Healing & The Power of Simple Things: A True Story


Healing & The Power of Simple Things | In Pursuit of MoreHealing & The Power of Simple Things | In Pursuit of More

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

~ Anne Frank

It’s been a little while since I posted about something other than food, which is strange to me as the truth is just this: I never set out to be a food blogger. Funny how you just never know where the path will take you after you take that first step, and I can’t imagine anything else I would rather be doing with my life right now.

Just recently, me and my husband shared a meal with a special couple, and after dinner, with the wine flowing and the hearts opening, the conversation got real. I should say that this couple is very dear to me, and two people who have known me for a number of years now – through all the good and the bad. They were the ones who ‘outed’ me unintentionally at a dinner party I hosted several years back….asking me about the latest item I’d purchased: an expensive leather bag I’d just paid off and told all my closest co-workers about, but sadly not my husband (he was always the last to know about any of the nice stuff I bought) .

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have read this post I wrote about my struggle with something more common than we might think: compulsive shopping, and how the past few years I’ve worked hard on my search for healing, hence how this blog came to be and my charity project called Not So Fast.

What’s crazy, is at dinner just a few Saturdays ago with the very folks who outed me (unintentionally – bless their hearts), I was asked about shoes. If I’d bought any, what I was loving. What my fave store was these days.

What followed next took me rather by (pleasant) surprise. I sat in stunned silence for a moment, as the circle seemed to close in a most quiet and profound way: because I had nothing. Literally not a thing. You see, what used to be an incredibly unhealthy (and borderline destructive) obsession is now, for the time being, completely shifted. My energies are now pointed directly towards something productive, and purposeful. I was actually blown away that not only could I not remember a single shoe purchase since my trip to France in August, but I hadn’t even stopped to think about it in any way. No pomp & ceremony. Just real change.

Even as I write this, its shocking to even think that with everything & everyone I’m surrounded by, it still wouldn’t be enough. But this life isn’t always easily explained, and us humans are complex, sometimes too complex. It was time to dumb it all down and get real. Simplify and let go. Be a better example of the kind of person I want my children to be.

Healing & The Power of Simple Things | In Pursuit of More

Have I stopped buying stuff? Hell no, but my priorities have straightened out, majorly. I no longer troll second-hand stores, collecting pieces I ‘might’ wear one day, or cruise internet shopping sites to satisfy intense desires that will never be fulfilled even if a pretty package landed on my doorstep every day for the rest of my life. I gave away anything I didn’t wear or love in the last year (and I now pass those on to the teenager) and I no longer have a secret credit card. ‘New’ is not better, and ‘now’ is where I am. Plus, I get dressed on the first go and no more neurotic obsessing in front of the mirror (an amazing freedom). How’s that for awesome?

That dreaded & painfully confusing emptiness is now long gone. Sure, it’s been replaced by other stresses and neuroses, but that’s just growth. It’s sometimes painful, and it’s hard work. But it’s real, and it feels amazing in every conceivable way. Inspiration now lives & breathes itself into every corner of my day.

I hope if you are reading this, you might take comfort in knowing that while addiction & destructively compulsive behavior of any kind are not pretty, there is great hope in returning focus to the simple things: food, family, love, community. Fullness is a feeling, and it comes from inside. I believe we all seek a certain contentment in our lives, and that feeling of truly being, well, just good. I’ve found great satisfaction in posting here every week, and each and every one of you have played such an important role, I simply cannot thank you enough for allowing me to speak, and to share, and to listen.

Healing & The Power of Simple Things | In Pursuit of More

Excitement exists in not knowing what is coming up next, and no number of shoes or bags or white t-shirts could ever give me even close to that same exhilarating thrill…not in a million years, or with a thousand shimmering gold-lined threads on my back. It’s all just a giant, sprawling, messy & beautiful experiment and I am here for good.

You can’t just plan a moment when things get back on track, just as you can’t plan the moment you lose your way in the first place.

~ Sarah Dessen

Eat. Drink. Love. Give. It really is what it’s all about. Much, much love to you all.

Yours in Less,

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ShiraHealing & The Power of Simple Things: A True Story

24 Comments on “Healing & The Power of Simple Things: A True Story”

  1. This Sydney Life

    Love your ‘Eat. Drink. Love. Give.’, lovely Van-city girl. Perfect.

