If I could wrap up this book as simply as possible, I would say that it was truly inspiring, enlightening and gives us a pinch of a reminder for what we already know deep inside. Living life each day is an experience that all 7 billion of us have. If you have ever questioned “What is the meaning of my life?” then you are not alone. After reading the book, I feel that I don’t question that so intently, because there is more of an acceptance and understanding that our existence is to live life the best we can. We are here for merely a moment, and so it would be far more enjoyable to strive for a life lived with true happiness. The book touches on three sections: Materialism and Minimalism, Body and Mind.
When I first began reading the book, I assumed that it would only touch on living with less materials (eg. clothing) and only having what is important, useful and valued. However, the book touches on all aspects of everyday life and how we are all capable of living a fulfilled life. The clothing we wear each day, is important in how we feel about ourselves. The clutter in the spaces of our lives, can have a bigger affect on us than we may realise. By removing things that we do not need or that are only there because of an emotional attachment, we can surround our life with the essentials. When I lived at home as a child or even in the space I live in today, there was always a character of simplicity. This allowed more space to move around, less cleaning of unnecessary and unused objects and a greater appreciation for what one already has.
In consumerism we are convinced we need more and more, when in fact, we only need what we need. It seems so clear and transparent, yet it is often looked past, and people will spend money on things that are only to fill temporary happiness and are not for long term use. Looking after your body, also comes from what you put inside of it. Loreau talks about how we should only eat when we are hungry. As previously mentioned, many of the lessons and wisdom that are mentioned in the book are things that most of us know deep down in our hearts. It’s all a matter of practicing these values and incorporating them into our lives. She talks about how stress is created from our mind, and the level of power our mind and our thoughts have over our lives. Stress is a creation of thoughts and scenarios, which do no occur 90% of the time.
When it comes to relationships, our lives are far better lived when we simplify our contacts. Detox people who are toxic and end relationships that give you no support. Loreau mentions that “You don’t have to bare your soul to someone to be close with them.” It is incredibly true. It’s the company we are in and even the comfortable silences with a friend that can bring true pleasure. The book touches on many many other topics, however the one thing that radiates throughout is the matter of having self-love, good values and gratitude for the small things. The kindness we surround ourselves and that we act on will have a greater affect on the life we live. We have more than we need to live a well balanced and satisfactory life. It all comes down to how we choose to live it.
The key to loving how you live is in knowing what it is you truly love. – Sarah Ban Breathnach