Simply...The Invitation

11:37 AM Edit This
I recently discovered a very interesting book that looks like a life changing read. It's called "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. The shift in my spirit and my life has opened doors that have never been opened. The Invitation has invited me to open yet another one. My short term goal is to read this book one chapter at a time, summarize it and try to apply it to my life. Take a peek into "The Invitation" with me and see if it touches your heart and inspires you to live life more passionately and honestly.


It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you've touched the center of your own sorrow, if you've been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from it's presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon "yes!" It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.  

Simply...Thankful

10:06 AM Edit This
Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. If you have gratitude in your heart every day is a day to be thankful. Below is something close to what I heard in a movie. It moved me and made me feel grateful for every moment and living in the present. Yesterday is over, tomorrow hasn't happened yet. Today is the only day that matters and this moment is the only moment that matters. You're not missing anything and you don't need to be anywhere. You're exactly where you need to be and you're exactly who you need to be at this exact moment. You're perfect just the way you are. Make every day a day of gratitude. Be thankful for all the little moments that form your days and create your life. Can you take moment to be "noun" grateful? Choose a person, place and thing and just say a quick thanks. I am grateful for friends, a warm blanket, and the trees in the fall. Simply...Marie I see the paragraph feature is still on holidays. I will keep trying.

Simply...Move Forward

9:33 AM Edit This
It has been a long time since I have had a virtual voice on this world wide form of self  expression.  I have been in process.   Many moons ago I began a positive shift that would ripple out to my friends and family affecting  them in a positive way. That positivity in anyone's lives contributes to making our world a better place. Mahatma Gandhi said " be the change you wish to see in the world.". How does one accomplish this?   By changing the man in the mirror.   While i have been away from the blogging world I have accomplished some of my goals.     One of my most important milestones was a breakthrough in my health and wellness.   I discovered the chronic migraines I had can be thwarted almost permanently.  I did this by eliminating all sugar and gluten from my diet. I am enjoying being pain free.  By doing this I have shed over 25 pounds and doesn't that make every woman happier? I will do a virtual cartwheel to that resounding yes!  I also began my home organizing business.  Time 2 Simplify is the business name I chose long ago and now it is registered. I have had a few clients and I really enjoy the work. I invested in a hoarders recovery program to help get to the root of the issue and to do my best to help those struggling with this in their lives. Organizing clutter is merely a bandaid unless you try to help people consider the issues that put them into that situation in the first place. I would also like to say that my life has been blessed and forever changed by a very incredible person that crossed my path. My soul feels the goodness of the world through their words and presence.  That has caused  a shift in my being.  I feel like I am truly alive and all of my senses have been heightened.   By knowing this person I am assured that there are kindred spirits in this big world of ours.  Also, that the world is only as big as you make it.  This person is a most kind, compassionate soul.  They show no fear by allowing their heart to be free and open. One of the most important gifts they gave me was a reminder of a great life principle I used to hold dear.  It went into hiding when i experienced the loss of my mother. That life principle is to have no fear and to See only love, Hear only love and Speak only love.  I taught the children from a young age during our homeschool years that love in it's truest state is the absence of fear.  I even had a pair of sunglasses that I put stickers on the lenses to demonstrate the lesson.  The lens with the large "fear" sticker was almost completely blocked so you could see very little.  The lens with the small "love" sticker hardly blocked the view at all. You could see much more clearly. So the lesson was, would you rather look at life through the eyes of love or fear and why?  Fear lessens all that is good in life. Living with fear blocks the "aha" moments. Live in fear and You will miss the butterflies and shooting stars.  When you let go of fear you can,  Simply...move forward and experience love in it's truest form.  I say simply,  but is it really?     When my brain was faced with such a task without knowing which question to ask,  I thought and I thought and this is what I got.   (one of my seussical moments)   We are told that all we need to know about life we learned in kindergarten. I don't know about you but my memory is not the best for recalling those valuable pearls of wise kindergarten knowledge.   However, I still remember a kindergarten memory of a girl named Rose Marie.  She claimed my painting of the picture window at my house at Christmas time as her own. If I only had that teacher over for tea and cookies  she would have seen that window and confirmed that indeed the name,  Marie,  on the top right corner of the painting meant that picture was  mine and not the young, manipulative  Rose-Marie's.    At the tender young age of 5 years old  I learned my first life lesson.  I have drawn upon it throughout my life.  I found out later that others who have experienced a similar lesson now refer to it as "The Serenity Prayer".   This is still one of the most profound simple ways to find and keep peace in your heart and let it overflow into all the aspects of your life.   So I learned a mere 40 years ago to "accept the things I couldn't change, to have the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".    Change and growth can be a smooth ebb and flow in your life if you allow it to be.   Like the rise and fall of the tides.  The Uncontrollable events of everyday life affect us like the gravitational  pull of the moon on the tides of the ocean.  To me going with the ebb and flow of life leads to a balanced life, a happy life. The lesson is simply - go with the flow. The more you fight against the natural changes in life the harder it becomes to overcome its' challenges that are here to teach us many lessons.  That in turn helps us reach our truest potential by moving forward.   The result of going along with the gravitational pull of the moon in your life will be a positive one. However, when you  don't "go with the flow" your life can be likened to nails on a chalkboard.  I'm sure you got that visual without further explanation  When you live in balance, everyday challenges are easier to accept. You have the courage to deal with them.  You will instinctively have the wisdom to know which ones are a normal part of life, which ones need your attention and which ones you can't do anything about.   The serenity prayer is a wise mantra to live by and it is the basic tenet therapists use to help you learn to live in a happier state of being.   It is also the lesson that most self help books on the planet bring you back to. If you can't change it, accept it and move on.  Simple.   Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  We all know that at times in our lives achieving balance , is more easily said than done.  If you have ever had a traumatic event shift your balance in life leaving it unstable you will understand what I mean.  So what will you choose as your inner compass to help guide your life and direct your sails? Make a choice and Simply move forward.   Simply....Marie :)  BTW blogger has an updated program and the fact that it won't show my paragraphs is puzzling to me. I have tried twice now and still not working. Perhaps next time it will be kind to me and put paragraphs where they need to be. Apologies for the crossed eyes sensation you're likely experiencing after reading this gigantic paragraph.

