popular Soulful online new arrival Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More sale

popular Soulful online new arrival Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More sale

popular Soulful online new arrival Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More sale

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Description

Product Description

Courtney Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.

We are often on a quest for more—we give in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Stress was like gasoline on the fire of symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent.
     In this book, she shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we can create more with less—more space, more time, and even more love. Carver invites us to look at the big picture, discover what''s most important to us, and reclaim lightness and ease by getting rid of all the excess things.

Review

"There''s an age-old fallacy that more stuff equals more happiness. Research and Carver''s beautiful new book lead us to the truth: happiness, joy, and love can very much derive from a whole lot less.”

Shawn Achor, happiness researcher, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage

"Soulful Simplicity encourages conscious minimalism from the inside out. It''s a heartfelt yet practical guide for making life simple again. Courtney''s story is relatable in so many ways — she lets you walk in her shoes so you can see the mental and physical steps she took to escape a stressful life that literally almost killed her. This book has made me laugh, smile, and take action towards living a life uncluttered by most of the needless things people fill their lives with, leaving me with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing, and stress, but instead contemplation, creation, and connection with people and projects I love."

—Angel Chernoff, Author and Coach, Marc and Angel Hack Life

"Courtney Carver reminds us that simplicity isn''t just about being organized, it''s about getting back to love. With simple genius, Marie Kondo taught us how to declutter our homes, now it''s time to let Courtney Carver take us to a deeper place. To refine our lives, and reconnect with what matters most."

—Jonathan Fields, author of How to Live a Good Life and Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

"Courtney Carver’s new book  Soulful Simplicity is a practical roadmap for embracing the beauty of less and making room in our lives for what matters most."

Ali Edwards, Craft the story.™

"In a world where so much of the messaging around radical simplicity is just about living with less stuff,  Soulful Simplicity prescribes a lifestyle filled with a lot more of one thing: love. What our heart needs is a huge part of the equation, and Courtney teaches us how to make sure we''re listening to it." 

Cait Flanders, author of The Year of Less

"A gentle, compassionate guide to making more space in your home, more time in your day, and more love in your heart. Courtney’s personal story provides powerful inspiration to live a simpler, more intentional life."

—Francine Jay, missminimalist.com

“Courtney Carver understands that simplifying involves more than decluttering—it’s about habits, appreciation, discipline, and love.”

Joshua Fields Millburn, theminimalists.com

"Courtney Carver’s book is vulnerable and helpful. Courtney shows us that living simply goes beyond decluttering your closets and junk drawers. She gently illustrates that simplicity is the way back to connection, peace, good health, and love."
 
Tammy Strobel, RowdyKittens.com 

"Soulful Simplicity is the kind of book you keep on your kitchen table so you can dip in when you have five minutes to yourself. I love how Courtney inspires the reader with her own story and then holds your hand through the process of making real change — the kind of changes you  want to make. There are so many gems in this book!"
 
—Susannah Conway, author of This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart

"With humility, honesty and authenticity, Courtney Carver invites each of us to find greater simplicity in life–and provides a practical roadmap for us to find it in our own unique way."
 
—Joshua Becker, Founder of Becoming Minimalist and Author of The More of Less.

“If organizing your stuff worked, you''d be organized by now. Get this book for its strategic "how"s, and even more powerful "why"s. 

 — Derek Sivers, sivers.org

About the Author

Courtney Carver launched her blog "Be More with Less" in 2010 and is one of the top bloggers in the world on the subject of minimalism. She has been featured in countless articles, podcasts, and interviews on simplicity, and is the creator of the minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333, which was featured in O Magazine and Real Simple.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

An Ironic Diagnosis

I could feel the gadolinium contrast pushing through my vein. A wave of warmth rushed up my arm, and then through my entire body. I knew my face was flushed. Then, as they slid me back into the MRI machine, nausea hit, and then the panic. "There is no room to sit up. I am going to throw up and choke on my own vomit." My head was in a plastic cage snapped tightly shut, my arms were down by my side, and the machine started to shake and sounded like ten thousand jackhammers. I hadn''t let myself get really scared until now. For months, I''d been fighting vertigo, fatigue, and other symptoms, chalking it all up to stress and an ear infection. I was training for the Harmon''s MS 150, a cycling event in Salt Lake City, in the spring of 2006. I was going to our local recreation center for indoor training sessions because it was still too cold to ride outdoors.

I didn''t know much about multiple sclerosis, but my boss had it. I worked for a publishing company and the owner was in a wheelchair. When I first started working for him, I didn''t know what was wrong with him and I was too intimidated to ask. Even though he was in a wheelchair, he was a powerhouse. He was committed to his company and enjoyed the stressful nature of the business, and made it more stressful whenever he could. Eventually, I found John''s softer side. I had great respect for him and his wife even though we couldn''t be more different. That stress they thrived on twisted me up. Once I got to know them better and had been with the company for almost two years, I decided to raise money for MS research by participating in the 150-kilometer ride. I wasn''t sure if I''d ride the whole thing but I was looking forward to trying. I wanted to raise money for MS research, but I was really riding for John, for his softer side.

