Thuy Smith Outreach International- Living on Purpose

Health and Wellness, Mindfulness, Spirituality, Relationships, Lessons Learned, Recovery, Healing, Empowerment


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Stuff, stuff, stuff- My new life simplified.

Stuff, stuff, stuff- My new life simplified.

Stuff, stuff, stuff- My new life simplified.

For the last seven years I’ve read about people who gave up on maintaining their homes especially the big homes they didn’t really need anymore. They decided to simplify and live more sustainably. Some sold their homes and built smaller efficient ones. There were those who decided to embrace the downtown living and all that it offers. Others hit the road and began their new journey with a fifth wheel.

My husband and I have built and owned three homes. The last two were especially beautiful with one being across the Namekagon River. We know the joy of having your own home, but also about everything that is involved in keeping and maintaining that home. Throughout the years we have done quite a bit of downsizing. I had to tell friends and family to PLEASE do not buy us anymore stuff!

The items they bought were nice, but it was just more of what we really didn’t need. It came to the point where we didn’t have a place to display everything. The items began to blend into each other as a compilation of stuff rather than as a showcase of unique, beautiful, and interesting pieces.

It took a few years, but I finally got through to everyone to stop buying us anymore items. We asked if they insisted on giving something, to give it to a charity in our name or get us something that is more along the lines of a consumable item.  It could be a certificate to a movie, a restaurant, or specialty food basket. Of course you can never go wrong with chocolate.

Throughout the years (starting seven years ago) we continued to have garage sales, moving sales, donated items, threw out items, and gave some away. We have always prided ourselves in keeping things simple and not having a lot of stuff. However, it wasn’t until our last home that we realized even after all that we had downsized, we had a long way to go. We were not hoarders by any means and it was just the two of us. No children, no pets. When you have a bigger house you simply accumulate more stuff.

NO more! Bye-bye stuff! Never see you again! We put our house on the market and within the first week we had an interested buyer. He immediately put in an offer. While preparing for the move with packing and yet another moving sale, it had been both liberating and stressful with the realization that we still had so much more than what we needed or wanted.

We moved into less than half the square footage of our last home and decided to do the downtown living. We rented a beautiful apartment on the river while deciding our next move.

One day I came across this ad and couldn’t help, but smile. It said, “Live the American Dream. Stop renting, own your own home”.

We loved our new apartment and the fact we no longer had any maintenance to worry about. We decided that if we ever owned a home again, it wouldn’t be any more than 1000 square feet and 10 minutes tops for maintaining a yard.

We have since then bought a condo and we are in way less than the 1000 square feet I mentioned earlier and have never been happier.

This blog category-My New Life Simplified will be about how I downsized and simplified my life. I will share simple prep recipes, products I love that are useful, and what I’ve learned from designing and building three of my own homes. I will share about our downtown living (first with an apartment and now a condo) and its many activities and the people we meet along the way. I will talk about the ways we have incorporated to live more sustainably.  I will share about health and wellness. It will be about the things I love and ideas I learned in my new simplified life and sharing them with you.

 

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Recidivism in Recovery, Our Emotions are not our enemy, although belief systems may be

 thuy smithFounder of TSOI
Former Director of AODA Recovery Facility serving five counties
Founder  and Producer of Teen Radio
Founder, Producer of The Thuy Smith Show

Recidivism in Recovery, Our Emotions are not our enemy, although belief systems may be

There are various reasons to why this might be. People may not be quite ready for the changes they need to make, also for a variety of reasons. It is scary to move away from what you always relied on, what was familiar even though it may not have served you well. Many times people are not even consciously aware that they are actually doing this. Belief systems that were created from different life experiences, many times from childhood, keep people stuck in various patterns that are self-defeating in their lives. A person can break free by challenging those belief systems, but first they have to be conscious of those patterns. Sometimes it takes time and opportunities come about to help bring those things to light. It can come through people, circumstances, or time alone in a place of quiet reflection. Writing is a great tool to help work out some of those past hurts and break down the belief systems that were formed from them. Art is another great way to get in touch and be able to express your feelings and process.

Does this mean that a person will no longer have moments of discouragement, sadness, fear, doubt, etc? Of course these things will always attempt to come in to try to detour us from our focus of moving ahead. Some emotions are part of the human experience of processing real pain and grief. Emotions do not have to be scary and this is one thing that keeps people from finding recovery. They are afraid of emotions. It can be out of guilt. Maybe they were taught that emotions are bad or emotions make you appear weak. They may believe they need to be “Strong” and on top of things. They are afraid of being judged and not respected anymore especially if they were once recognized as a leader. Maybe they were simply never allowed their emotions and the opportunity to process or express them. Shame is the underpinnings of these reasons and belief systems.

When I was working through various healing in my life, I had to throw all the shame aside and learn to embrace my emotions, allow them, and process them. From there I was able to explore those emotions, break them down, and then challenge the belief systems that were created from them.

God, a belief in a higher power, life’s lessons, or whatever you believe to find your peace, is gentle with the intention of helping us become free and to be all that we were ultimately meant to be. There are consequences that come with certain choices, but it is at the same time a teaching moment that can move us to the next level of consciousness and growth. If you do not get the break-through at first, the opportunity will come about again through another set of circumstances or people until we understand what we were supposed to.

Now, the biggest lesson I had to learn through some of my processes, is to simply be gentle with myself and patient with the process. Everyone can use a recovery in life from something so to speak.

For others with a chemical dependency issue, the drug and alcohol dependency or abuse is still the symptom of. Sure it complicates things more, but once you are off the drug, through time, your body is no longer at that moment physically addicted. What is left is the “stuff”. Stuff that was there before you developed the dependency, and ever since it became an issue. It is the stuff you need to get to or it is inevitable that you will either be back to using alcohol or other drugs in an abusive or dependent manner, become what is known as a dry drunk, or not experience the new freedom that come with the promises of recovery.

Life is still life, and people and challenges will continue for everyone. Nobody can go it alone. We all need somebody. There is never any shame in that.