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Simple Meaningful Daily Routines

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
―Viktor E. Frankl

happy simple livingViktor Frankl  is a renowned Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. Although his parents and family members died, he survived three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Through his extreme suffering, and witnessing the suffering and resilience of other prisoners, Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy called logotherapy.

At the core of logotherapy is the premise that man’s primary motivational force is to find life meaning. Finding meaning every day is a spiritual quest and requires mindful attentiveness to what we think, say and do.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to focus on meaning every day, and our life circumstances can toss us around if we’re not grounded with present moment awareness.

Below are 10 simple, meaningful daily routines I’ve found helpful for having a better day: Continue Reading →

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Conscious Listening

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.

~Ernest Hemingway

StillnessHi, my name is Ron, and I’m a recovering unconscious listener. For most of my life, I’ve had a difficult time listening to others. I’m not talking about adult attention deficit disorder (AADD) or pigheadedness but rather just plain inattentiveness to others when they were speaking.

There have been so many embarrassing times in my life when someone would say to me, “You weren’t listening, were you?”  Continue Reading →

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16 Jaw-Dropping Simple Life Blogging Experts

happy life cliff jumpingWith this new blog I’m jumping into the deep waters of the blogging world to write about one of my passions — living a happier and more simple life. I am so excited to launch Happy Simple Life, and if you are here, you probably share this passion for living with less and enjoying life more. I’m thrilled you are part of this community.

I want to offer you ideas, strategies, and inspiration for designing your  life around what truly matters to YOU most. A simple and happy life requires us to clear out the clutter – not only from our physical space, but also from our schedules, our thoughts, our relationships, and our emotions. Easier said than done, right? But together, we’ll learn from each other and share ideas and meaningful tips on how to improve ourselves so we can experience the happiest life – as we define that for ourselves.

And some of the best strategies come from experts who have written extensively about  simple living and happiness. As my way of celebrating the simple, happy life and sharing it with you, I have selected 16 of the best writers around the web who focus on this topic and offer inspiration for enjoying more of life with less stress, less stuff, and less worry. Hope you enjoy them! Continue Reading →

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Why My Girlfriend’s Kitchen Should Be Rated in The Michelin Restaurant Guide

Simple foodWould you consider traveling to another country just to eat at a famous restaurant?
If so, you aren’t alone. It appears culinary travel is growing by leaps and bounds.

According to Travel Weekly, “Over the last 10 years, the role food plays in the world of travel has evolved from cast extra to starring role.” Eric Wolf, founder of the World Food Travel Association in Portland, Oregon, estimates that food tourism has grown into a $150 billion industry annually.

The Michelin Red Guide is the oldest and most respected fine dining guide in the world. Their 1,2 and 3 starred rankings are only given out to the finest dining establishments in the world. If you are awarded the revered 3 Star rating then it means the food is of such high quality that you should consider traveling to that country just to eat at that restaurant!

Last night I had a luscious dinner at my girlfriend’s home. Although, I’m relatively certain eating at a Michelin 3-star restaurant is a near orgasmic foodie experience worthy of the price of airfare, the single-item dinner with my girlfriend should at least get an honorable mention. Together we planned and prepared a simple, single-dish meal in her kitchen. And it appears we are jumping on a trend with our one-bowl creation, since according to 4 Seasons Magazine in a recent article on culinary trends, “Single-dish restaurants are on the rise” and gaining ground in cities around the world. Who knew? We just saved ourselves the price of a ticket and created an experience that would be hard to duplicate at any 3-star rated restaurant in the world. The food was exquisite, but there was so much more that made this meal a memorable event.

We sipped a wonderful Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc as we worked side-by-side talking, laughing, chopping, dicing and bringing together all the required mouthwatering ingredients. It was a perfect compliment to this light, summer fare. Those moments of food preparation togetherness were fun and bonding as we teamed up to create a scrumptious whole wheat couscous spinach and feta recipe. (I’ll share the recipe with you later in the post.)

High Quality Simple Meals

What I found remarkable about this shared experience was the joy and high energy that resulted from our connectedness in the kitchen. We shared in all parts of the culinary experience, from preparation of the meal to the after-dinner clean up. Simply stated, we were present and fully conscious with the tasks required for this simple recipe. The ease and low stress of dine-in simplicity,along with the level of attention to each other, made for an exceptional evening for both of us. And we didn’t sacrifice a bit of the taste or quality of the food. Eckhart Tolle reminds in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, “In a genuine relationship, there is an outward flow of open, alert attention toward the other person in which there is no wanting whatsoever.”

This conscious, alert attention is a key to living a purposeful, happy and simple life. Alert attention builds intimacy in relationships no matter what the shared experience.

Conscious alertness in eating has many benefits as well. First of all, with conscious eating you’ll take time to plan higher quality more nutritious meals. You’ll also eat less and recognize your fullness sooner if you are conscious of each bite.

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