It was a stressful spring, and there were several events that likely triggered the exacerbation that led to my diagnosis. I was working long hours and had volunteered to chair the annual auction at my daughter''s school. I took a little detour from my cycling training and went to visit my sister, who lived in Germany. I was so excited to see her, my brother-in-law, and my niece and nephew. We didn''t see each other very often because we were an ocean apart, but we talked almost every day or exchanged messages. We weren''t always the best of friends when we were kids, but we get closer and closer year after year. Bailey, Mark, and I went together and we had a blast. Between afternoon prosecco toasts celebrating our reunion and late nights, though, I completely stressed out my already stressed-out body. Add work deadlines and jet lag, and it''s no wonder that I didn''t feel well when I got back. My grandfather died that spring too. Research shows stress can cause MS relapses or episodes. I was just getting by in the craziness of my life, just making ends meet, just barely handling it. On the outside, it looked like balance. On the inside, it felt like hell. Losing my grandfather tipped the scales.

When my grandfather died, he was living in an AlzheimerÕs facility. It was always hard to visit him because he always remembered me, but couldnÕt really remember why he was there, why he didnÕt have his driverÕs license, and why his life was gone, but he was still here. On the day he died, I spent most of the day with him. His eyes were closed and he was lying down, but he wasnÕt peaceful. He was agitated, frustrated, restless. Pissed, really. Not completely lucid, but feisty and verbal. Some things never change. He kept raising his arms up and saying ÒLift me up, pull me up,Ó over and over again. IÕd lift him up and fluff his pillow and heÕd start all over again. I could not make him comfortable. IÕve lost people before. Friends, my grandmother, other more distant relatives, but IÕve never been with them when they left. It wasnÕt the peaceful passing I had heard about. It was volatile and awful.

For months I had nightmares about my grandfather yelling at me, "Lift me up, pull me up!" Those words and moments haunted me. About six months after he died, I asked a minister at my church to meet me for coffee so I could tell her how mad I was that God let my grandfather die like that and I couldn''t help him. I couldn''t ease his pain. I repeated the words. I said, "He kept yelling at me and raising his arms: ''Lift me up. Pull me up.''" After a moment of quiet contemplation, she looked at me and said very matter-of-factly, "Maybe he wasn''t talking to you."

I thought about each of those stressful moments as I lay in the MRI tube, choking down the bile rising in my throat, and pushing back tears and panic, I started to pray, or plead, or some messy combination of the two, trapped in the tiny tube. "Please don''t let me die in this machine. Please don''t let me have a brain tumor or some crazy disease. Get me out of here. Get me out of here." By "here," I meant the machine, the hospital, the day, and the nightmare. Get me out of here.

I was living in the perfect storm of stress in my life: lack of sleep, overworking, jet lag, regular life stress, and the loss of someone I had loved my whole life. The vertigo was joined by overwhelming fatigue, tingly hands, and a numbness in part of my face. I was sad, tired, and completely depleted and sick. I thought the vertigo was an ear infection and my doctor thought so too, at least that''s what he told me. Two weeks later, I still couldn''t walk a straight line, let alone ride a bike, and I went back to the doctor. We started with MRIs of the head. Lesions suggested something, but nothing definitive. More tests: ear testing, eye testing, spinal cord MRIs, heart ultrasounds. Was I having mini strokes? Did I have ALS? The last test, a spinal tap, sealed the deal.

That''s when I got the phone call from my doctor at the neurology office. At first, she told me I didn''t have MS, and we should take a "wait and see approach" to determine the next step. She said she was surprised no one had called me since they got the results the week before. I told her I had only had the test a few days ago. She said she had to call me back. Three minutes later, she called back and said, "Oops. I was looking at the wrong chart. Yep, you have MS."

This wasn''t the defining moment, although it felt like it for a while. It was the scariest moment and the messiest. My fate was delivered over the phone, while I was at work, as casually as "Do you want fries with that?" I didn''t know what to do with the information. I had no next step, no plan, only fear.

I had missed the MS ride, was diagnosed with MS while raising money for it, and still couldn''t get on my bike. I hung up the phone, cried all the way home, and took a Valium left over from treating the ear infection I never had.

Chapter Two

Let''s Go for Ice Cream

One of the hardest things I had to do was tell my daughter I was sick. I had checked some library books out a few weeks earlier and read nearly everything I could about MS. Because I didn''t know if I had it or not, I wasn''t as interested in the treatments as the symptoms. What was going to happen to my body if I did have MS? Nothing good, according to these books. I could go blind or get double vision from optic neuritis, I might lose or struggle with bowel and bladder function, experience cognitive decline or end up in a wheelchair. These books were decades old, and conventional treatments had only been available for less than twenty years. They made MS sound like a death sentence-or worse-in my mind. I knew the first thing I had to do was tell everyone what was happening. It never crossed my mind to keep this a secret even though I knew it would be scary to talk about it. What would people think? Did they even know what MS was? The adults in my immediate family knew what was going on, but other family, friends, and coworkers had no idea.

