When it comes to inspiration, sometimes we can get it from anywhere or anything. I find myself staring out a window sometimes or finding inspiration from a smile from one of my sons or husband. I also find inspiration from different books and when I least expect it – a light bulb can go off in my head and inspiration opens the doors to greatness, whatever it may be at that time. Why all this talk about inspiration you ask? Well, in the last few months I have literally been in a rut, looking for inspiration for my writing, for life, for planning and have found some of that inspiration from a book I’ve been reading. Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Joy of Less is a compilation of 101 Stories about having more by simplifying our lives. It’s a great read and I’m going to share a little about it with you today.
A collaboration with Amy Newmark & Brooke Burke-Charvet, The Joy of Less is a book that includes a variety of stories (101 and to be exact) that help you to say “no” to the things that don’t matter and say “yes” to the things that do. Let’s face it – after so many years on this earth, we evolve into people that just kind of go with the swing of things and every day life and sometimes we need a little guidance to pull us down to earth and remind us that we need to do for ourselves sometimes in order to be successful. I’m still making my way through the book, but I just had to share my thoughts on it so far with all of you. These types of books are the kind that usually have me picking it up and reading a story or two at a time when I need a little inspiration, or need to establish goals for myself.
“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers
Chicken Soup for the Soul has been a favorite from my childhood – offering myself and my siblings an array of inspirational stories over the years. In fact, I still have a few of those books from my elementary school years on my current book shelf today. But, while they all have a special place in my heart, I think this one really resonated with who I am. It’s a book that really brings about stories on how other people simplified their life… whether it be because they learned to let go of the clutter that surrounded them (sell them, donate or just throw them out) or learn to remove the “people” clutter from their lives to really just focus on building themselves as a person. This book includes stories that help you (or me, or anyone) learn how to really get rid of the things that weigh us down – no matter what it is and find things that will uplift us emotionally, physically and in general.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey
A few years ago, I remember cleaning out our storage unit and discarding my old yearbooks from when I was in school. I had several from elementary school and middle school I decided I would part with. Let me tell you, the job and task at hand was easier than I had thought it would be. I didn’t give it a second thought and just threw them out, making room for other things or just leaving the space void. I couldn’t understand why it was so simple for me to do. Then after reading The Joy of Less, I stopped and thought about those moments in silence. Hmmm… why was it so simple for me to move on past them and get rid of it. Well, the answer now was staring me in my face… I realized that those items didn’t feed me or who I am currently and nothing in them would benefit me now or my future. They were reminders of my childhood that I didn’t need… people who I don’t even remember now were in those, so why would I keep them around. I realized then, that while memories are wonderful things – I could always keep what I wanted to remember and throw out what wasn’t needed. It was a lot easier now that I realized why and cleaning has been fun and exciting since.
If you are looking for a little inspiration or need to know that all your purging that you’re doing is a good thing – I definitely suggest you picking up The Joy of Less from your local bookstore. There is everything in this book and stories on how some people learned how to “unplug from the world when they needed to”, “sharing and donations” and learning how to “count your blessings”. While this is a book I’ve been thumbing through and reading all about, I find that I also enjoy going back to re-read some of the stories I have already gone through. Sometimes, it’s really nice to see that others are living and going through the same struggles you are and find out how they were able to get passed it. Like I said – inspiration can be found EVERYWHERE and reading these stories reminded me that if these people who have shared their stories with us have gone through it and succeeded, well – then, I certainly can too. It’s practical and definitely reminds you that you are not the only one going through this – there are others out there too.
Fans of the New York Times bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo will find CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE JOY OF LESS an inspiring read, and those looking to simplify their lives will find motivation and freedom by letting go of material possessions and focusing on what matters most in their lives.
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Chicken Soup for the Soul, the world’s favorite and most recognized storyteller, publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, “chicken soup for the soul” is one of the world’s best-known phrases and is regularly referenced in pop culture. Today, 23 years after it first began sharing happiness, inspiration and hope through its books, this socially conscious company continues to publish a new title a month, but has also evolved beyond the bookstore with super premium pet food, television shows and movies, and a variety of other digital content and licensed products, all inspired by stories, as it continues “changing the world one story at a time®.”
With school starting up again for the littles, I think this book would make great gifts to teachers, parents who have some extra time in their life to declutter and anyone else looking for a little inspiration. Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Joy of Less is sold at most book stores and online. I definitely suggest checking it out. It’s a book that will offer you so much inspiration over and over again and a great read. You don’t have to worry about this collecting dust on a shelf because I’m positive you’ll make great use out of it.
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