Slowly and Simply

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Lately we have all been spending time slowing down. There is a feeling of fall in the air now. Mornings are chilly and the sun is setting sooner each night. It has become natural to sleep in a little later and get a later start to the day. There are many adjustments that have been made to our daily routine since the longer, hotter, summer days are ending and the rhythm of the sun is changing, but no one is complaining. The feeling in our home these days is one of complete and utter peace and tranquillity. Not always, of course when there are noisy, growing children around, but even amidst the chaos, I feel complete and total peace and satisfaction with my life.

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The girls finished up their first ever year of swimming lessons during the last week of July/first week of August. Autumn passed two levels in one week and was so proud of herself. Kesa was still a little scared of the water, but enjoyed her experience. Hopefully next year she will brave up a bit.

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The girls have all still been enjoying picking things from the garden.

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Sugar snap peas are a favorite.

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We picked a lot of beans last weekend and froze a whole bunch to have on hand when the potatoes are ready too. They are so delicious!

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Daddy is on holidays from work now too and so we have two weeks before us to relax and spend all together as a family.

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We spent some time at the park already and taking evening walks together.

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Serafina loves playing in the stones at the park.

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Luka, our cat even came too.

We’ve been savoring the last fresh summer berries from the store too and making big, fruit-filled bowls of oatmeal with ground flax seed in the mornings. I always love to see all that color in my bowl!

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The last few days Autumn and Kesa have been visiting and Grandma and Gaga’s house on the lake, so it has just been me and Craig and Serafina. The house is much more quiet with just the one. It is almost weird to be alone together too, after always having had kids around. They even took Serafina for the day, which was almost scary for me because it was the first time that I had been without her in two years. I hadn’t had that feeling in a long, long time now and had forgotten what it is like to be alone.

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Serafina is turning two years old today and my mind is baffled! She has been growing and changing so much these days and really starting to be a little girl now. A beautiful little girl, I might add.

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I’ve gotten a few comments from people about my blog seeming to be boastful or making them feel bad about their own life and that makes me feel really bad. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t share my life if it does that to other people because I know in my heart that my intent is the exact opposite. It makes me feel like withholding my light, even from myself. There are so many beautiful moments that I almost feel guilty for experiencing or enjoying. So many times I would like to sit, write and reflect, but I hold back out of fear. A fear that I think is experienced by many, because in this society it seems that just being happy and content is not OK. Happiness must follow some kind of condition or you must be perfect or accomplish some goal before you can enjoy your life. You must have more, be more or do more.

I have thought about this a lot these days, wondering if maybe some people reading my blog even think I just make up these words and take the images that I do for my blog only. I had to take a step back and truly ask myself if I am only being egotistical or self absorbed, but the truth is that life is beautiful and I just love to reflect on and share the many good and beautiful moments. My mind is more often geared toward the positive and the beautiful things and I love to capture them and reflect on them. I feel like why waste time writing about my fears, worries and problems in life? Yes, they exist and yes, life isn’t perfect around here, but there are perfect moments.

I feel like happiness and contentment really has everything to do with the choices that we make in life. I know that there are a lot of women who don’t get to stay home with their kids or people who are stuck in a job they would rather not have to have, but I also wonder how many choices we make for ourselves in life that we really don’t have to? So many people put extra stress and burdens on themselves and make choices to do things or think things that only steal their peace and happiness. Unconscious choices, yes, but conscious choices too. I wonder how much another person’s jealousy or bad feelings about their lives in comparison to another’s is really only a feeling of regret or dissatisfaction over their own choices in life. Why even bother with the comparison? Sure, there are things in life that we have to do that maybe we don’t want to be doing too, where we have no choice. But even then, we can still always choose our attitude toward the way things are at any moment. Easier said than done, I know, but still 100% possible.

