Happy New Year to those of you I haven't had a chance to wish it to yet. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have had a great start to 2013. Things were a little different for my family over the holidays this year with my mom out of town taking care of my grandma, and my husband working Christmas Day and also getting called back in to work Christmas Eve on an emergency call that lasted all night. (He works for a local water authority) Despite that we still had a great time and had so much to be thankful for. We still do.
Thanksgiving really got me started on a journey of reviewing my life...where my family has been, where we are going, and all that we have been blessed with. I have really been focusing on getting rid of stuff and have gravitated toward the idea of becoming a "minimalist". As I took some time to read up on minimalism and simplistic living it really appealed to me. I made up mind that my big resolution or goal for the new year was to minimize. My family has been easily overcome with stuff. It clutters up our physical space, takes a lot of time and attention to maintain and deal with, and actually clutters up our minds as well. As I have moved from thinking about this new way of living to actually implementing it I can say I see a difference already. I won't pretend the transition will be easy, especially for the kids but I know how much better it will be for my family once we are there. The basic idea behind this concept, at least for my family, is that we reduce the amount of stuff and things so that we have the room, time, and energy for the things that matter most. God-family-others.
We have been focused more on putting others first. We have all committed to 26 acts random acts of kindness (after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting), the girls have been involved in various kindness and service projects at school, and I am working on really finding ways I can give back. This has led to a general positive outlook on life. Once again, the response I get from strangers when out in public is amazing. People are friendlier, smiles are exchanged more often and the general feeling is just happier. I was reminded that this was how I felt after first coming back from Kansas just a year ago. Choosing to be positive and focus on the positive really does make a difference. Not always easy but it really is important and does make a difference.
The whole minimalist thing is also bleeding over to other areas of my life and it just makes so much sense. I am going with a much more simplistic and natural approach to my medical treatment and trying to do the same for my kids. Our visits to the NUCCA chiropractor have gotten more interesting and are really a front line approach to dealing with whatever ailments we are facing. Getting the body in alignment and functioning the best it can on its own is critical. This has led us to food sensitivity test. As an energetic type of testing this is much different than what western medicine would tell us we need to be doing but it just resonates with me. While we had already started changing our diet, we fell of the wagon during the holidays and while we have trying to get back on track, the testing has certainly forced the issue. The girls are the only one who have been tested so far and I go in tomorrow. The test checks for sensitivities to about 500 foods, baking items, food additives, and supplements. The girls both came back with issues regarding gluten, wheat, corn. One has issues with other grains as well. Yogurt is an issue for one. Chocolate, dairy, and eggs are an issue for the other. We are to avoid these foods completely until the girls have been "cleared" of their sensitivity. This is very similar to what Hansa did as far as being able to get rid of allergies. You don't need to suffer from food or other allergies for ever. Many of them can be alleviated by having the body reset. Ok, enough said. I really feel for people who have or have family members that have this type of issues. You really have to read everything. (I jokingly told the doctor he could not check me for chocolate, coffee, or shellfish) Hopefully the things we have to completely avoid will only be temporary. He did say gluten is one that we may not be able to get rid of but we are trying to avoid it anyways so we could survive. We are having to focus on very simple, whole, natural foods which just fits in with everything else. I am carrying this theme over to my workout life and just keeping it simple. Moving as often as possible is the goal. For the first time I am really giving my spiritual life a simple makeover too. Read the Bible and prayer more. That's it. I have been easily caught up in what Christian book, advice, study I should be doing focusing on and finally acknowledged that everything I may be searching for is right there in the good book itself. I set a personal goal of reading the whole Bible in a year. I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have read so far. Even the complicated lists of Kings names, and genealogy, I am spending time in the word and it has been a real blessing.
We are definitely being faced with some challenges right now but this change in our lifestyle has really helped keep me from getting overwhelmed. I find that I can handle stress better. Although it is a challenge some days to keep the positive outlook and to not try and find happiness in the stuff and the things, it is a challenge I definitely welcome. I am expecting this to be an amazing year that is filled with so much yet filled with "nothing" at the same time.