Less is the new more

Insight from Thriving Women.

Writing contribution by Amy Chlebek Lloyd, MS, LPC


Could it be that in trying to do more, we are missing what is right in front of us?

With the New Year underway, we can take a few moments and reflect on what carried meaning to us in 2016. The first image that probably does not come to mind is the “to do” list or completion of it. In fact when we try to do more, many times it makes us less available to others, drains our energy and makes it more difficult to focus. Picture jumping on a hamster wheel with nowhere to exit or slow down. When we are caught up in the cycle of the daily grind, it isolates us from others and makes it almost impossible to be present with ourselves. The reverse can also occur when we get hooked on the adrenaline rush of buying, consuming, and over-exercising with similar detrimental results.

Rather than filling our lives with meaningless to-dos
and ending up going through the motions, we can experience benefits from simplifying and being
present in the moment.

Have you ever been out and seen a family together having dinner yet no one is interacting because everyone is on their phones? Technology is meant to free up time and yet it consumes hours of the day due to the bombardment of information. Let’s remember for a moment gathering around a dinner table sharing a meal having conversation without distraction of electronics. Our most fulfilling moments are often when we take the time to truly engage with our families and friends.

Maybe this is why people love small children and pets; they live in the moment and when we connect with them we can allow ourselves that space to be playful and available. There is little anxiety in a child’s face when she is laughing or tension when a dog is playing in a field. It’s pure presence without the stress or fear of the future.

The great Chinese philosopher by the name of Lao Tzu once said:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Here are few ideas using ‘less is more’ to create greater peace:

• Perhaps you have 10 items on your to-do list. Before hopping on the hamster wheel, ask yourself is this something I really need to do today? The answer may surprise you. Pick two or three meaningful items to accomplish in the day.

• Try a yoga class or practice. In yoga, students attempt connecting body and mind through the breath. Do not turn it into a “to-do”; instead try observing it as a doorway to center and slow down.

• Practice mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.


• Walk for mental clarity.
Let go of the app that asks you to take 10,000 steps a day and allow yourself to become aware of senses around you
such as the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

As we feel the pressure of the typical New Year’s resolutions like preserving a youthful body, getting promoted at work or raising the perfect kids, let’s take a step back and return our focus to what is meaningful in our lives and what we can do to engage and enhance it. Often it’s simply being present in our relationships and pursuing our passions at a mindful pace.

As 2017 unfolds, take time to pay attention to ways you can allow less to equal more in your life and be open to the gifts of each day.

 


About Amy.

Amy Chlebek Lloyd is a licensed professional counselor with over ten years’ experience in private practice. She holds a Master of Science degree in professional counseling and worked for a leading psychiatric and addiction hospital in Atlanta. Amy’s specialties include complex PTSD, addiction, anxiety, depression, food issues and stress management. Her clinical focus is individual, couples and groups using psychoanalytic and cognitive techniques. Amy’s undergraduate degree is in Aviation Engineering and she has experience in the corporate setting.

Trained and certified in yoga and barre, Amy has led 12-step support groups, yoga retreats, mindfulness and meditation education and barre classes. More recently, she studied plant-based nutrition at Cornell University due to her interest in the science and psychology of healthy eating. Amy lives in a northern suburb of Atlanta with her husband and two step sons ages 22 and 19.

 

Comments

comments ()

Powered by Facebook Comments

Leave a reply

  1. DT
    January 26, 2017, 9:05 EST

    Aim. This is such a powerful message. I think many of us walk around daily with our “minds full”. I appreciate your approach and helpful thoughts on editing our days tasks and enjoying life as we become more mindful!.

    xo
    D

    • Amy Chlebek Lloyd
      January 27, 2017, 6:26 EST

      D-
      Thanks for sharing on Be You and Thrive! You do a wonderful job.
      -a

  2. Amy Chlebek Lloyd
    January 27, 2017, 6:24 EST

    Norma,

    Please feel free to use whatever you like. I’m honored you would like to include it on your work page.

    Amy

  3. Marquette LaRee
    February 1, 2017, 8:47 EST

    Yes! The past two years we’ve really tried to implement less is more physically, and now I’m trying to learn to do it with my time and business. It’s hard! But it is so worth it personally and for my family!

    • MightyD
      February 1, 2017, 10:07 EST

      I love the intention you put toward applying ‘less is more’ in your family and business! Thanks for sharing Marquette! xo~D