I could go and get a job and put my kids in school or the care of others. My husband could have have done more for himself and committed himself to a career of some kind. We could’ve got a loan and bought a house instead of renting one. We could have new vehicles and car payments, instead of driving our 10 year old van or walking everywhere. We could waste time and money on buying things that we don’t need and want for more, instead of being satisfied with what we have, but we made  the choice to live a more simple life. It wasn’t even something we ever really talked about, we are just really both of that nature. Slowly over the years, we let go of all the things that were only weighing us down and that we realized were not bringing any lasting satisfaction. We gave up chasing all highs of life for the steady stream of peace that flows in simplicity. We made certain choices that have lead us to where we are today and the life that we now share together.

When you let go of having attachments or striving and realize that your thoughts and feelings are not you and that they do not have to control your life, nothing but peace can result. When you realize that you are more and that there is a whole entire life existing before you that you are not living when you are constantly keeping yourself distracted and running from whatever it is you fear (which is most likely stillness and simplicity), turning back to the old way and trying to follow the conditioning of society just feels so empty and unsatisfying in comparison.

This is the lesson that I have been going through these days. Letting go of the battle within myself that still feels guilty for enjoying my life and every moment. To be content to be still and feel the peace and beauty that is all around me and us all, even though many still do not see it. To let myself know that it is absolutely OK to love every bit of life and that gratitude is not a selfish thing. Another big one for me is to be happy even if other people around me are not or may judge me for it.

This blog is a big part of that lesson for me because that is why I created it in the first place. It is my space to find the real me and not be afraid of being her and loving my life, even though it isn’t perfect. I sometimes feel guilty for admitting to myself that I am happy. Happy that I have figured out all of these things at such a young age and that I don’t have to live my life a slave to society or to my mind. I lay in bed at night with such a feeling of gratitude for all that we have together. True, heartfelt gratitude. Even though there are moments of fear and anxiety over raising my kids or disharmony in our home at times, holding gratitude for what is at any moment can only ever bring a feeling of joy and contentment, no matter what is going on on the surface. Recognizing the impermanence of everything in life really helps too. Nothing ever stays the same, even the moments we wish would never end.

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I am human. I contradict myself. I worry. I have fear. I get upset. I question myself. I feel dissatisfaction and discontentment at times. I am ungrateful. My body is not magazine perfect. My kids stress me out. My house gets messy.  I overeat. I am lazy. And on and on I could go. I am not perfect and life is not perfect, but I like to think of myself and my life as perfectly imperfect. What is the point of neglecting and resisting our humanness and accepting the entirety of our being? We are all human and we are all loveable as we are, at any moment. Life is worth living no matter who you are or what you are going through. Why choose to compare yourself to others and live with discontent? When you stop to slow down, ask yourself those questions and reflect upon the possibility of letting go and accepting who you are, well… just see what happens.

Peace and tranquillity,

tiffany6

24 thoughts on “Slowly and Simply

  1. I can’t believe people still say things like that to you about your blog. 😦
    There are still those of us who admire your knowledge of happiness. Most people can’t admit life is good because the bad times take front seat in their brains and that is a fault that is hard to defeat. You have done that and that is truely priceless. I always had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the moment because my boys wouldn’t be little for long. People expected me to go to work and leave my children with starngers because that is what everyone does and it was not something I was comfortable doing. As a result we don’t have some of the things many families have like a huge house, smart phones, satelittle t.v., and now nice cars for my teenagers, but I sleep better at night knowing I raised my boys and they spent more time learning our values.
    I am sorry you have been discouraged but I am so happy that you know what is right and stick to it!
    Tell Autum “way to go!” about her swimming lessons! Watching your girls growing up is a small enjoyment for me. Reading your blog is another. Really, for me, your positive attitude and inspiring words and love for your family encourage me and sometimes I come back and re-read blogs just for the little lift I need at that moment.
    Thank you for being Tiffany.
    Peace.

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  2. I still don’t see where the idea that you are being boastful is coming from. As you said, you have flaws, stressors, and bad days like anyone else, but there is nothing wrong with choosing to write about the beautiful things in your life and not dwell on the negative. I appreciate that you share the glimpses into your family’s life; it’s touching and sweet, and the musings and lessons that mingle with them often resonate with me. Keep doing what you love to do for as long as you love to do it!

