Inspired by change, challenge and creativity

End of Month Potpourri-May 2015


“People often ask themselves the right questions. Where they fail is in answering the questions they ask themselves, and even there they do not fail by much…But it takes time, it takes humility and a serious reason for searching.”  ~ William Maxwell



As I end this special month of my birth, now another year older, I continue to contemplate life…asking myself questions about what I am doing, where am I going, what do I want out of this life of mine….and I am finding many answers within, as I listen to my heart and soul speak to me.  As you may remember, this year I have chosen to be part of an online group, Women’s Circle of Joy, led by Cigdem Kobu of Peaceful Triumphs.



And this month, we have been exploring, “Living Lighter”.  It’s not just about losing DSCN8975weight or getting rid of your stuff…it goes much deeper.  We were asked to examine seven areas of our life to see if we were Living Lighter.  These areas included:  Our Private Lives, Our Physical Body, Our Environments, Our Emotional Weight, Our Mental Hassle, Our Career and Work and Our Social Lives.



This path to living lighter really started for me last year in retirement.  I wanted to simplify my life, and took time to reacquaint myself with my home, and my husband as we would now be together 24/7.  We have easily slid into this new phase of our lives working together as a couple sharing the load.  We did a huge clearing in February when we clutter cleared our house from top to bottom.  It felt wonderful to let go of stuff we no longer needed, but I have learned this clearing of stuff is an ongoing process you must continue to revisit every couple of months as clutter can sneak back up on you fast.



DSCN9107And living lighter isn’t just about letting go of the things we have…it is also about the mental and emotional sides of simplifying.  I have poured out many of my personal revelations regarding mental and emotional clearing in this blog.  As I have worked through issues, such as worry and fear, I have found my heart and soul becoming lighter.  And with retirement, I lightened my stress load, and now dictate what “work” I will explore and take on.  Socially, I am reconnecting and opening up to invitations and connections put on the back burner.  And I have let go of relationships especially where others try to control my life.



And most of all, I have been building better habits that will bring me closer to perfect health.  Moving more, finding what physical activity I like to do, daily meditation and journaling, and discovering which foods are best for my body.



I have recently found it important to take time to pause and reflect on life.  I think that is IMG_2414where the poetry I write comes from….those things that give me pause or that I see when I pause…so magical really that reflective time.  And in that time when I let my mind wander and wonder, I think about my easy, carefree future.  What does it look and feel like…..



In this future, I awake from a restful slumber to the sounds of nature…refreshed and eager to see the new dawn…the wondrous colors of the day both in the sky and in the garden.  I move easily out-of-doors, and walk in this new light of day coming back home to the incredible smells of a nutritious breakfast.  What do I want to accomplish today?  A bit of weeding, a new writing project, a little cleaning and clearing in the house, or is this my day of rest where I can play or take a fun trip to a new spot.  Will I be grabbing lunch with a friend or perhaps seeing a practitioner for a bit of wellness care.



And part of my day will be spent in quiet contemplation….writing about my gratitude for the wonderful things in my life.  There is always time for daily reading; books for pleasure (mostly mysteries), or books I find more personal and spiritual….maybe someone’s journey of inspiration.  There are always things I can do to keep life simple…and with that simplicity, comes time for joyful activities that allow more room in my life for new experiences, new friendships and new journeys.





Note:   The Daisies pictured here are from my garden, and are said to represent simplicity.  Daisies were the first flower I remember that I cherished as a young girl.  They are such a simple flower of pure white that never cease to bring me a smile.






I leave you with another thought about simplicity or living lighter.  Feel free to download this photo and share.


All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

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  1. May 28, 2015    

    Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey with us.

    • May 30, 2015    

      I am honored that people are finding these posts helpful…thanks so much Soosie!

    • May 30, 2015    

      Those Daisy pictures are perfect! Thank you, Donna, for your comment: I have yet to SEE the nightingale, but its song was sublime!

      • May 30, 2015    

        Glad you enjoyed the daisies Caroline!

  2. May 28, 2015    

    What I love so much in these posts, dear Donna, is how you find the exact right flower from your garden to “match” the subject of your writings. You are constantly inspiring me to live “lighter,” so I’d say you have already accomplished a LOT. Thank you.

