Less is More!

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We’ve all heard the phrase, “less is more,” and yet it’s such an abstract concept. I know I’ve had good intentions of pairing down and letting go of the things I don’t use and don’t wear. But that task usually gets pushed to the bottom of the list.

That’s why I made a date with a friend of mine who had just “Marie Condoed” her closet. Yes, Marie Condo’s name is now a verb – if you don’t know of her, she’s the lady who has a book and a new Netflix show that helps people clean out their junk and only keep the things in their life that “bring them joy.”

I had seen my friend’s pictures of her newly transformed closet on FB, and I thought, “Oh, I HAVE to do that.” I needed help. When she said “yes” to my request for her help, I was thrilled.

So, last Monday, she came over – we’d set aside a block of time to go through my closet. First thing we did was kneel down in the closet and say a little prayer of gratitude for all of the items in it, all the joy that had come from buying the clothes, to wearing them and all of the events and people I had enjoyed in those clothes.

I was already tearing up.

Then, Cami began her magic and invited me to pull all of the clothes out of my closet – yes ALL of them – and put them on the bed so we could sort through. I did as instructed. I hadn’t seen the inside walls of my closet in years. I immediately got a wet rag, got down on my knees and cleaned the dust balls out.

Even THAT felt good.

We got to our task at hand right away, ranking, grouping and organizing the clothes –  our categories were keep, consign, donate, trash.

What I didn’t realize in this process was that I kept finding gems of clothing – things I loved, but hadn’t worn in years because I’d either forgotten about them, they were buried in the back of the closet, or I didn’t know what to wear with the top or the pants. 

Cami helped me bring my wardrobe to life in a new way with her fresh pair of eyes. 

At the end of 3 ½ hours, we had diminished my closet by 25%, and I simultaneously felt an amazing sense of abundance because I had just gained a bunch of new outfits with clothes that I already owned and loved. Not to mention, the clothes fit me.

I kept only the items I loved, so now my closet is filled with outfits I want to wear, I feel great in them, and I am able to see everything, so will now wear the things I have.

I didn’t expect to feel such a sense of abundance by getting rid of things. It was a kinesthetic lesson in feeling abundant with less, because everything I kept was something I love.

Now the phrase, “less is more” lands for me. It makes sense. I can honestly say, YES, less IS more. Thank you, Cami! I am so grateful for your help and your great eye!


The Gift of Time

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I’m standing at the pharmacy counter in San Miguel de Allende, asking for directions in Spanish to Belles Artes when the other woman on my side of the counter approaches.

“Are you American?”
“Yes.”
“Do you have a moment you can spare?”

I assess my personal agenda in a nano-second  for the last day I’m in town.

“Yes, I can.”

I can see the relief on her face when I say yes.

“And you speak Spanish?”
“Yes.”

She launches into her dilemma – she can’t get through to America on her cell phone. Her daughter, actress in Mexico City, who’s been there 22 years has set her up with a phone. She needs to find At&T. She’s got a plan. It should work. The download of information comes in rapid fire.

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“First things first, let’s find AT&T,” I say.
She sighs. “OK.”

We wander the street we’re on. It’s supposed to be close. I pop in and out of stores asking, “Donde esta AT&T?”

Multitudes of answers come. Just up the street.

We find our destination and I spring into action.
Questions are asked.
Responses given.
Money paid.
Sighs released in frustration.

After a good ½ an hour of sorting through the confusion, paying more money, and getting her cell phone number sorted out, Sandi makes her call to the United States.

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“I’m never letting you go.” She says, a wide smile shining out from underneath her broad brimmed hat.

“My pleasure,” with the utmost sincerity.

I’m relaxed. Like this is my purpose for having gone into the pharmacy – to help sort out the confusion for Sandi.

She beams. She’s connected now.

It’s now been an hour since I met her in the pharmacy. I have the afternoon to go see the last sights and shop for a few items. And yet this diversion from my own “plans” feels like the most important thing I will do today.

Sandi and I hug, we exchange phone numbers and emails. She invites me to her farm in upstate New York.

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The whole encounter wakes me up to how the gift of time and attention are more valuable than anything else I could give anyone.

As the heaviest shopping time of the year approaches, I’ve decided to take this lesson to heart and put it into practice.

I will give the gift of time….by either spending time with people, doing something with them, or making them a hand-made gift.

As I leave Sandi, she pops into a shop where she’s spotted a pair of pants she fancies. As I walk down the cobble stone streets, my heart feels fuller than it did before I’d bumped into her.

Thank you, Sandi! Happiest of holy-days to you!