The Power of Less
Theresa Polley
July 25, 2023
December 12, 2023
Self Care

Struggle. It’s a common theme for women at a retreat. We’re tired. Trying incredibly hard for years, sometimes decades. With partners, careers, children, family, friends. We’re ready to throw in the towel. At the very least, we deserve a break.

I realize only I can give myself a break. To make that happen, I must embrace the concept of less. To enjoy more downtime I must make fewer commitments. To stay cool (mentally and physically) I spend less time running errands in the heat of the day. To maintain my peace I choose not to engage with social and news media or individuals who drain my energy. To give myself a break I must say no.

Less Effort Leads to Joy

Ayurveda teaches us the value of less effort. Too much effort (especially in the intense heat) leads to irritability, anger, frustration, judgement of ourselves and others and ultimately, suffering. Sukha is a yoga principle meaning ease or bliss. The challenge is to bring sukha not only to our yoga practice, but to our lives. 

Expending less (effort, energy, time) is a clear path to the joy and bliss you deserve.

I’m here for it. I know I must wake up every day with the intention to find ease and let go of the rest. Mindfulness and implementing small habits allow me to practice less is more and find joy. There is no room for joy if we are mindlessly busy.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. ~Rumi

Bring the Power of Less is More Into Your Life

These are a few simple habits that keep me grounded and present for myself and my loved ones in my life.

  • Start your day mindfully. Instead of waking up and checking the news (yikes) or the weather (yep it’s hot again), commit to journaling and setting an intention to embrace less is more.
  • Enjoy a moment of not “doing” anything. Have an iced coffee in an outdoor space first thing in the morning. No phone. Enjoy the world waking up around you and the sound of the birds and (hopefully) a breeze.
  • Make a gratitude list of all the small things. We tend to take so much for granted in our lives. A gratitude list (even in your head), allows you to remember how wonderful life is, no matter what you may be struggling with.
  • Limit social media. Social media has been shown to cause anxiety and depression, feelings of isolation and distraction from processing your emotions. Instead, message or call a friend for real connection.
  • Meditate. Meditation doesn’t require any special props, and it can be done anytime and anywhere. The benefits of meditation are amazing; it contributes to a good night’s sleep, strengthens your immune system, reduces aging and so much more.  If you struggle to meditate on your own, try the free app Insight Timer

After years of forcing and trying so hard at EVERYTHING, I’ve discovered this space between effort and ease is actually quite sweet, once you get the hang of it.

When I start my day intentionally, I’m more productive, I feel less overwhelmed and I discover moments of bliss all day long. On days that I don't make time, I’m stressed,  anxious and less patient. At the end of the day, choosing less to find bliss is an easy choice, but one I must choose again each day.

If you need a weekend with less effort and more relaxation, join us for a yoga retreat.

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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