The last person in the family I told was my daughter. It was the conversation I was dreading most. Bailey and I are close. She is my everything. I was divorced when she was three, after seven years of marriage, although I knew I''d be leaving from the day she was born. Raising a child for so many years alone provides a unique bond. Bailey and I are so alike. People tell us all the time that we even use the same facial expressions. I could never say in words how I feel about this child, and that''s why telling her that I was sick was so hard. I peeked into her bedroom and said, "Let''s go for ice cream." I took her to an ice-cream shop down the street from our house. For some reason, I thought a happy place would discount or offset the sad news. I also needed the leverage of an environment that would keep her from running to her room. I wanted space for emotion, for questions, for comfort. Most of all, I just wanted to soften the blow.

We sat down at the table with our cups of ice cream and I attempted to make small talk. And then I said, "Remember how I had vertigo and was going to the doctor?" Of course she did. And then I said something ridiculous like "Don''t be scared" or "This isn''t as bad as it sounds," and before I said another word, tears pooled in her eyes, her beautiful brown eyes. And I said, "I have MS." She started crying and said, "I knew it." She left her ice cream and ran out the door. I followed her, unlocked the car, and we both got in the backseat. I felt like I was stealing her childhood and wanted to cry. Not for me or the MS, but because I couldn''t possibly know what was going on in that little heart and brain. I knew she was strong enough to go through this with me, but my instinct to protect her was strong too. I understood why so many parents hide the pain they are experiencing from their children. I quickly told her the two things I thought she needed to hear, and that I fiercely believed in that moment: "I''m not going to die" and "You aren''t going to get it." We cried and cuddled in the backseat for a while and when she calmed down enough, I brought her home and we relocated to her bedroom. We jumped in her bed, cuddled up, and talked quietly. She told me that she had seen the library books about MS in the car a few weeks ago. I told her I didn''t know then, that it was only a possibility. Had I known she was already worried, I would have started the conversation sooner. See, kids are smart. They see and hear things. If you''ve ever tried to hide something from your children, you know what I mean. If we don''t step in and share with them and include them, they imagine things much worse than reality. I told her that while things felt really scary right now, that was going to change. I told her that MS wasn''t going to be the center of our lives and that after a few months, it would become the new normal. As we both calmed down and kept talking, my uncertainty began to melt. In that moment, I went from scared and worried to knowing that I would fight for my health and win. I would do that for us.

We fell asleep, and when we woke up we were a little less scared than the night before.

Chapter Three

Love and Other Drugs

Let''s start with the love part. Love was more powerful than any conventional therapy I tried. It still is. In the beginning, love was . . . the calls with my sister when I didn''t know what was wrong with me. She was across the ocean but it felt like she was holding my hand. Love was the way my husband found a thousand ways to help me before I even knew how to ask for help. Love was how my parents rallied around me and said they would do anything to help. Love was the time my daughter got in trouble for writing about the benefits of stem cell therapy for MS at her Catholic school, and love was when my sister-in-law organized a cycling team, Team TLC (the team who loves Courtney), to raise funds for MS research. All of those loving things, along with many others, healed me.

For the Love of Puppy Breath

Three weeks after my MS diagnosis, we happened to be watching a local pet adoption cable channel, and our hearts broke over every sad pet story. We weren''t considering a puppy, even though Bailey had wanted one, so I''m not exactly sure how we got hooked on that channel. Then a dog named Lloyd was featured. Lloyd was a little black puppy with brain damage. I thought about my recent MRI scans. I had brain damage too. "We''re meant for each other," I thought. Before I knew it, my heart (or my brain damage) took over and I said, "We''re adopting Lloyd." I was usually the voice of reason in the family-or at least willing to discuss big decisions before jumping-but I had made up my mind. My husband was speechless, and my daughter hugged me.

I was over the moon. I thought I wanted to heal Lloyd, but what I really wanted was for Lloyd to heal me and to heal our family. We needed some good news, something to lift our spirits after weeks of scary health stuff. Lloyd seemed like the perfect lift. After talking with Lloyd''s foster mom, though, we learned that his needs were far outside our capabilities. Lloyd needed a stay-at-home parent, and I wasn''t that. I was a busy, working mom with a chronic disease. I didn''t have the time that Lloyd deserved. It was heartbreaking to realize Lloyd wouldn''t become part of our family, but once I had said "yes" to one puppy, we couldn''t close the door. We decided to look at other puppies. Clearly, my desire for simplicity hadn''t kicked in yet. I just wanted some relief from the pain and heaviness. I wanted to be light.

