Simplify Yourself…

Get realistic and honest about how you wholeheartedly desire to live your life.


How we spend our days is, of course,

how we spend our lives.

Anne Dillard

Get your Simplify Yourself guide here

Despite our modern world belief systems, we simply do not have enough time and energy to do all the things. Simplifying yourself and your life opens up space so you can a deep look at yourself and what you most want to do with your precious life. A great place to start is looking at your fantasy selves. A popular phrase coined by minimalist, author, and blogger Francine Jay, fantasy selves represent all the versions of ourselves that we think we want to to be. For most of my life and into my mid-thirties I thought I wanted to do it all, and I kept convincing myself I could do it all. I could work full time; be a mama, partner, friend, sister, daughter, student of life; organize myself, my son, my life, and my home; travel; spend time with loved ones; practice self-care; practice yoga; camp; hike; bike; read; take workshops; learn to cook; do laundry and clean my home, just to name a few.

Sometime in 2017-ish, while reading Francine’s post, Declutter Your Fantasy Self, I felt immediate resonance and relief. Oh, hell’s bells… I thought. Of course! How incredible would it feel to let go of all those fantasy versions of myself? {deep breath} As I wrote a list of my unrealized selves, and all the clutter in tow, I was able to feel how much of my life force had been blocked by things that did not provide value or joy in my life. I became willing to release them and make room for what was really true for me. As I said goodbye to these fantasy selves and the clutter connected to them, I opened up to a new way of living and being.

All too often, we hold on to stuff because it represents who we think we should be, rather than who we are. Sometimes our fantasy selves are meant to impress others; sometimes they’re relics of our past; sometimes they’re fantasies about our future. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember: acquiring stuff for your fantasy self doesn’t make it a reality. Most of the time, it only leads to a lot of nice clutter you never actually use. – Francine Jay

What fantasy selves are you holding onto that don’t match your current life? What material stuff is crowding your space, external and internal? I invite you to write a list of your own fantasy selves and all of the stuff connected to them.

Examples of fantasy selves and their potential clutter…

  • Outdoors fanatic – bicycling, hiking, camping, and ski gear; beach gear and toys, yard toys, and hammocks.
  • Crafty Betty – sewing machine, notions, lots of material; paper, paints, scissors; knitting needles and yarn.
  • Book Worm – a library full of books you have read, books you hope to read, and books from schooling.
  • Music Lover – shelves of CD’s or records, technology old and new, and instruments you might play someday.
  • Photographer – cameras, tripods, cords of every shape and size, boxes of photos, and digital photos galore.
  • World Traveler – Suitcases and travel accessories in all different types and sizes, maps, and books on travel.
  • Chef extraordinaire – pots, pans, mixing bowls, cooking utensils, and ingredients a plenty.

Wouldn’t it feel great to get clarity about how you most desire to live your life, to make conscious choices about how you spend your days, and cultivate a life that brings you joy and deep satisfaction? – Kate Fehr

 Get your Simplify Yourself guide here

Your Guides to a Simpler Life, Marla Dee & Kate Fehr

We love teaching the Clear & Simple Way© to transform your life.

Simply Sit…

A simple practice for anyone, anytime, is to sit. Just sit. Just breathe. Just be.

In an age of constant movement,

nothing is more important than sitting still

Pico Iyer

Get Your Simply Sit Guide here

A simple practice for anyone, anytime, is to sit. Just sit. Just breathe. Just  be. How long has it been since you did this? I’m not talking about meditating or any activity that requires focus. I am asking you to sit still and simply be with yourself and the world around you. There are times all throughout your day to do this. It only requires giving yourself permission.

I keep noticing my resistance to sitting still. My comfort zone is being busy. When I think about just sitting my brain goes to what can I do, crazy right? I recently read a wonderful book, The Sacred Enneagram, by Christopher L. Heuertz. Christopher shares a practice called engaging solitude, where he suggests taking 20 minutes a day to sit quietly with myself. I have been doing this for months now and it is blissful. I hadn’t realized how pressured I always felt to be doing something. I now give myself permission to do nothing.

It can fun to discover your favorite place or time for sitting still. Personally, I love my morning sit with my cup of strong, black coffee. The world is quiet, my body barely awake, and I get to sit. There is no doing involved, simply breathing and being in my body in the moment. I am always delighted, and often surprised, at what pops up to be noticed. I also love to end my day with sitting outside staring at the night sky.

Sweet ideas for sitting still.

  • Begin or end the day with sitting on your porch. Hang out with yourelf.
  • Take five minutes to sit at your desk at the beginning or end of the work day. 
  • Take five minutes to sit in your car after the work day before you head home.
  • Go sit in the grass or lean on a tree.  Let your body touch the earth.
  • Sit at the edge of a river, a stream or the ocean. Feel the water.
  • Sit in the sun or the rain or the moonlight.
  • Sit in your favorite bookstore or coffee shop.
  • Plop in your  comfiest chair, without the TV on or a book in your hand. 
  • Sit in front of a fire, either in your home or in the forest.  Let yourself get lost.
  • Sit next to your child or loved one and simply breathe each other in.

Let yourself simply sit right now, wherever you are. Give yourself 5 minutes. You might be surprised. You might feel something new or let go of something old. Try this simple practice.  I hope you will get hooked and make it part of your everyday life.

 Get Your Simply Sit Guide here

Your Guide to a Simpler Life, Marla Dee

We love teaching the Clear & Simple Way© to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

Simply Play…

I learned how to play from my daughter…

Play is the spark that keeps our fire burning!

