Review of ‘Soulful Simplicity’ by Courtney Carver

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Before Courtney Carver was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she thought exhaustion, stress and debt were all normal parts of life, yet her illness became a catalyst forcing her to evaluate her lifestyle and choices; since then Courtney has started a blog Be More with Less, and become an advocate of living simply to increase happiness, health and love.

In Soulful Simplicity, Courtney explores how the myth of more keeps us trapped, indebted and unhappy. Shopping becomes a distraction and a way of numbing uncomfortable emotions like boredom, sadness, frustration and disappointment, and many of us fall into the marketing trap that somehow a new phone, car or pair of shoes has the power to change our lives, change how other people see us, and change how we feel about ourselves. Yet no matter how much Courtney bought, it was never enough, and it wasn’t until she started de-cluttering, downsizing and simplifying that she learned to appreciate what she already had, and what really mattered in life.

I’ve never been someone who lives to work, and my career is well below my other priorities like family, friends, health and hobbies, yet the reality is that many of us spend as many waking hours in the office with our colleagues as we do at home with our loved ones. Unfortunately, we can’t all give up our jobs to become full-time bloggers, but Soulful Simplicity offers useful advice on how to cultivate space, time and calm in a culture that promotes the idea that happiness can be bought and confuses busy-ness with productivity.

I started reading Soulful Simplicity during a period of acute stress when both my husband and mum were struggling with ill-health, and Courtney’s message that sometimes less is more really resonated with me and inspired me to examine how I spend my own time and money. Have a lovely week.

11 thoughts on “Review of ‘Soulful Simplicity’ by Courtney Carver

  1. It is so true though..less is definitely more. I’ve spent the past year streamlining my possessions and it makes you think twice about how you spend your money. It’s less clutter for the mind too 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’ve been trying to downsize and declutter for the last couple of years too, and I much prefer a clutter-free environment. I found the sections on letting go of sentimental items and gifts especially helpful as that’s something I struggle with.

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    1. I’m not immune to advertising and I still have far too much stuff to call myself a minimalist but I’m trying to take a quality over quantity approach. I’m trying to adopt the William Morris approach of have nothing in your home that is not useful or beautiful. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Although you suggest it was useful, would you recommend it?

    I’ve come across a few of these type of books and I have found it is more their own story – rather than the practicalities and I have been disappointed. Perhaps I am not in the right place for some of these – I know the art of tidying seemed to delight everyone but it left me cold.

    I agree with you, I cannot call myself a minimalist – I love clothes too much and I see posts about capsule wardrobes and limiting choice which fills me with horror. I am also creative so – no I don’t need another little quilt or cushion but it gives me pleasure to make them.

    Maybe you are right – quality over quantity – mindful spending and creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed this but it’s not a step-by-step guide on how to declutter or downsize so it might not be what you’re looking for.

      The writer talks a lot about her own experiences, but I’m not a workaholic or shopaholic so a lot of it wasn’t relevant to me but I found the sections on letting go of sentimental items, unwanted gifts and the things we hold onto “just in case” really helpful as that’s something I struggle with. She’s takes a holistic approach to minimalism about stripping way the excess and distractions to give us more space and time for the people, interests and things we love most.

      Have you watched the Minimalists on Netflix? My favourite is still Tammy Strobel’s You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s cheap), though she’s changed and adapted quite a lot since she wrote it.

      Hope that helps. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t come across the Netflix programme, will check it out thanks. Will also look for Tammy’s book as well. Like you – I am not a workaholic but I am interested in stripping away distractions…. that is one thing I do need! Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a thoughtful book. I have just had the best holiday ever, completely at home with husband and cats, the bees and spring and finally accepting that i dont need to travel anywhere at all to be supremely happy! Lets all just be happy with what we have! You dont have to get rid of things to be happy, just stop and appreciate where you are 🌸🌸🌞🦋🦋

    Liked by 1 person

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