It’s not easy these days to stay focused, clear and sure of where you want your life to go, much less keeping track of where you are in the moment.  Life is moving faster it seems, leaving little time left over to catch our breath, much less taking a deep breath and exhaling.

My Pink Bike in LuccaFor me, life got much simpler while I was living in Italy for three years.  It was what I had dreamed of since living in Florence almost 13 years earlier and the time had come to live my dream.  My new life did get simpler in the ways I’d imagined; I no longer HAD to have a car, and I loved that. I found that I could easily manage our daily needs by riding my favorite pink bike to the grocery store.  And, in many cases, I simply walked to the nearby markets to get everything else, and I took a bus or train to visit friends in Florence and travel to the places I wanted to go.

I also got to have my veggie garden and grew seasonal and scrumptious tomatoes, zucchini and the likes.  We picked figs, persimmons, pomegranates, and walnuts from the trees, and last spring it rained apricots for three solid weeks. Sage, Rosemary, Oregano and Basil filled the pots and garden space with their enticing aromas and added their lusty flavors to my roasted chickens, tomato sauces and pasta dishes.  As the weather and beauty that surrounded me was more enticing than watching TV, I found that I was also spending more time outside and in nature.  Whether it was enjoying my morning cappuccino while I soaked up some early morning Mediterranean sunshine, or a refreshing margarita on the patio, these were just a few of the little shifts in my daily life that had a big impact.  I felt more relaxed, I was surrounded by Nature’s immense beauty, and it was simply how I wanted to live my life, and I was living it.Tomatoes

On the flip side, earning a living only got more and more challenging for me while in Italy.  Until all of my efforts, ideas, connections and resources had failed in finding work, did I surrender to my struggles and return to what I had always loved most, and that was designing jewelry.  And, that’s when my life really started to get simple.  As when you are doing something that you love, it’s no longer work, but living your life full of passion and joy. And from there, the Universe will conspire to be on your side and the Abundance begins to flow.

Life can be simple, if we choose it.  Everyday, I get up and do my best not to get distracted by all of the chaos going on out there in the world.  I do this by keeping the TV turned off and my passions turned on. The best I can do to help shift that outer chaos into inner peace, is starting with myself first.  So, while I am no longer living in Italy, I am still keeping it simple.

My favorite gems for supporting my inner peace and keeping it simple are Rose Quartz for staying connected to my Higher Heart’s wisdom, and any green gem for maintaining my Heart-centered focus, desires and dreams.

What are you doing to keep it simple?

Oh, and those limes you see hiding behind those luscious tomatoes in the bowl were for the margaritas

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