Many of you will know Courtney Carver and her work on
simplicity over at Be More
With Less. Some of you may even be
familiar with Project 333,
her minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or
less for three months. Since she began
dressing this way herself in 2010, thousands across the world have joined in,
and the initiative has featured on The Today programme in the US as well as in O, The Oprah Magazine and on the BBC.
Courtney recently decided to take her tiny wardrobe on tour
and so, for the first time ever, she is coming to speak in London. She’ll be talking about what she’s learnt
from dressing with 33 items or less and her experiences of simplicity more
And guess what else?
I’m hosting the event with her!
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working behind the
scenes to make this happen and I am beyond thrilled to announce the details at
last. The event takes place at 18.30 on
Monday 25th April 2016 at Friends House, Euston Road, London. Tickets cost just £20 and are available
here. Places are limited and they’ve
begun selling already so I’d encourage you to get in quick if you are
(For readers in the States, Courtney is also visiting a
number of US cities, so contact her if you are interested in knowing more about
other Tiny Wardrobe on Tour events).
I’ll be there to introduce Courtney and chair the
Q&A. Even if I wasn’t involved, I’d
be buying a ticket as I genuinely think it’s an event not to be missed! It would be great to see some of you there
I’d excitedly posted on social media the other day about a new group programme announcement coming at the end of the week. Here it is. It isn’t the announcement – or the programme – that I was expecting to make…
developed a group programme under the title The
Fourth Quarter: use the time that remains.
I was excited about, thinking about the different ways it might help
participants. I put out a few announcements. I even put all the bits of paper in their own plastic folder, a definite sign that
this was real and happening.
have been a good programme, I’m sure.
But…you knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you? But it felt out of sync. The material was strong but ran contrary to
where I am in my own life. Right now I’m
all about nestling down, whereas the programme was about gearing up. After an intense few months of work and
travel, I’m craving quiet nights under a blanket with a good book – a retreat,
not an expedition. Whilst I knew I could
do a good job, I began to wonder if I’d be at my best if the programme’s
purpose was out-of-step with the ethos I’m channelling at the moment.
original plan also felt a little out of sync with what A Life Of One’s Own is all about.
Not contradictory or in opposition, just at a different angle by a few
degrees. Lots of coaches could deliver
similar material. Cerebrally I liked it
a lot, but it didn’t resonate deep down in the way 24 Days Before:
an advent journey(my previous group programme) had.
deeply authentic material by some of my favourite fellow-travellers on this
exploring/writing/coaching journey made me pause the preparation process. A beautiful offering from Sas
Petherick, a heart-warmingly honest missive from Susannah Conway, a thought-provoking blog post from Courtney Carver,
a blossoming community with Tori’s Tales
#talesofseptember Instagram challenge: these made me stop and think this – this is what I want to do, want to offer, want to create – things
that touch people on a deeper level.
This is what A Life Of One’s Own is
about, this is where I want to get back to.
spirit of my latest read, Brené Brown’s new book Rising Strong, I wanted to be open
and honest about this change of heart.
It makes me feel very vulnerable saying ‘I wanted to do this but now I’ve
changed my mind.’ The story I’m telling
myself (to use Brown’s phrase) is that you’ll think I’m at best a dilettante,
playing at self-help and navel-gazing, and at worst incompetent, not having a
clue what I’m doing.
I hope not,
dear readers. I hope that you recognise
that this kind of work is always in progress, never complete, never
perfect. I am working to create a product
– and more broadly a practice – that gives voice the deepest parts of my inner
life and in doing so speaks to yours. My
original design and concept for the group programmewas a good idea, but it did not do that.
And now the
instead…Instead I’m putting out there a much softer programme. The Fourth Quarter
remains as a title, but this comes from a different place. The Fourth Quarternow
is about scaling back, toning down, sinking deep. It’s about growing in one another’s company,
hence the new subtitle: let’s
spend it together.
quarters of the calendar year now almost past, The Fourth
Quarteris about using the time that remains in 2015 to embrace the
seasons around us. Let’s show up for
autumn, and then for winter too. Rather
than simply trudging through the darker nights and trying to ignore the cold, let’s
work with this time of year to make it our own – a period with meaning.
I was out
of sync and now am getting in line simply with where I am and where the world
around is. I invite you to join me in
doing the same.
I have half a dozen favourite blogs about life, conscious living etc, and one of them is by Courtney Carver at Be More With Less. I’m not sure how or when I first came across her, but she has been a regular in my inbox for at least a couple of years now (I’ve done her lovely advent course two years running and am already hoping that she runs it again this December).
I was delighted, then, to see that she and I were thinking similarly about a particular topic – or, more specifically, a particular phrase. See, her latest post is entitled ’The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem’; like my Carpe Weekend idea, this plays on the well-known Latin phrase ‘Seize the day’ (Carpe Diem) but reworks it with a different emphasis.
With Parke Diem, Carver is encouraging literally time in parks, but also relaxation more generally – letting go, unplugging, not always being ruled by a to do list. Carpe Weekend is slightly different in that certain suggestions might be about not doing but some are about getting something sorted out. Even so, I hope that it encourages readers to think differently about their time at the weekends, rather than just regarding it as a forty-eight hour period in which to catch up on everything that wasn’t achieved in the week. That is no way to live and if that is how you feel about Saturdays and Sundays, or any regular days off you have, then I recommend you get over and absorb some of Carver’s tips for Parke Diem!