Marla Dee

Get your Simply Play guide here

My daughter Jessica is now 24 years old. All her life, she has taught me how to play. I tend to forget that play is a part of life. I forget that play happens every day. I forget that play nurtures me. I forget how to just have fun. I was taught when you get all the work done, then you can play. The dilemma here is that the work is never done. So, I’ve adopted my daughter’s approach of bringing in play at every opportunity.  At this moment, I am in my comfy clothes, curled up on the couch, surrounded by pillows, coffee cup beside me, laptop in my lap, writing. Life does not get sweeter than this. I am having fun. I have come a long way. I have learned from a master.

Simple play ideas that my daughter has taught me:

  • Play with a kitten or puppy. If you are really brave, bring one home with you.
  • Go to the park and let loose in the playground. Get on a swing.
  • Color or draw. Why not splurge on a new pack of crayons or colored pencils.
  • Climb a tree. Collect rocks. Dig in the dirt.
  • Pack a yummy picnic and eat in your yard or on your porch.
  • Put on music and dance in your living room. Really let loose.
  • Have a slumber party followed by breakfast in bed.
  • Read a story then let yourself get lost in it. Isn’t it amazing how hours go by?
  • Play hooky for one hour during your work week. Be daring.
  • Cook with your fingers. Eat with your fingers. Yep, get messy.
  • Let a song or a story come out of you. Go ahead, do it right now.
  • Watch a movie you’ve seen before and act it out.
  • Or you can play at being different animals or characters.
  • Wrestle around on your living room floor – hug, tickle, laugh, let go and just love.

Lastly, invite a playmate into your life. I did, unexpectedly. Back in the fall of 1994, I was meditating outside on a beautiful, warm day. All of a sudden, I heard a little voice inside me say Hi, Mom! I looked down at my still flat stomach and asked, am I pregnant? Yes, she replied, so simply & sweetly. Why now, I asked, for I had been waiting for her to come for years and had given up. I will never forget her response, because you are ready for joy in your life. To this day, the memory of that moment grabs me in the gut. She came to remind that life is about joy, about play, about creating. She awakened my long lost child. She brought me back to life.

So, I insist that you play today! Be spontaneous. Start simple, start small or go for it and take a whole day. Just do it. This is not about planning, it’s about being. Play is the spark that keeps our fire burning.

Get Your Simply Play Guide

Your Guide to a Simpler Life, Marla Dee

We love teaching the Clear & Simple Way© to live free of clutter and get organized at last.

Simply Share…

Share your hope, your insights, your fear, your gratitude, and your love

Share what is in your heart

as well as what’s in your head

Kate Fehr

From Kate

As someone who thrives on being outdoors and socially connected, this whole quarantining and social distancing business has sent me through stages of intense resistance and, dare I say, teenage-like rebellion. As I continue to move through different reactions, an important thing I keep noticing is how thoughtful connection and sharing what is true for me in the moment, is supporting me in staying present and feeling grateful. In response to this, I have welcomed more video chats and I am calling over texting. I’m creating more time to share my experiences and inviting others to share theirs. I’m reading and watching more of the goodness that is landing in my email inbox. My invitation to you… share your personal fears, your joys, your hope, and your gratitude. Share what is in your heart as well as what is in your head. Now, more than ever, share, share, share.

Speaking of which, I’d like to share three of my favorite reads/watches of late. I hope you find some nuggets of value and goodness in them.

  • Bari Tessler – “Emotional literacy and financial literacy are intricately intertwined.” Extra love + money support during this challenging pandemic
  • Tina Falk – “Whether it’s daily client calls, weekly meetings, or a few exercise classes a week, it is worth preparing you and your space on an energetic level before and after each and every call.” Good Feng Shui for Video Conferencing
  • Joshua Becker – Thoughts on how minimalism, rather than hoarding possessions, may bring more of the peace we’re looking for right now. Possessions can never provide security. Minimalism in a Crisis

From Marla…
There is a lot of noise out there in our world. In the moment, it probably feels ok to repeat what you are hearing, without giving much thought to whether it is true for you and what affect it will have. I want to challenge you to be conscious about what you are sharing and how. Today I had two treats shared with me. My daughter Sarah sent me a short video of her flowers blooming in their backyard. This meant the world to me since I no longer live close to them. Then my brother spoke up on our family text line and asked that we no longer talk about the virus but focus on personal sharing  and connecting with each other. So, I got to experience that sharing sweetness can be simple and standing up for honorable sharing matters. I know I want my sharing to add guidance, insight, wisdom and hope. What about you? What affect are your words having?

Here are shares from three of my favorite messengers.

  • Erin Elizabeth Wells – “This is the time to practice radical responsibility. Will you slump into being a victim of life or will you claim your role as the captain of your ship?” How to keep going in uncertain times 
  • Renee Trudeau – “As you reflect on what your life is trying to tell you, invite in curiosity, compassion, and ask for support from trusted friends. And remember, just because the veil has been lifted, doesn’t mean you have to rush to action.”  What is this time illuminating for you
  • Michael A. Singer  “Our primary job is to have clarity on the inside so we can take right action on the outside.” An interview by Tami Simon of Sounds True. Resilience in Challenging Times

Lastly, our funny share comes from Karen Kingston, author of Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Karen lives in the UK and she pokes fun at our toilet paper panic.

We hope that each of you are being given what you need each day during this time – to trust, to open, to grow, to give and to thrive.

Your Guides to a Simpler Life, Marla Dee & Kate Fehr

We love teaching the Clear & Simple Way to live free of clutter and get organized at last.