Living Well


I’m a big fan of a blog called Zen Habits. Have you seen it?  Oh my gosh, if you haven’t, please be sure to check it out! It will be your Silver Lining of the day (or week, month or year!).

I find Leo Babuata’s posts to be both inspirational and aspirational. He writes simply and accessibly and I fawn over just about every word.

A post that struck me recently is “How to Live Well.”  Don’t we all want to live well?  I know that I do, especially after FBC. However, I find that I often get a little overwhelmed and overzealous (think: Clown Car!). This post arrived in my inbox at just the right moment and was a major perspective-building Silver Lining. I hope that it is the same for you!

How to LIve Well, Leo Babuata

  1. You need very little to be happy. Some simple plant food, modest shelter, a couple changes of clothes, a good book, a notebook, some meaningful work, and some loved ones.
  2. Want little, and you are not poor. You can have a lot of money and possessions, but if you always want more, you are poorer than the guy who has little and wants nothing.
  3. Focus on the present. Stop worrying about the future and holding onto the past. How much of your day is spent thinking about things other than where you are and what you’re doing, physically, at this moment? How often are we living as opposed to stuck thinking about other things? Live now and you live fully.
  4. Be happy with what you have and where you are. Too often we want to be somewhere else, doing something else, with other people than whoever we’re with right now, getting things other than what we already have. But where we are is great! Who we’re with (including just ourselves) is already perfect. What we have is enough. What we’re doing already is amazing.
  5. Be grateful for the small pleasures in life. Berries, a square of dark chocolate, tea — simple pleasures that are so much better than rich desserts, sugary drinks, fried foods if you learn to enjoy them fully. A good book borrowed from the library, a walk with a loved one in the park, the fine exertion of a short hard workout, the crazy things your child says, the smile of a stranger, walking barefoot on grass, a moment of quiet as the morning wakens and the world still rests. These little pleasures are living well, without needing much.
  6. Be driven by joy and not fear. People are driven by the fear of missing out, or the fear of change, or the fear of losing something. These are not good reasons to do things. Instead, do things because they give you or others joy. Let your work be driven not because you need to support a lifestyle and are afraid of changing it, but by the joy of doing something creative, meaningful, valuable.
  7. Practice compassion. Compassion for others creates loving, rewarding relationships. Compassion for yourself means forgiving yourself for past mistakes, treating yourself well (including eating well and exercising), loving yourself as you are.
  8. Forget about productivity and numbers. They matter not at all. If you are driven to do things to reach certain numbers (goals), you have probably lost sight of what’s important. If you are striving to be productive, you are filling your days with things just to be productive, which is a waste of a day. This day is a gift, and shouldn’t be crammed with every possible thing — spend time enjoying it and what you’re doing.

Leave a comment


  1. jp says

    Wonderful words of wisdom. I received the BEST phone call last week. After 13 chemo treatments, my CT results for stage III ovarian cancer show no residual disease!!!! Hallelujah!

    The about advice about forgetting about productivity and numbers is especially meaningful to me. Since my report last week I have been trying to be productive in ways that my body is simply not capable of at this time. Today I will enjoy just "being" and allow myself to drift….

    Love your blog Hollye!

    • says

      Congrats on your great phone call! I'm glad you can put Leo's advice to good use, and am even more glad that you're taking the time to enjoy "being." It's a harder lesson to learn than we all think!

      Continue to be well,