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Top reviews from the United States

Orlando
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Heartfelt, but not enough of a sense of audience
Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2018
I''ve been reading and listening to books on simplicity and minimalism lately, and this is one of the less helpful books I''ve come across. I had heard about Courtney Carver''s inspiring story, on the Minimalism documentary and through Joshua Becker''s book The More of Less,... See more
I''ve been reading and listening to books on simplicity and minimalism lately, and this is one of the less helpful books I''ve come across. I had heard about Courtney Carver''s inspiring story, on the Minimalism documentary and through Joshua Becker''s book The More of Less, and I''ve read her blog. She''s also from my region of the country, and has a family, so when I found out that she had a book, I knew I wanted to read or listen to it. In the end, I listened to it, but it was a ponderous listen. There wasn''t enough narrative to keep me interested, and I was surprised at what was there (a story about getting a dog) and what wasn''t (a fully developed narrative about how her diagnosis with MS resulted in her decision to live life differently). In addition, the advice was so persistent (so much use of the imperative!) that I was turned off, even though I found the advice itself in line with my values. Overall, the Carver of the book comes across as weirdly navel gazing, even though her blog does not. As others have said, I think that the blog is better than the book. Overall, I think that there are more engaging and far more inspiring books on Minmalism out there, such as Fumio Sasaki''s Goodbye Things, and Joshua Becker''s The More of Less.
99 people found this helpful
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Kathye A.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Soulful Simplicity has helped me better understand the emotional burden of my physical clutter
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2018
As a mother of three children who is emotionally attached to way too many things, this book helped me realize that my home has become a storage space. Not a living space. Soulful Simplicity has helped me better understand the emotional burden of my physical clutter, and... See more
As a mother of three children who is emotionally attached to way too many things, this book helped me realize that my home has become a storage space. Not a living space. Soulful Simplicity has helped me better understand the emotional burden of my physical clutter, and how it has contributed to my mental clutter. The helpful action steps listed at the end of each section have helped me with the following:
- understand how simplifying my life will benefit me;
- create new measures of success;
- let go of the guilt attached to items in my piles of clutter;
- learn how to better protect my time for things/people that truly matter to me;
- identify my biggest personal contributor to clutter (I can''t get rid of this "just in case"...);
- identify why I have such a hard time working on reducing my clutter (decision fatigue!); and
- understand manageable strategies for how to simplify your life in a sustainable manner.
I highly recommend this book for those who recognize the need to simplify and simply need gentle nudges in the right direction.
56 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A MUST BUY book!
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2018
Purchased this book as a gift to myself after hearing about it on a blog. OMG, excellent book! Easy to read, very well written and sheesh, this woman is so spot on! Super scary how she GETS ME and KNOWS my feelings and thoughts (cuz she has had all of them too!). For all... See more
Purchased this book as a gift to myself after hearing about it on a blog. OMG, excellent book! Easy to read, very well written and sheesh, this woman is so spot on! Super scary how she GETS ME and KNOWS my feelings and thoughts (cuz she has had all of them too!). For all of you out there who over-extend yourselves at everything in your lives, who give too much (til it hurts!) you must buy this book and finally try and help yourself to realize that it is OK to take care of YOU! There really are EASY tools you can take, even just in baby steps, and succeed at being happier and healthier in EVERY part of your life. Im really TRYING to learn how to take care of ME, after spending all of my 55 years taking care of EVERYONE else FIRST and leaving myself to the very LAST. Which, as you may know, NEVER HAPPENS. No time left after spending it all on a demanding job (or two jobs! Or, three! That’s me!), on keeping a house/yards up, keeping a spouse fulfilled and happy, keeping a boss impressed by your work, keeping a child thriving and healthy, taking care of aging parents and friends who are “needy” with needing help in how to make sense of their lives. Anyway, this is an excellent book. This woman is fantastic in a VERY down to earth way. I’d LOVE to attend one of her speaking engagements. Fingers crossed that happens!
34 people found this helpful
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Camp Follower
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not Just Decluttering!
Reviewed in the United States on January 23, 2018
This may be one of the few "how to simplify your life" books that is not all about cluttering and tidying up. In sharing her own journey to a simple lifestyle, Courtney Carver encourages the reader to consider the "why''s" behind a desire for simplicity more... See more
This may be one of the few "how to simplify your life" books that is not all about cluttering and tidying up. In sharing her own journey to a simple lifestyle, Courtney Carver encourages the reader to consider the "why''s" behind a desire for simplicity more than the "how''s," and suggests that this journey will be and should different for everyone. She does gives tips and guidelines for pairing down, but not as checklists that, if rigorously followed, will lead to a perfectly organized home and schedule. Rather the suggestions are presented as a series of options to try on and discard or adopt as appropriate. You decide what you want/need less of and discover along the way how that specific less can become more for you and yours. While most books on simplifying do mention effects it might have on the people one lives with (usually in the form of "clutter your stuff and your spouse/partner/kids/roommates will jump on the simplicity bandwagon), Carver focuses on the relationships themselves and how a journey toward a simpler way of life can positively affect them. I can think of no better reason to get started.
19 people found this helpful
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JReppy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tips for a more fulfulling life
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2018
This was a very interesting, thought-provoking, and challenging book. The author uses her own experience (a diagnosis of MS and the changes that required of her life) to explain the benefits of adopting a simpler life, less beholden to belongings and societal expectations... See more
This was a very interesting, thought-provoking, and challenging book. The author uses her own experience (a diagnosis of MS and the changes that required of her life) to explain the benefits of adopting a simpler life, less beholden to belongings and societal expectations of "success" and a "good life." She explains the way she simplified her life -- eliminating debt, downsizing her home, getting rid of many of her belongings, changing her approach to what was important -- and how this allowed her to experience life more deeply and more fully and to be a better mother, wife, and friend. What I particularly liked about the book was that the author was open about her struggles, acknowledging that some of the changes were particularly difficult and that it took her years to figure things out (and that this process was still ongoing). She explains the actions she took and makes suggestions for how readers can go about making certain changes in their lives, but she does not claim that her methods are the only way or the "right" way for everyone. I hope to implement many of her suggestions in my own life.
20 people found this helpful
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@simplyhandwriting
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you are going to read only book about simple living this year, let it be this one.
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2018
I have been following the Be More With Less blog for quite some time, and dressed according to the Project333 wardrobe challenge for a couple of years, and must admit I was wondering if the book would add something that I had not already learned from the blog. But there was... See more
I have been following the Be More With Less blog for quite some time, and dressed according to the Project333 wardrobe challenge for a couple of years, and must admit I was wondering if the book would add something that I had not already learned from the blog. But there was room for an even more personal voice in the book, and I did feel it completed the picture that I had formed in my mind of the person Courtney Carver.
As an INFJ, I have read more than my share of self-help books, as I am on a lifelong quest of improving myself. And this is among the top three books I have read about mindfulness and simple living. What makes this book so special? I think it is the love. The book is so steeped in love, I am surprised it doesn''t jump off the shelf and hug people in book stores. I certainly felt loved and hugged when reading it.
14 people found this helpful
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christine johnson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Yes, get the book!
Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2018
Yes, get the book, you will thank yourself. And then you will thank Courtney Carver. As strange as this sounds, just holding the book made me feel calm. It''s just the right size, the cover and pages had that soft feel and "new book" smell. I received the book in... See more
Yes, get the book, you will thank yourself. And then you will thank Courtney Carver. As strange as this sounds, just holding the book made me feel calm. It''s just the right size, the cover and pages had that soft feel and "new book" smell. I received the book in December and enjoyed it over winter break and will be reading the book again, so that I can let the words sink in.This was the first book, in a long time, that I thought truly came from the heart of the author. Courtney tells her story, she introduces new ideas and they all meld together in an entertaining and informative way.
7 people found this helpful
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P. Greer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
More than just decluttering.
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2018
I read Courtney Carver’s blog, Be More with Less, so when I learned she was releasing a book called Soulful Simplicity, it sounded like something I wanted to listen to. (This review is for the audio book.) Soulful Simplicity goes into detail about Courtney being... See more
I read Courtney Carver’s blog, Be More with Less, so when I learned she was releasing a book called Soulful Simplicity, it sounded like something I wanted to listen to. (This review is for the audio book.)