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  3. Firstly, love all the photos! All those beeeaaaaans!!! Brings back some delicious childhood memories 🙂 I remember some of our most delicious dinners were things like fresh corn on the cob, steamed green beans and fresh tomatoes, all straight from the garden, eaten after working in the garden and playing in the last hour of sunlight. So satisfying!
    Secondly, you worded the last half of your post beautifully. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but we watched the documentary The Secret last month. After watching that and doing a lot more reading I am learning HOW important it is to focus on the positive things in life, the things you love about life. For what you focus on is what you will attract more of. If someone writes about all the things they hate about life, they will probably experience even more of it! You know exactly how to focus on the beautiful moments which is why you know peace! I am not exactly where I want to be in life right now. But now I know that I WILL get there. I am grateful for all that I have, and looking forward to things that my family and I want for ourselves, which WILL happen. In the meantime I know that one of the most important things is to be happy, which has been MUCH easier in the past month just knowing how important it is. As for those who have been writing negatively to you,I think you hit the nail on the head about why they are doing it. Don’t ever feel bad about that. We are MEANT to be happy. Being unhappy means we need to change something in our lives. The happier we are, the more in-tune to our needs we are I think, and therefore the quicker we can make adjustments when necessary in our lives.
    Keep up the cheerful, beautiful, and inspirational posts. And enjoy your family vacation time!

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    • Garden food is great! I can’t wait to have potatoes and beans together. I agree that it is essential to focus on what we want for our lives and positivity, rather than negativity or fear. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. I always love coming to your space, I feel at home here and always feel like you are being authentic and sharing the most beautiful parts of your life. Keep doing what you do, it is wonderful.

    Happy birthday to Serafina and happy birthing day to you! Wishing Serafina another amazing trip around the sun. I am sure there will be some wonderful adventures for her in the year ahead.

    Enjoy your two weeks of family time.

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  5. I love the things you write and don’t see a shred of ego in your blog. Your summer looks like it’s winding down beautifully, as is ours. The pics of Autumn with her hair down look just like Zia!

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  6. I always love reading your blog, I think you are authentic and sharing the most beautiful parts of your family. Keep doing your wonderfull and inspirational posts. An other question: Can you share your oatmeal with ground flax seed recipe- maybe its simple, but it look delicious! Thaks a.

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  7. Hi Tiffany! I never ever comment on blogs that I read but after reading this I must say that I felt really compelled to say something. I don’t understand how anyone would ever say that you are being boastful, or that you make them feel bad about themselves by reading about you and the wonderful things that you do with your beautiful family. This kind of upset me 😦 whoever would make such a comment obviously does not even get what you and your family are about. And the fact that you let us readers in on such an amazing thing your personal life… It just baffles me that anyone would ever think of you as boastful. When I read your blog it reminds me to take a minute and just enjoy life. I realize the beauty life has to offer when I read your words. Your writing gives me motivation to do the simplest things that end up giving me the most happiness. Of course there are those days where I feel badly about how I have chosen to spent my day, maybe I wasted the whole day cleaning, talking on the phone, on the computer, watching tv. I feel bad about the time I wasted but then I let it go and tell myself that tomorrow I will do things different. Tomorrow I will wake up and put all the petty meaningless stuff aside and just play with my girls, read with them, go outside enjoy life! That’s what reading your blOg does for me. You are an inspiration to us mothers who sometimes get lost in the day to day. You help us/me to stop and forget about this crazy world and just BE! Thank you Tiffany for being who you are and writing about it you are an amazing woman! You help me want to be a better person. Thank you so much!

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    • Wow! Thanks so much for the beautiful words and encouragement Giselle! 🙂 It is nice to know that I encourage and inspire you in sharing my life, that is what makes sharing my blogging worth it.

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  8. We often draw attention to what is missing in our lives rather than bring to light all we have. Kicking ourselves for what we are lacking is a never ending spiral, which takes a big chunk of our peace. You are not alone in your endeavor for simplicity. Reading this, assured me I wasn’t either. We also have a ten year old station wagon, rent our cottage, and my husband works solely so I can enjoy my last few months of pregnancy. We plan to change nothing, except welcome our new babe into our happy lives.
    Always love finding this blog in my feed. You and your family are a gift to this world.

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