Minimal Living

As I prepared for a major life change and relocation, I struggled to work through the stress of packing up my items and belonging and wondered why I had collected so much over the years.  In my big house, the items didn’t seem to take up so much space, but now through this transition, the material stuff seemed to take up emotional and mental space.  I was stressed out trying to pack things up and decided at the last minute to sell off a lot of things I no longer needed, and if I had more time, I would have sold off most of my material goods, leaving it all behind.

As I struggled packing boxes, I quickly learned how all the meaningless material goods that I had collected, was actually a burden in many ways.  I then made the decision that I would downsize and for the first time in my life, stop collecting stuff and live a simple life, free of materialism.  I wasn’t sure I could do it, as I liked my stuff, but I also realized that none of it gave me lasting happiness, in fact, I discovered that the happiness was so short-lived that the I was left with the aftermath of later getting rid of the stuff or paying for it.  The stuff had become a paradox.

I had craved a life of simplicity for years and now I was actually faced with the ability to act on this concept and knew that the less I had, the happier I would be.  I didn’t need a closet full of clothes or a bunch of pots and pans or meaningless trinkets.  They took up space in my physical life as well as in my mental life.  I also thought about the waste of money I had spent over a lifetime and how that money could have brought me happiness in so many other ways like giving to others, going on more adventure trips or having a large savings account and security.

As I prepared for transition across the country, I knew that although I had already shed a lot of what I owned, I knew that when I arrived, I would have to get rid of more.  I no longer had space, nor did I want the stuff.  I made the decision that my new life would be simplistic, minimal and spirit filled.  My days would not be spent shopping or collecting, but would be spent in connection with others, and connecting to spirit. I would spend my time doing things I enjoyed like Qigong and Yoga.  I also decided to start eating healthier and spending more time on being creative in the kitchen, making whole natural foods.  I decided that each day needed to have meaning and that I could create that through simplicity and minimalism.  It would be a challenge, but one that I had wanted to make for years.  This was to be a new adventure for me, but one that would leave me feeling peaceful and content.

Although through this process, it was a very stressful and emotional time, through the shedding of tears and the releasing of my belongings, I was able to see clearly again.  Somehow all the stuff had prevented me from seeing what was really important in life.  The junk clouded my vision and with the baggage gone, the clouds began to disappear.

What are you holding onto?  Are you willing to let go?  Take the adventure with me!

Breath of Joy


Karolee Bulak Wellness Consultant

Yogic breathing techniques have been around for thousands of years, but not until 1970’s has the western world learned the life-changing practice of yoga.

One of the most joyful breathing techniques is called “Breath of Joy.” This practice lifts your spirit and generates happiness as you increase the oxygen flow to your body and mind.  It also promotes a release of stress and negativity and a reported reduction in depression. It’s a fun practice for children and adults, but if you have medical conditions, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before beginning a new practice.

The Breath of Joy

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Inhale 1/3 of your lungs as you raise your hands in front of your body to shoulder level
  • Inhale again 2/3 lung capacity and bring your arms out to your sides at shoulder level
  • Inhale fully and swing your arms directly overhead with palms facing each other
  • Exhale completely as you swing your arms back down, bending over releasing a “ha” sound
  • Repeat up to 9 times