Soulful Simplicity goes into detail about Courtney being diagnosed with MS. How facing that sort of diagnosis with al of the stress that she had going on in her life, forced her to rethink what is important to her. What she discovered was that by getting rid of things that weren’t important, she had more time and energy to focus on the things that mattered.

I’ve been reading a lot about this subject lately, and I don’t really know that this book added that much more to it. However, I do believe in constantly exposing myself to these ides, reminding myself of what I want to accomplish. She went further than I would probably go, getting rid of her house and moving into a tiny apartment. I like my house and yard, I just wish I didn’t have it crammed full of stuff.

A good read. More words of wisdom about simplifying and discovering what is truly important. Not just decluttering, but also focusing on health and relationships.
10 people found this helpful
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Norfolkboy7
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good read ,
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2018
I have been very interested in minimalism for a number of years and have read a lot of Courtney Carvers blogs and others on the same subject , these people have a lot courage to write about a subject which many would laugh at . I urge people to read Courtney''s book along...See more
I have been very interested in minimalism for a number of years and have read a lot of Courtney Carvers blogs and others on the same subject , these people have a lot courage to write about a subject which many would laugh at . I urge people to read Courtney''s book along with her blogs it will open your eyes .
6 people found this helpful
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lizzparagon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2018
I loved this book and the openness of Courtney’s journey and story. Courtney shares her soul in her journey to Soulful Simplicity which is appreciated throughout. Inspirational true story with lots of take always.
6 people found this helpful
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valeria
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Was unsure at first due to price but very glad I
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 8, 2018
I follow the blog and wanted to read the book. Was unsure at first due to price but very glad I did
3 people found this helpful
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Hana Saffron
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing reminder how to slow down
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2018
It’s a lovely book reminding us how to live our lives simply and fully. I really like Courtney Carver and follow her blog for some time.
One person found this helpful
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Katie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read to start the new year
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2020
I love this book for its practicality and its honesty. I’m a bit tired of gurus who have it all figured out - Courtney is very open about being on her own imperfect journey and gracious enough to encourage the reader to accompany her.
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Description

Product Description

Courtney Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.

