Here is an interesting book that I like to come back to once in a while to keep my self focused on the essentials.
“L’art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less” is a guide to help us sort things out. Be it in our closets or in our mind.
French essayist living in Japan for more than 20 years, Dominique Loreau gives us some pointers (quite radical sometimes!) to simplify our lives, get rid of toxic thoughts and make room for elegance, well-being, art and spirituality.
Inspired by oriental Zen philosophy, the principles of this book help us reconnect with our present through a sounder lifestyle while still in sync with our time.
Here is the summary of “L’art de la simplicité: How to Live More with Less” by Dominique Loreau in 12 illustrated takeaways:
What this book brought me
Everytime I read this book, half of my closets ends up on Craigslist or at my girlfriends’ and it feels good!
In “L’art de la simplicité”, Dominique Loreau also talks about diet, DIY beauty tips, fasting … She also gives some tips on how to manage your finance or maintain a healthy weight.. I strongly recommend this book and discover all the aspects that the author talks about in it. It’s really handy and it can really become a life coach that you can go back one in a while when we get caught up in consumerism!
When I was younger, I had this habit of keeping everything “just in case”. I would collect all samples and bargains I could find… My bedroom was like Ali Baba’s cave, stuff everywhere: plastic bottle caps or candy wraps just in case I would need it for an art project, empty cans because I liked the design, piles of magazines to one day cut out images that I liked …
After reading it again and discovering the documentary “Minimalism” on Netflix, I’m pretty proud of myself and my ability to buy less: I make smarter purchases.
Read my summary of the Netflix documentary « Minimalism » in the form of an infographics.
When I’m in a store, I double check what’s in my cart and I picture myself using those items, wearing those clothes, that make up … then I can quickly figure out what I really need or not.
My bank accounts are happy and so are my closets. Now I know where is each thing I own and my drawers are all neat and tidy. Good for me !
Lately I noticed that I have developed an unconditional love for tidying. Every time I re-organize my closet, I take some time to define what I really still enjoy and what speaks to me. Tidying is helping me to better know myself and move forward.
Aside from tidying up, Dominique Loreau talks about Ki, vital energy, Feng Shui… This made me explore more on these topics and learn about the effects of decluttering on our mind and energy.
Feel free to share this summary on “L’art de la simplicite” by Dominique Loreau! You can also comment below on what decluttering and tidying up has brought you!
Take care of yourself!
✨ Élodie 🙏🏻
Transcript of the Infographics ↑
Our Western society is centered on material property and the urge to possess.
We have been used to be offered too much of everything: we buy, destroy and throw away too much. Possessing too much smothers our mind. Owning less lets surface the essential, elegance and the useful. Can we still differentiate our needs from our wishes?
Some people associate their own image with what they possess.
They collect goods, friends, lovers … thinking that it will make them more valuable. Our materialistic society can sometimes create deep frustrations due to ever changing fashion that blinds ourselves and take all of our money.
Memories associated with some items maintain us in the past.
Some items remind us of so many memories that they can make us forget the present. These items have been among us for so long that we are afraid to move on without them: it’s like they possess us. But let go of some things can also free us and help us to get closer to the person we would like to be. Look at each item and ask yourself: “Is it useful ?”, “does it make me happy ?” Let go of its image and think about the feeling it really gives you.
When we clean up around ourselves, we are also cleaning up inside us
Let go of all these little things that bug your everyday life: oil up the squeaking door, let go of the worn out sweaters, give away what’s not working for you. And ideal interior must be comfy, refined and extremely lean. Each thing must be esthetic and functional. All becomes art. Space once cleared out of the useless will bring a feeling or peace and order. When we clean and tidy our shelves, we have the satisfaction to have control over our lives.
All you possess should fit in a luggage.
Due to recurring fires, the Japanese were used to choose their belongings wisely if they ever had to escape a fire. Imagine your house on fire and do a list of what you would buy back. Functional, classic, basic, your wardrobe could be limited to a dozen assorted items, 3 bags and a dedicated outfit for weekends, work and night outs. Go through your clothes: only keep the items you love and reflect your personality!
What we really possess in our life is the quality of the present moment.
Time is the most precious thing we all have. We waste so much time regretting the past and so afraid of the future !
Each morning, be grateful for the day that begins and all you will do with it. Seize each moment as an opportunity to experiment something new. Train your mind to meditate: 20 min per day, sit in a lotus position in front of a little shrine you will have set up (a comfy pillow, a candle, a flower and some encens …) Exhale your negative thoughts and let your mind refocus. Only patience and persistence will help us keep control of our mind and refocus on present.
Turn each chore in a ritual
The Zen principles teach us to live with a clear mind, here and now. Keep all your attention on the present task and let go of other distractions. Add some your daily life with rituals, this will bring you satisfaction, mystery, peace and order. Only do one thing at a time and live at a slower pace. Know how to contemplate beauty because art is everywhere: gestures, objects, clothes, the way we behave…
Be cautious of toxic thoughts
These are our beliefs, opinions and our education that build our own prison. Let’s stop polluting our mind with tons of negatives news from the Media ! Let’s work on our spiritual side to free us up from toxic emotions (fear, jealousy, frustration, hatred …) that clutter our brain and prevent us from spreading joy and love around us.
Take care of yourself!
According to Dominique Loreau, the will to be physically appealing is a question of self respect. “A neat woman emits positive vibes”, be radiant, pamper yourself ! Exfoliation, manucure, massage … a soft honey soap to remove your makeup, some natural avocado oil to nourish your skin and a quality face powder are must-haves for a minimalist bathroom. Let your skin breathe by avoiding too many chemical products and brush your body from feet to shoulder to stimulate blood flow. Keep your energy and life balance up by practicing yoga at least 15 minutes daily. Eat less to keep your ideal weight, work out and choose healthy food to keep you in top shape.
Picture yourself at your best
Our life is what our thoughts make of it. You can act upon them and materialize the ideal image of who you want to be and up to you to make it come true! Subconscious can’t make the difference between a real and imaginary experience: visualize and verbalize your goals and then persuade yourself you will succeed.
It’s the truthfulness and the intensity of our beliefs that deliver a real outcome. Mentally set up your ideal scenario by picturing every details then persuade yourself that it is the reality. Subconscious and the Universe will take care of the rest.
Happiness depends on how we filter our reality and how we interpret it. Try to recall all the good things that happened in your life. Before going to sleep, make a list of all good things that happened during your day and be grateful for it. While you’re at it, say a prayer and ask your subconscious to answer it.
When our happiness shines, our Ki influences our surroundings
Our natural energy (Ki) is affected by everything around us. It’s all up to us to have a positive impact by emitting good vibes! Maintain your Ki on a daily basis by eating healthy, working out, meditating, sleeping and being in contact with water! According to the Chinese, water is scared and carries vital energy.
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