Issue No. 6: The Gift

"It is what you give of yourself that you truly give." 

- Khalil Gibran



For this week's issue, I'd planned to write about minimalism and essentialism. In a way, I will, but I want to tell you about Search for Peace.

"Searchie," as we called her, was my dad and sister's dog: a Black Lab and Golden Retriever mix, and the sweetest soul you'll ever meet. They got her after I left for college but she was essentially my second sisteronly in canine form. On Sunday, after twelve years of sharing her light with the world, Searchie moved on. 

With such short lives (compared to us humans) dogs have to focus on what matters most from day one. They have no time to waste. And I learned a thing or two from Search on the practice of living what's most important day in and day out and letting everything else just go.

All Search needed to be happy was to hear her name (which she would respond to by wagging her tail), time at the beach sliding in the waves with her ball, a full and happy belly, a comfy spot on the daybed and cuddles. My pup, Emory, isn’t so different from Search in this. Perhaps dog is man’s best friend not because they keep us company, but because they remind us how to live:

  1. Recognize the people you love. Truly see them and let them see you

  2. Play your heart out, every single day, without exception. 

  3. Eat well and be grateful for what you have. 

  4. Show and give your love daily and accept the love you receive in return. Always give more hugs. 

In the long view of life, everything else isn’t really that important. 

And I'll leave you with this: Teachers, gifts and love come in every form. 


1. WATCHING ...  
Minimalism, a documentary about, well, minimalism. I'll give you the best line from the film: "Love people. Use things."

2. DEBATING ...  
The difference between minimalism and essentialism with Matt, my husband. Our basic verdict: Minimalism is about fewer things, essentialism is the pursuit of only the things that truly matter. 

With this article on the Dangers of Convenience. Consider this when putting together your Christmas list: “I don’t know what I want for Christmas, but it would be great if it made me better at some fundamental human quality instead of worse. But that would make me impossible to shop for.”

4. JOINING ...  
Patagonia in their (our) fight for Bears Ears National Monument. Our national parks and wild lands—essential.

5.  EMRACING ...   
JOMO = Joy of Missing Out. Let's do fewer better things—the things we really want to do— and find the joy in the less that gives us more.

Examine my days using the 80/20 rule: What is the 20% that you do that has 80% of the impact on your wellbeing? Do more of that.

7.  RENEWING ...
My faith in discipline thanks to former Navy-Seal commander Jocko Willink. Doing, buying and embracing less requires it:

"'Discipline equals freedom.' Everyone wants freedom. We want to be physically free and mentally free. We want to be financially free, and we want more free time. But where does that freedom come from? How do we get it? The answer is the opposite of freedom. The answer is discipline. You want more free time? Follow a more disciplined time-management system. You want financial freedom? Implement long-term financial discipline in your life. Do you want to be physically free to move how you want, and to be free from many health issues caused by poor lifestyle choices? Then you have to have the discipline to eat healthy food and consistently work out. We all want freedom. Discipline is the only way to get it."

NewsletterTavaner Sullivan