Could you live a simpler life?

Thanksgiving is a great time to focus on what you feel grateful for.

If you aren’t feeling grateful this week, try brainstorming a list, or make a cool graphic like the one to the left, of everything in your life that brings you joy. Push yourself to make the list as long as possible so you remember to include the goofy things and the cool things – like chocolate. Or playing with your dog. Or sunrises.

Brainstorming any idea is a great way to clear your head, and seeing words on a piece of paper helps bring a weird clarity to the task at hand – whether your list is what you have to do, what you ate today, steps you need to take to get a big project completed – or what you’re thankful for.

Brainstorming a gratitude list is a great way to realize how much you already have. And to consider simplifying your life.

I recently finished reading Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond.  Thoreau lived in the woods for two years in a small cabin he built himself mostly from found wood and used bricks. His goal was to live a deliberate life and he assigned himself the job of observation. He spent minimal time each day growing food, then would sit for hours on his stoop watching the birds. Or lay on the forming pond-ice in winter to gaze into the depths of the water. Or walk among the trees to try to understand how they grew.

Thoreau writes of the weight of owning things – and the freedom of not owning much. Of having a simple house that is easy to clean and heat. Of spending time thinking.

“Let your affairs be as two or three and not a hundred or a thousand.”

What’s one step you can take this week to make your life a little simpler, to love what you have, and to know that what you have is enough?

I am thankful this week for time with family, my health, and the beautiful beaches of North Carolina. Happy Thanksgiving!

Grateful for the sun


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