Friday, 21 October 2011

Simple Pleasures

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have more money. Don't we all, in fact? But, when it comes to wishing for things, apart from the occasional new cardigan, CD or recipe book, material goods just aren't on my radar. In fact, I can go as far as saying that, right now, I am rich in everything I wish to be rich in; life is abundant, whole, and fulfilling. There is adventure, there is comfort, there is love and company and purpose. I can't imagine needing anything more that what I have right here. And the moment that I realized that was truly awesome. (I believe it was while walking through a carpark in the rain at around 7:45 one weekday morning, chatting to a colleague about life. The moment sticks with me now.)

This post really isn't about how amazing my life is - that would be rather arrogant and tiring; I suppose it's about how amazing life is, in general. Life without the gadgets and 'stuff' cluttering up our hearts and minds. Life without the next episode of whatever waiting on Sky Plus. Life without stashes of magazines telling me what I should be wearing right now and not next week. Someone, I forget who, discussed this on Thought For The Day recently; the abundance that is all around us, regardless of whatever dip or bump the financial crisis is going through, and however poor the headlines tell us that we are. We are often much richer than we might think; it's easy to see that when you don't have quite enough spare change to get the train back home on a Friday (thanks, Chris!), and so I'm rather glad that I am living my own age of austerity, just as my parents and grandparents have had to in the past.

What this brings me to is my friend Becky, who moved to Spain on Monday morning. For the past couple of years, Becky and I have been gathering and sharing what we call 'Simple Pleasures': moments that inspire or take your breath away, comfort or heal. Moments that Amélie Poulain might stop to write down in a notebook.

Simple Pleasures started when I found myself dancing naked to Lust For Life by Iggy Pop one morning, after a particularly hard Life Spell. I was so full of joy at the simple pleasure of life that I sent Becky a message to tell her that I was dancing naked to Lust For Life by Iggy Pop, and thus our exchange of Simple Pleasures began. Moments of simple but complete abundance.

Becky has only been in Spain for 5 days, and already I am finding myself gathering these moments and not able to share them. So I'm going to share them here, spreading the abundance of life as far as I can, I hope. If you have had your own Simple Pleasures recently then please do share; there is nothing better than reading how rich life is in its complete simplicity!

Lying in a lavendar bath, lit by candlelight, watching a storm through the skylight in the ceiling

Four deer bounding ahead as I run through a clearing in the early morning

Knitting in silence on the couch

Receiving real letters from friends

Wrapping up in a hat and scarf for the first of the winter frost

Sleeping through the alarm in a winter duvet

Being bought flowers to brighten a grey day 

Perfect basmati rice

A whole yoga class balancing quietly on one leg

If you haven't already heard of Small Stones, I think this is a very similar thing to our Simple Pleasures. Rachel introduced me to this, and it's so good to see that so many people are embracing the small things.


  1. A perfect reminder of what life is all about.
    Lisa x

  2. Oh yay for small stones. Have you started writing them? It's so healing. This year (the year in which I started writing Small Stones - and having coaching sessions with Fiona)has changed me so much from a constant worry about money to a realisation that I chose this life and one of the sacrifices is a slightly emptier bank account and I have so many other things! (although I do still watch too many Australian soaps!)

  3. Although of course you've started writing them, each one of those Simple Pleasures is a Small Stone :)

  4. Oh yes!
    Three recent Simple Pleasures:

    -Sitting in the sauna after a day of feeling cold and anxious and letting the heat and quiet do its magic

    -Walking on the prom in perfect autumn weather, just as the daylight was fading, with a pale sun breaking through the clouds

    -Oils burning, candles and fairy lights on a quiet evening making soup

    Love the dancing-naked-to-Lust-for-Life bit! x