    • May 30, 2015    

      You are too kind Ginnie….I love the history and folklore behind flowers so it is fun to find just the right one that I have in my garden.

  3. May 28, 2015    

    I’m with Ginnie…I love the flower connection!

    • May 30, 2015    

      Thanks Robin…finding just the right flower takes as long as writing the posts sometimes.

  4. May 28, 2015    

    I put this on my Facebook timeline, I think the Jon Kabat-Zinn quote is wonderful. Less is more is a constant line of thinking and being in my life. It’s often a struggle as you say. It is not easy to keep going back to lightness, fewer activities, fewer belongings. But it is my goal too so I really appreciated your post.

    • May 30, 2015    

      That means so much to me Susan, and thank you for sharing the post.

  5. May 28, 2015    

    You really are on quite a wonderful journey. Nice that you can get out with friends and enjoy the things that matter the most.

    • May 30, 2015    

      Thanks Donna….I am fortunate to be on this journey!

  6. May 28, 2015    

    This is a wonderful reminder for me. I am working to worry less, strive less, and give myself more permission to simply enjoy rather than constantly trying to improve upon. As my Mom used to remind me, “whatever it is that you practice the most, that is what you will be the best at doing”. I’d like to have my “best” centered around peaceful enjoyment of life rather than worries and borrowing trouble!

    • May 30, 2015    

      Deb this sounds wonderful and your mother was wise…I love her saying and will strive to practice those things I want to be best at doing.

  7. May 28, 2015    

    Donna, we all are travellers through our lives, aren’t we, learning along the way how to ask the right questions and how to understand the answers. Lightening our emotional weight… those are the words that struck me as most highlighted when I was reading your reflection, I guess it’s something I should reflect on.

    The daises are truly beautiful…

    • May 30, 2015    

      Thanks so much Petra….I think emotional lightening is one of the hardest things to do and one of the most rewarding….

  8. May 28, 2015    

    I love the theme of ‘living lighter’. I am traveling that journey too. Over the last couple of years I have regained the lightness of my heart which had been stifled by life…

    Now I have regained that lightness I need to move on old books and clutter from my home and I also need to spring clean my garden 🙂
    A journey towards the lightness of being 🙂

    • May 30, 2015    

      It is amazing how weighed down we can become by life and all its trappings Cherie…..we are on the same journey which makes me feel lighter already.

  9. May 28, 2015    

    Donna, I found this post of great interest. Although I never knew “it”, simplifying my life has also been done in phases. It is not only rewarding and enlightening but also much lighter as time passes…:). Enjoy your journey…:)JP

  10. Another beautiful post 🙂 I was just smiling at the sight of daisies blooming by the side of a road yesterday 🙂

    • May 30, 2015    

      Aren’t they one of the happiest flowers Deb…

  11. May 29, 2015    

    You have been so open about your journey and write so well,,, thank you

    • May 30, 2015    

      It is part of my healing and it helps to know that my journey is appreciated Michelle!

  12. Kim Kim
    May 29, 2015    

    Jon Kabat- Zinn is one of my favorites. I have read and re-read his books so many times that I actually purchased more than one copy of the same title. I too am searching for simplicity in a very complicated world…one where I am trying to do and be with less and a family that is looking for more, but I suppose that is the nature of teenagers! It’s a quest…

    • May 30, 2015    

      It is a quest Kim….I will have to check out Zinn’s books as I loved this quote…

  13. May 31, 2015    

    You are an inspiration!

    • May 31, 2015    

      Oh such a lovely compliment…thank you!

  14. June 3, 2015    

    Donna, A friend recently asked me what I’m doing in retirement, and I found the question difficult to answer — but this post so much captures the way I’m trying to live my life. Thanks!

    • June 4, 2015    

      My pleasure Jean….it seems many of us have embraced this idea. It really just makes so much sense.

  15. June 6, 2015    

    I am so sorry I missed your birthday: Happy Birthday (anyway). Thanks for this inspirational writing. Living lighter is a great mantra. The older I get the more this way of life makes sense to me.

    • June 6, 2015    

      Thanks Debra for the wishes and the compliment…what a great birthday present!

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~ Aristotle


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