We are often on a quest for more—we give in to pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more. For Carver, this constant striving had to come to a stop when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Stress was like gasoline on the fire of symptoms, and it became clear that she needed to root out the physical and psychological clutter that were the source of her debt and discontent.
     In this book, she shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we can create more with less—more space, more time, and even more love. Carver invites us to look at the big picture, discover what''s most important to us, and reclaim lightness and ease by getting rid of all the excess things.

Review

"There''s an age-old fallacy that more stuff equals more happiness. Research and Carver''s beautiful new book lead us to the truth: happiness, joy, and love can very much derive from a whole lot less.”

Shawn Achor, happiness researcher, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage

"Soulful Simplicity encourages conscious minimalism from the inside out. It''s a heartfelt yet practical guide for making life simple again. Courtney''s story is relatable in so many ways — she lets you walk in her shoes so you can see the mental and physical steps she took to escape a stressful life that literally almost killed her. This book has made me laugh, smile, and take action towards living a life uncluttered by most of the needless things people fill their lives with, leaving me with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing, and stress, but instead contemplation, creation, and connection with people and projects I love."

—Angel Chernoff, Author and Coach, Marc and Angel Hack Life

"Courtney Carver reminds us that simplicity isn''t just about being organized, it''s about getting back to love. With simple genius, Marie Kondo taught us how to declutter our homes, now it''s time to let Courtney Carver take us to a deeper place. To refine our lives, and reconnect with what matters most."

—Jonathan Fields, author of How to Live a Good Life and Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

"Courtney Carver’s new book  Soulful Simplicity is a practical roadmap for embracing the beauty of less and making room in our lives for what matters most."

Ali Edwards, Craft the story.™

"In a world where so much of the messaging around radical simplicity is just about living with less stuff,  Soulful Simplicity prescribes a lifestyle filled with a lot more of one thing: love. What our heart needs is a huge part of the equation, and Courtney teaches us how to make sure we''re listening to it." 

Cait Flanders, author of The Year of Less

"A gentle, compassionate guide to making more space in your home, more time in your day, and more love in your heart. Courtney’s personal story provides powerful inspiration to live a simpler, more intentional life."

—Francine Jay, missminimalist.com

“Courtney Carver understands that simplifying involves more than decluttering—it’s about habits, appreciation, discipline, and love.”

Joshua Fields Millburn, theminimalists.com

"Courtney Carver’s book is vulnerable and helpful. Courtney shows us that living simply goes beyond decluttering your closets and junk drawers. She gently illustrates that simplicity is the way back to connection, peace, good health, and love."
 
Tammy Strobel, RowdyKittens.com 

"Soulful Simplicity is the kind of book you keep on your kitchen table so you can dip in when you have five minutes to yourself. I love how Courtney inspires the reader with her own story and then holds your hand through the process of making real change — the kind of changes you  want to make. There are so many gems in this book!"
 
—Susannah Conway, author of This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart

"With humility, honesty and authenticity, Courtney Carver invites each of us to find greater simplicity in life–and provides a practical roadmap for us to find it in our own unique way."
 
—Joshua Becker, Founder of Becoming Minimalist and Author of The More of Less.

“If organizing your stuff worked, you''d be organized by now. Get this book for its strategic "how"s, and even more powerful "why"s. 

 — Derek Sivers, sivers.org

About the Author

Courtney Carver launched her blog "Be More with Less" in 2010 and is one of the top bloggers in the world on the subject of minimalism. She has been featured in countless articles, podcasts, and interviews on simplicity, and is the creator of the minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333, which was featured in O Magazine and Real Simple.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

An Ironic Diagnosis

I could feel the gadolinium contrast pushing through my vein. A wave of warmth rushed up my arm, and then through my entire body. I knew my face was flushed. Then, as they slid me back into the MRI machine, nausea hit, and then the panic. "There is no room to sit up. I am going to throw up and choke on my own vomit." My head was in a plastic cage snapped tightly shut, my arms were down by my side, and the machine started to shake and sounded like ten thousand jackhammers. I hadn''t let myself get really scared until now. For months, I''d been fighting vertigo, fatigue, and other symptoms, chalking it all up to stress and an ear infection. I was training for the Harmon''s MS 150, a cycling event in Salt Lake City, in the spring of 2006. I was going to our local recreation center for indoor training sessions because it was still too cold to ride outdoors.

I didn''t know much about multiple sclerosis, but my boss had it. I worked for a publishing company and the owner was in a wheelchair. When I first started working for him, I didn''t know what was wrong with him and I was too intimidated to ask. Even though he was in a wheelchair, he was a powerhouse. He was committed to his company and enjoyed the stressful nature of the business, and made it more stressful whenever he could. Eventually, I found John''s softer side. I had great respect for him and his wife even though we couldn''t be more different. That stress they thrived on twisted me up. Once I got to know them better and had been with the company for almost two years, I decided to raise money for MS research by participating in the 150-kilometer ride. I wasn''t sure if I''d ride the whole thing but I was looking forward to trying. I wanted to raise money for MS research, but I was really riding for John, for his softer side.

It was a stressful spring, and there were several events that likely triggered the exacerbation that led to my diagnosis. I was working long hours and had volunteered to chair the annual auction at my daughter''s school. I took a little detour from my cycling training and went to visit my sister, who lived in Germany. I was so excited to see her, my brother-in-law, and my niece and nephew. We didn''t see each other very often because we were an ocean apart, but we talked almost every day or exchanged messages. We weren''t always the best of friends when we were kids, but we get closer and closer year after year. Bailey, Mark, and I went together and we had a blast. Between afternoon prosecco toasts celebrating our reunion and late nights, though, I completely stressed out my already stressed-out body. Add work deadlines and jet lag, and it''s no wonder that I didn''t feel well when I got back. My grandfather died that spring too. Research shows stress can cause MS relapses or episodes. I was just getting by in the craziness of my life, just making ends meet, just barely handling it. On the outside, it looked like balance. On the inside, it felt like hell. Losing my grandfather tipped the scales.

When my grandfather died, he was living in an AlzheimerÕs facility. It was always hard to visit him because he always remembered me, but couldnÕt really remember why he was there, why he didnÕt have his driverÕs license, and why his life was gone, but he was still here. On the day he died, I spent most of the day with him. His eyes were closed and he was lying down, but he wasnÕt peaceful. He was agitated, frustrated, restless. Pissed, really. Not completely lucid, but feisty and verbal. Some things never change. He kept raising his arms up and saying ÒLift me up, pull me up,Ó over and over again. IÕd lift him up and fluff his pillow and heÕd start all over again. I could not make him comfortable. IÕve lost people before. Friends, my grandmother, other more distant relatives, but IÕve never been with them when they left. It wasnÕt the peaceful passing I had heard about. It was volatile and awful.

For months I had nightmares about my grandfather yelling at me, "Lift me up, pull me up!" Those words and moments haunted me. About six months after he died, I asked a minister at my church to meet me for coffee so I could tell her how mad I was that God let my grandfather die like that and I couldn''t help him. I couldn''t ease his pain. I repeated the words. I said, "He kept yelling at me and raising his arms: ''Lift me up. Pull me up.''" After a moment of quiet contemplation, she looked at me and said very matter-of-factly, "Maybe he wasn''t talking to you."

I thought about each of those stressful moments as I lay in the MRI tube, choking down the bile rising in my throat, and pushing back tears and panic, I started to pray, or plead, or some messy combination of the two, trapped in the tiny tube. "Please don''t let me die in this machine. Please don''t let me have a brain tumor or some crazy disease. Get me out of here. Get me out of here." By "here," I meant the machine, the hospital, the day, and the nightmare. Get me out of here.

I was living in the perfect storm of stress in my life: lack of sleep, overworking, jet lag, regular life stress, and the loss of someone I had loved my whole life. The vertigo was joined by overwhelming fatigue, tingly hands, and a numbness in part of my face. I was sad, tired, and completely depleted and sick. I thought the vertigo was an ear infection and my doctor thought so too, at least that''s what he told me. Two weeks later, I still couldn''t walk a straight line, let alone ride a bike, and I went back to the doctor. We started with MRIs of the head. Lesions suggested something, but nothing definitive. More tests: ear testing, eye testing, spinal cord MRIs, heart ultrasounds. Was I having mini strokes? Did I have ALS? The last test, a spinal tap, sealed the deal.

That''s when I got the phone call from my doctor at the neurology office. At first, she told me I didn''t have MS, and we should take a "wait and see approach" to determine the next step. She said she was surprised no one had called me since they got the results the week before. I told her I had only had the test a few days ago. She said she had to call me back. Three minutes later, she called back and said, "Oops. I was looking at the wrong chart. Yep, you have MS."

This wasn''t the defining moment, although it felt like it for a while. It was the scariest moment and the messiest. My fate was delivered over the phone, while I was at work, as casually as "Do you want fries with that?" I didn''t know what to do with the information. I had no next step, no plan, only fear.

I had missed the MS ride, was diagnosed with MS while raising money for it, and still couldn''t get on my bike. I hung up the phone, cried all the way home, and took a Valium left over from treating the ear infection I never had.

