, you can take conscious action every day to live by them.

To be happy with less is based on values such as independence, simplicity, lightness, health and self-sufficiency.

Here are three ways to be happy with less you can start to implement in your everyday life to make a positive difference:

1. Re-evaluate what you really need

When it comes to spending money, it is easy to develop habits, like buying a new phone every two years, renew subscriptions you no longer need or making those impulse purchases while out shopping.

Even when buying food we often fall into marketing traps for processed meals and comfort snacks.

But cooking from scratch isn’t just healthier, it can also save you money and even time, when cooking in batches.

It is time to prioritize your needs and carefully think about whether a purchase is really necessary.

What can you buy second-hand rather than new?

I’ve taken my son’s old LG phone, which is five years old and still works perfectly fine. I don’t need another phone until this one packs in and can’t be repaired. I have no desire to buy the latest tech or a certain brand.

This takes me to…

2. Stop striving

Striving towards bigger, better, latest model, latest fashion, latest trend, etc. Avoid following social media accounts that make you feel lacking or inferior.

Jump off the FOMO train, let go of the need to compete with others in terms of possessions, the struggle of climbing career ladders.

Take a step back and explore what is stressing you in terms of striving.

Is it really necessary? Are you trying to fit in or fulfilling other people’s expectations?

You may have been raised in surroundings where money and status are important, but think about making choices that reflect your true personality and inherent talents.

3. Live life at a slower pace

There is no need to be highly productive every day. It is okay to reduce your to-do list, not eating on the go, or being late when it is beyond your control.

People tend to spend more money when they feel stressed and under pressure. Retail therapy often involves wasting money for short-term satisfaction.

Relax. Do less. Reduce stress to spend less.

Rather than going to the gym, go for a brisk walk in nature. Sit down on a bench half way for a quiet moment of peace and taking some deep breaths.

Cultivate a feeling of being content with the simple joys surrounding you. This way you will find it easier to improve your spending habits and be happy with less.

Have fun exploring how you can be happy with less, and let me know what works for you. I’d love to hear from you 🤩

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Enter your email address to receive the latest posts straight into your inbox:

Healthy Habits: Empowering Morning Affirmations

healthy habits empowering morning affirmations
How are you feeling today? Powerful Me Oracle

Life has been messy for many people since the pandemic and various lockdown measures began to restrict all our lives.

And while we are all trying to hang in there and make the best of a bad situation, mental health issues have started to creep up on us, mostly in the form of anxiety, stress and depression.

Lack of energy, tearfulness, overwhelm, aches and pains, constantly worrying… one way to stay focused on our wellbeing is cultivating a positive mindset.

Affirmations are underrated yet they do work if used regularly.

Positive self-talk every day can help increase confidence and optimism, so here are empowering morning affirmations you can use to start the day in a better frame of mind:

Today will be a great day.
I am excited about how today will unfold.
I savour each moment.
I am positive. I am powerful.
I trust my own wisdom.
I take good care of myself.
I am in control of my attitude and thoughts.
I live by my sacred values.
I communicate with love and integrity.
I persevere despite difficulties.
I am strong.
I am comfortable being on my own.
I accept what life offers me today.
My heart and mind are in alignment.
I let go of what stops me from living life fully and joyfully.
I choose life.
I am doing the best I can.
I stay clear of destructive habits.
I feel energised.
I am shining my light.
I am present.
I am rising above my worries and fears.
I am enough.
I am right where I need to be.
I am open to all possibilities.

Create a new healthy habit by turning these affirmations into your daily morning meditation to feel more positive and energised at the start of your day.

You can also grab the printable version on my Patreon.

For even more affirmations, check out my tarot affirmations to overcome anxiety.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Enter your email address to receive the latest posts straight into your inbox:

One Powerful Way To Overcome Your Fears

overcome your fears

Our irrational fears have the power to stop us from living life to the full, but there are also proven techniques that help us overcome them.

We are all fearful of something, for example:

  • fear of flying
  • fear of public speaking
  • fear of meeting new people
  • fear of darkness
  • fear of heights
  • fear of change

What are the fears you are grappling with that hold you back?

There are thousands of websites with tips on how to overcome your fears, and Feel the Fear and do it Anyway is certainly good advice.

You need to embrace your fear and carry it across the threshold of resistance, a hard step to take, and many people prefer to avoid what they are afraid of.

But there is one powerful way to overcome your fears, which I want to share with you.

First, you need to know what fear does to your body.

Imagine feeling nervous about an upcoming job interview.

Your body reacts by producing adrenaline that is circulating through your body, increasing your heart rate and after a while making you feel sick.

Your nervousness, which is caused by fear, increases, and reaches its climax when you actually attend the interview.

By this time, some people are visibly nervous and have difficulties communicating clearly and confidently.

But a rush of adrenaline is also caused by another feeling:

EXCITEMENT

Transforming your fear into excitement makes use of the adrenaline your body is producing.

This way, you are not fighting your body’s reaction to your fear but transmute it into new, positive energy.

Instead of telling yourself that you are feeling scared or fearful, tell yourself that you are feeling excited.

Excited about

  • meeting new people
  • showcasing your skills and expertise
  • finding out, if this new job will be a good fit
  • this new opportunity on offer
  • learning from this experience

The more you tell yourself that you are excited about this job interview, the more your fear will weaken and turn into positive energy.

While fear is negative stress that drains you, excitement is positive stress that makes you feel alive.

Perhaps this technique is putting a smile on your face, it may even sound ridiculous to you, but try it next time you are nervous or afraid.

Turn your fear into excitement.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane