Simple things really are the key to increasing quality of life. Raising cattle and kids is our specialty at Simple Acres. Well, might not be our specialty at all times as we have some humorous mishaps along the way. (Read here and here.) Humor builds happiness…right ? Farming life has truly been a gift in this journey towards leaning into simple living. The gift of acres of dirt has a way of keeping you grounded in work that keeps your hands dirty in God’s great earth and full of gratitude. Here’s a few insights I have gained in our journey that can help you gain as much quality and enjoyment out of your life.
1. Nature: Get outside daily if possible to take in the sounds of life, the sensation of the wind, sun or rain on your skin, feel nature in your hands. This world is so over busy and over stimulated with a lot of things that don’t pertain to our personal lives. Nature is a buffer for this for me. It reminds me there is something…may I say…even someone greater and ever-constant…just waiting for us to take in the glory of creation. Nature whispers wonderful things to us if we will listen.
2. Animals: Take time to just watch an animal live life for a few moments. They eat, sleep, play for the most part. Having cattle, I have come to appreciate their simple nature. Often I will watch them and just meditate on the message animals emulate. The message I hear is one of not making life more complicated than it really is. Not worrying so much and living in the moment doing the things that make you feel alive! Cows just stare at you at times…to me so curious! Ha! How much better would life be if we took more time for basic self care, took more time to play and carried more innocent curiosity to the gifts life can offer?
3. Get your hands dirty: This is one I’m learning to love (as we have started gardening this year) and appreciate when it comes to the other duties around our farm. It feels good to use the body for what it was created for. It builds a moment and opportunity to be grateful for what our body does for us instead of a number on a scale or trend.
4. Get creative and try something new: I have leaned into watercoloring…something I haven’t done for a decade. Trying something new with creativity brings focus to the moment we are in. Often my art reflects where I am at the day of creation, a very reflective and therapeutic process. Find a hobby and take time out with yourself.
5. Work your dreams: My Hard Workin’ Man continues to build and create our dreams while I tend to kiddos, cook simple family meals and desserts, and create a hopeful future business blessing others with my artistic creativity and passion for health. Often we are in two different directions on Simple Acres but what we both contribute complements towards the dreams we are growing. It amazes me when I think back to our love at 15 and 16 years old…and what all we have accomplished now. Dreams can become reality with hard work. The process brings joy.
6. Relationships: Invest in the people that you love. Invest in those you admire and want to emulate. We have been blessed with an amazing family that enable us towards our dreams. If it wasn’t for their help we wouldn’t be where we are. We spend time with other loved ones who are living our dream now and we try to emulate their hard work and character. Quality people increase quality of life. Life is too short to surround yourself with anything else.
7. Balance: Take care of you. This allows you to take in all the goodness life offers. Take things in life a day at a time. Avoid over committing and over scheduling and you will be spooning that GRAVY on just right. (wink)
Take a step outside, breath deep, pick a flower, enjoy the critters around you, take time out for you, believe in yourself and cling to your loved ones! Quality of life is in this moment now…but only if we take time to savor it. Be inspired, create and savor life! Dovidenia. XO