Living in a State of Bliss

2:54 PM Posted In , Edit This
Today I wish to express gratitude and acknowledge what gratitude is and how it makes our lives joy filled. The saying "giving is receiving" says it all perfectly. When we live in a perpetual state of gratitude we live in a state of bliss. Easy peasy for some, and others, a task that comes no short of a miracle in their everyday lives.

In the book Radical Gratitude by Mary Jo Leddy, her observation of gratitude tells us how it enlightens our life and radiates outward to the people around us. It lets us be more aware of how living in that state of gratitude is the best way, the only way.

"When we realize how much we have been given - life, a beginning -we are moved, almost naturally it seems to want to give away some of our things. Grateful people tend to give away their things, even their time and talents, and to become happier in the process. In giving away, the craving that holds us captive begins to loosen its grip. There is such a difference when living simply or serving others is done out of a spirit of gratitude rather than guilt. A given life is different from a driven life. Gratitude seems to replenish itself: as more is given, more is received. Guilt, in contrast, rather quickly exhausts itself in judgments." (from "Radical Gratitude" by Mary Jo Leddy)

Gratitude fills your cup to overflowing. It is an incredible way to live. Living with anything less than being in a state of gratitude leaves one always feeling less than satisfied in their lives and living in a constant state of lack.

Consider a daily gratitude journal. Whether it be in a journal with pen and paper, or an online journal or just on the notepad of your phone. Try it you might like it. It's a simple step towards living in a state of bliss. It's your choice. Choose wisely. Simply...Marie

If The Walls Could Talk...

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Well, you've heard the saying before, "if the walls could only talk". In our house the words talk on the walls, shelves and anywhere a word can find a place to roost. You'll see what I mean. Here are pics of the 'words' of wisdom around our home. There is not one room that doesn't say something to anyone who enters. Sound crazy? Maybe, but I don't have a backwards white jacket on yet, so I must be doing something right. I know that your thoughts are influenced by what you see and what you are surrounded by everyday. I want to help myself and my family live the scripture Phil 4:8...WHATEVER IS... good idea don't you think? Simply...Marie

Simply Staged...

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FROM THIS------>



Simply Staged...

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TO THIS----> After seven days of decluttering, packing, storing, and staging this is how my office looked. It was wonderful. Except for one thing. Ninety percent of my scrapbook supplies were gone. The result it looked real pretty, blended with the rest of the house perfectly, but I couldn't scrapbook anymore! When we decided to stay put we moved all of this upstairs to my new scrapbooking room in one weekend. Everything fit like a glove. I continued my search for black lacquer furniture, black leather containers and stainless and pewter accents to pull it all together. What do you think? If you haven't seen what it looks like now check out the link on the middle right of this page in the organization section. Simply Scrapbook Organizing 4 U and you will see how a lot of hard work came together to create a room filled with a lot of joy for me. Yes, it's black! I love black. I know it's hard to take for some people but if you look at the first pictures of all of the mixed containers - plastic, cardboard, glass, wood and all of the colours of the supplies in the open--it's hard to find your way around to anything without seeing chaos. My brain just couldn't work that way in such a small space. If I had a larger space then I would certainly display more of my supplies. That would make them easier to get to and use in many cases. I don't. So, this is what I came up with, and it works great 4 me! Simply.Marie

Simply Simplify

8:13 AM Posted In , Edit This
Well, I've had a run in with technology. It took a couple of weeks to figure it out but I'm back. I love what technology can do, but not what it can do to you when you don't know how to work with it efficiently.