Chapter Two

Let''s Go for Ice Cream

One of the hardest things I had to do was tell my daughter I was sick. I had checked some library books out a few weeks earlier and read nearly everything I could about MS. Because I didn''t know if I had it or not, I wasn''t as interested in the treatments as the symptoms. What was going to happen to my body if I did have MS? Nothing good, according to these books. I could go blind or get double vision from optic neuritis, I might lose or struggle with bowel and bladder function, experience cognitive decline or end up in a wheelchair. These books were decades old, and conventional treatments had only been available for less than twenty years. They made MS sound like a death sentence-or worse-in my mind. I knew the first thing I had to do was tell everyone what was happening. It never crossed my mind to keep this a secret even though I knew it would be scary to talk about it. What would people think? Did they even know what MS was? The adults in my immediate family knew what was going on, but other family, friends, and coworkers had no idea.

The last person in the family I told was my daughter. It was the conversation I was dreading most. Bailey and I are close. She is my everything. I was divorced when she was three, after seven years of marriage, although I knew I''d be leaving from the day she was born. Raising a child for so many years alone provides a unique bond. Bailey and I are so alike. People tell us all the time that we even use the same facial expressions. I could never say in words how I feel about this child, and that''s why telling her that I was sick was so hard. I peeked into her bedroom and said, "Let''s go for ice cream." I took her to an ice-cream shop down the street from our house. For some reason, I thought a happy place would discount or offset the sad news. I also needed the leverage of an environment that would keep her from running to her room. I wanted space for emotion, for questions, for comfort. Most of all, I just wanted to soften the blow.

We sat down at the table with our cups of ice cream and I attempted to make small talk. And then I said, "Remember how I had vertigo and was going to the doctor?" Of course she did. And then I said something ridiculous like "Don''t be scared" or "This isn''t as bad as it sounds," and before I said another word, tears pooled in her eyes, her beautiful brown eyes. And I said, "I have MS." She started crying and said, "I knew it." She left her ice cream and ran out the door. I followed her, unlocked the car, and we both got in the backseat. I felt like I was stealing her childhood and wanted to cry. Not for me or the MS, but because I couldn''t possibly know what was going on in that little heart and brain. I knew she was strong enough to go through this with me, but my instinct to protect her was strong too. I understood why so many parents hide the pain they are experiencing from their children. I quickly told her the two things I thought she needed to hear, and that I fiercely believed in that moment: "I''m not going to die" and "You aren''t going to get it." We cried and cuddled in the backseat for a while and when she calmed down enough, I brought her home and we relocated to her bedroom. We jumped in her bed, cuddled up, and talked quietly. She told me that she had seen the library books about MS in the car a few weeks ago. I told her I didn''t know then, that it was only a possibility. Had I known she was already worried, I would have started the conversation sooner. See, kids are smart. They see and hear things. If you''ve ever tried to hide something from your children, you know what I mean. If we don''t step in and share with them and include them, they imagine things much worse than reality. I told her that while things felt really scary right now, that was going to change. I told her that MS wasn''t going to be the center of our lives and that after a few months, it would become the new normal. As we both calmed down and kept talking, my uncertainty began to melt. In that moment, I went from scared and worried to knowing that I would fight for my health and win. I would do that for us.

We fell asleep, and when we woke up we were a little less scared than the night before.

Chapter Three

Love and Other Drugs

Let''s start with the love part. Love was more powerful than any conventional therapy I tried. It still is. In the beginning, love was . . . the calls with my sister when I didn''t know what was wrong with me. She was across the ocean but it felt like she was holding my hand. Love was the way my husband found a thousand ways to help me before I even knew how to ask for help. Love was how my parents rallied around me and said they would do anything to help. Love was the time my daughter got in trouble for writing about the benefits of stem cell therapy for MS at her Catholic school, and love was when my sister-in-law organized a cycling team, Team TLC (the team who loves Courtney), to raise funds for MS research. All of those loving things, along with many others, healed me.

For the Love of Puppy Breath

Three weeks after my MS diagnosis, we happened to be watching a local pet adoption cable channel, and our hearts broke over every sad pet story. We weren''t considering a puppy, even though Bailey had wanted one, so I''m not exactly sure how we got hooked on that channel. Then a dog named Lloyd was featured. Lloyd was a little black puppy with brain damage. I thought about my recent MRI scans. I had brain damage too. "We''re meant for each other," I thought. Before I knew it, my heart (or my brain damage) took over and I said, "We''re adopting Lloyd." I was usually the voice of reason in the family-or at least willing to discuss big decisions before jumping-but I had made up my mind. My husband was speechless, and my daughter hugged me.

I was over the moon. I thought I wanted to heal Lloyd, but what I really wanted was for Lloyd to heal me and to heal our family. We needed some good news, something to lift our spirits after weeks of scary health stuff. Lloyd seemed like the perfect lift. After talking with Lloyd''s foster mom, though, we learned that his needs were far outside our capabilities. Lloyd needed a stay-at-home parent, and I wasn''t that. I was a busy, working mom with a chronic disease. I didn''t have the time that Lloyd deserved. It was heartbreaking to realize Lloyd wouldn''t become part of our family, but once I had said "yes" to one puppy, we couldn''t close the door. We decided to look at other puppies. Clearly, my desire for simplicity hadn''t kicked in yet. I just wanted some relief from the pain and heaviness. I wanted to be light.

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