Friday, December 24, 2010

Life Without Stuff

by Jan Shoop
Throughout the last 18 years I have taught, supervised and mentored thousands of students and teachers and have found that most of the younger students, whether they are rich or poor, are happy and find happiness in the simple pleasures of life. The happiness that these children bring to the world should be a goal for all of us as we experience the holiday season and move into the next year. If you take time out of your busy holiday schedule to enjoy some of these simple activities you will find peace in your heart and a soul filled with joy. Sometimes life without stuff is a simpler and more fulfilling life than life with stuff. The Christmas season is a time to enjoy and value uncomplicated, effortless pleasures and to give thanks to all who bring joy to our world.
Listed below are 25 activities that you can do without stuff. They will make you smile and won’t cost you a penny. Activities that any one of us can do if we just slow down for a moment and enjoy the simple pleasures of “Life Without Stuff.”  
1.         Share a smile with a stranger. Smiles are one of the easiest gifts that you can give and are universal to every country. Everyone understands and welcomes a smile.
2.         Observe the beautiful colors of a sunrise as they light up the dark
3.         Walk on new snow feeling the crunch under your boots.
4.         Take pleasure in a blooming flower.
5.         Sit in a quiet office at the end of the day in thought and reflection.
6.         Stroll through a park filled with happy, laughing children.
7.         Eat the first strawberry off of the strawberry plant you grew.
8.         Laugh for no reason, just because it feels good.
9.         Listen to quiet music that soothes your soul or crazy music that makes you want to get up and dance.
10.       Smile and greet the bell ringer from the Salvation Army outside of the Walgreens store.
11.       Play a basketball game in the park with friends and strangers.
12.       Spend quality time with your family.
13.       Listen to the wisdom of elders and let them share their stories of hope and adversity.
14.       Spend a quiet morning and a peaceful evening with someone you love and who loves you.
15.       Curl up in front of a fire with your favorite book.
16.       Engage in a meaningful and lively discussion with friends.
17.       Enjoy a quiet moment with a steaming cup of coffee.
18.       Watch the peaceful expression of a newborn as she sleeps.
19.       Sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what’s on your Christmas list; while you try to decide if his beard is real.
21.       Set three goals for the New Year and contemplate the old year.
22.       Take a moment to consider whether your life is in balance or out
of balance.
23.       Go for a long walk enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells along
the path.
24.       Listen to the musical song of wind chimes.   
25.       Take a moment for prayer and meditation.
Have a blessed and joyful Christmas,