Pictures, I love to take them, I love to look at them years later~ but to locate them, or more specifically to locate that little piece of plastic with shiny gold squares on it that contains them, and then either print them, or store them and sort them, FORGET IT!

I needed my scrapbook room pictures compiled as well as all of my other 50 gigabytes of pics put on one central hard drive to retrieve them when I wanted to post them. That was part of the ordeal I've been through. Well, actually my kind son and kind husband spent a great deal of time doing that for me. They are so sweet to me. They know that technology and I don't really do well together but they like the results when I work with either computer or camera. So they enable and support me the best they can. Which in this case, with my pictures was a life saver.

I mentioned to you before that we were considering a move and thus, staged our entire home. It was an adventure. I have never been whitewater rafting but I hear it's a rush, and rollercoasters~been on them don't love them, sheer terror. You experience it, feel the rush or terror and then look back at the photos if you've remembered to take some (or buy some at that ridiculously priced booth at Wonderland of yourself looking terrified and stupid). You then think, it wasn't all that scary or terrifying. Neither was giving birth the first time, we just can't remember fully what it was like or there would a world filled with one child families. Well, staging our home was a delightful mix of both-scratch that, all three of those joyful things that some people revel in, but, I'm not one of them. So thus to say, it was not a good time during the experience but afterwards, FANTASTIC! I even have the pictures and two wonderful children to prove it.

That's what I'll be doing today is gathering together those pics to scrapbook. They're on a hard drive now, off those horrible little cards but not sorted yet. I will post them on here for you to see. You won't believe the incredible difference. Our home was beautiful. Model home worthy. However, when you are used to lots of stuff around you (yes, clutter too) and you suddenly take it away. You can't breathe, you can't sleep, and you stumble around in the dark when you can't sleep feeling around with your feet for that pile of unfolded laundry that was there as a marker to the bathroom door. But it's not there! The house doesn't feel like yours, it doesn't look like yours either. That can be scary, seriously. Staging is not to be done by the faint of heart or the attached to their 'stuff' people. It can be damaging on many levels, including running into the frame of the bathroom door face first because nothing was in your way to stop you. OUCH!

When you see the pics later, please let me know what you think of the results of 7 days of upheaval, boxes and storage.

Did I mention I considered being a home stager? The real estate agent said I was a natural. Well, that was before I myself was permanently damaged from the experience. Now, my sights are set on being a home organizer. Helping people simplify by organizing their stuff. I've just started a layout for another blog to focus on just the organizing of my scrapbook supplies. Because I've changed my room and storage methods so many times, it would be very helpful to some people. I don't want to take 1 year just to show how I've organized embellishments on this blog. At one entry a month it will take that long. It's called Simple Scrapbook Storage 4 U. You can find it at simplescrapbookstorage.blogspot.com It will take me a couple of days to get it underway but when it's organized I think you will be able to use some of my ideas to help simplify your craft space. There is a link on the sidebar to go directly to it. Another amazing place I go to check out other people's craft rooms is Craftystorageblog.blogspot.com. They compile pics for organizing different supplies. It is fantastic They were kind to me and just put some photos of my room on there today.

So off I go to peruse the pics. I'll be back this afternoon. Have a sunny day!

Simply... Create

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The pic to the left is my old scrap office.Here are some pics of what my room used to be like. I loved it because it was my little space devoted to my hobby. But boy oh boy was it hard to get anything done in there because it took me forever to find anything and there was no space to keep anything out. Not fun, so needless to say, I didn't get much done.

My new room is larger and everything is just the way I want it so I'm just starting to enjoy it. The pic on the bottom the new space it's where my daughter and I create. I am so happy with the desks, they are the perfect height for me because I always stand when I scrap. I am only 5'2" so I can barely see the page when I sit. I used to use a pillow when I drove my old Crown Vic so I could see over the dashboard. Fun being short, wow! It's the best when there is a second hand yard sale at a scrapbook store. I can just sneak between the other ladies and snafoo the best deals and they didn't even see me coming!

All kidding aside, the place where you create your scrapbook pages or card creations needs to work for you. You need a space where everything is easily accessible for you and stored in a way you like. If it's not you will find it annoying every time you want to be creative and have to search to find anything and struggle through boxes.

I have a busy day today so I will post pics of the organization of the scrap office tomorrow for Simply Simplify Saturday. You'll see how I did just that, simplified my space for scrapping. Until then. Simply.Marie