Some call these 9 words "The Fruits of The Spirit". Others call them values or qualities. These words represent things that cannot be bought: they are matters of the heart.
They are not more stuff, they are within you.
They are cornerstones of a simple life, because they are things to fill your life and your home with. Look for opportunities to live simply and positively impact the lives of others.
1. Fill your life with love
Simplicity and beauty come from the inside out, from a heart and home filled with love. It has been said that "if I don't have love, I am nothing". It's very simple, really: a life and a home without love are empty. So the first thing to fill your life with is love; not more stuff.
2. Fill your life with joy
Simplifying, in order to fill our life and our home with what matters most, demands effort and commitment. Why not do it with joy? Each day that we are given is a gift to be enjoyed and shared!
3. Fill your life with peace
"Peace is your gauge". This motto has always served me well, especially when I make a decision. I achieve peace by including quiet time in my personal daily routine first thing in the morning, over a strong cup of java. When peace fills my heart and my spirit, I can face anything that is thrown my way.
4. Fill your life with patience
Oh golly this is a tough one for me! Patience does not always come easy to me. I hate road trips, I just like destinations. I don't enjoy "the process"; I simply want the "results" (wouldn't that be nice!!!). I have learned through many hard life lessons that it actually doesn't work that way...! Patience is indeed a virtue needed in a simple life as it brings joy, contentment and so much more than could ever be experienced with impatience.
5. Fill your life with kindness
Filling your heart and your life with kindness is being considerate of others. Where so much of this world we live in is about "me", we want kindness to be a simple value that fills our life and our home.
6. Fill your life with goodness
Practicing goodness is demonstrated with actions. The focus of kindness is on others, and that is a simple principle to live by. Practicing kindness by being unselfish; doing things for others; giving. See the good in everyone.
7. Fill your life with faithfulness
This is a very dear word to me - faithfulness. It is a part of greater story that shaped me. With simplicity and beauty in mind, faithfulness is having integrity. Being true to what you believe and stand for. If you believe in good work ethics, then be faithful to those and be the best worker your boss has ever had. If you believe in blessing others, then be faithful to that and go out of your way to live this way. Be faithful.
8. Fill your life with gentleness
We all need a little TLC (tender loving care). There is beauty in being that someone who offers gentleness to others.
9. Fill your life with self-control
In valuing a simple life, this is key. We live in a society where lots of distractions scream at us - buy this, get that, newer is better, etc. Having self-control when pursuing simplicity means that everything you choose to bring in your life or your home, is done with self-control and in a way that will not crowd, take over or cause clutter in any way. It's easier to add to your life and your home with self-control than to have to subtract, declutter and remove.
In the pursuit of a lifestyle of simplicity and beauty, I encourage you to fill your life with less things. These beautiful paintings were created by my dear friend Jo Smith as a way to mark the beginning of our Airdrie adventure! They are hung in my living room as a daily reminder of what I want to fill my life with: simplicity and beauty, the 2 fundamental starting blocks of great design.