    I wonder if this evolution is part of maturing? I kind of feel that it is for me. Like you, I was a serious shopper. It was a favoured pass-time for me when I was earning big bucks in the corporate sector. Can’t say I miss it, now…

    1. Shira

      Hi J! You know, now that you say it, I think maturity must play a huge role indeed. Of course money plays a big role too, and it seemed to me (crazy hippie island girl) that that was what us ladies were to do after the house, the car, the job, family, the marriage, etc. Collect nice things, right? I am happy to hear you can relate and while I never had super big bucks, these things are all so relative, and I just got caught in the whirlpool, like I presume might have been the case for you too (as much as there is to be had at first). But alas, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t part of the bigger picture…and for that I am thankful :) You are always so succinct. The sweetest, thanks! xx

      1. This Sydney Life

        Shira – you are the first person to ever call me succinct! I’m gonna’ take that and run with it, my friend. Thank you! Jx

  2. janae @ bring-joy

    Shira, how incredibly inspiring!

    I love seeing & feeling your transformation through words. My favorite line: fullness is a feeling & it comes from the inside. So true. It’s amazing how simple the good life is. It’s all the things you mention, & realizing that joy comes from giving. What a bright post–thank you.

    1. Shira

      Thank you for reading Janae and for your thoughtful comment – your post the other week there really brought a lot back and then this happened and the light came on. It was really a lovely realization – thank you for being a part of that!

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  4. janet

    Good for you! It’s wonderful that you have a forum where you can help others by your stories, both food-related and those like this one. Keep up the great work.


  5. LuAnn

    Shira, these two lines resonated with me as well, “Fullness is a feeling, and it comes from inside. I believe we all seek a certain contentment in our lives, and that feeling of truly being, well, just good”. I so appreciate your honesty and your inspiring blog. We all have our addictions and saying them out loud, being completely honest with who we are, gives us the strength to take the next steps and shift into a more productive life.

    1. Shira

      Thanks LuAnn! I could not agree more that speaking the truth is the greatest gift there is, and with it carries the potential for the most reward in life. It is hard, which is why it hurts, but it is the greatest liberator there is. Thank you for being you, and for all of your kindness & support. xx

  6. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    “It’s all just a giant, sprawling, messy & beautiful experiment and I am here for good.”

    LOVE just LOVE.

    I am so happy to hear you have found yourself in a place of healing. It’s so inspirational to see that you have taken something destructive and turned it into so much good :)

  7. Anna @ Your Healthy Place

    That’s a great post Shira – firstly, congrats on coming so far in your compulsive shopping ‘recovery’ of sorts. I am really proud of you! I agree with you that it’s funny what we end up becoming – not setting out to be a food blogger and now your food photography and recipes are some of my favourites in the blogosphere for sure. I think that this kind of evolution is quite natural but also a journey we all go through in life. What’s great about blogs is that your journey is literally recorded on a website for us to all go back and track. But sometimes when things happen that suck, we know they have probably happened for a reason but we don’t always know what – tracking these journeys is sometimes a great way to see how things really do work out for the best at the end of everything! Ugh it’s still early here so I didn’t really articulate that the best but hopefully you get my gist ;).

    1. Shira

      Anna, you are so right about how blogs really do help us trace our journeys (and of course allowing others to do so too) – I am so glad we have connected and thank you for sharing these lovely words with me! I could not agree more that the tough stuff is every bit an opportunity as the good, and actually even more – so much more. With every challenge thrown our way, we get an opportunity to be better than we were before, and what a beautiful gift that is. xx

  8. Anne

    “Fulness is a feeling and it comes from the inside” – Amen!
    Thank you Shira for sharing your story – I have tears and in my eyes and I feel your story deep in my heart! I think you are so brave and beautiful for working through your addiction and for sharing it with the world!
    Addiction has been in my life since I was a little girl. My mom was an addict and died of her addiction.
    I think people who face addiction and work through it, are the bravest people in the world!

    1. Shira

      Anne, this is so heartbreaking what you just shared that I want to just give you a hug. A GIANT, long hug. I am so sorry to hear you lost your mother to such a sad cause. My heart breaks for you. Having said that, you are such a beautiful soul and I know feel an even deeper connection to your beauty. Thank you for all of your support & friendship always. Wow. xx

  9. Brittany

    I don’t know HOW I missed this post, but I am sure glad you mentioned it in your most recent post. I am in a process of life right now where I am being forced to have faith and be patient while feeling “stuck” in the waiting game of life. It sucks..and knowing that things will get better is helpful. I have a needy personality and while I don’t obsess over items, I tend to obsess over relationships in my life and friendships in my past. I dwell, I over analyze, and it’s time I kick those habits to the curb! I’ve been reading a LOT of helpful books lately and spending time trying to enjoy being alone, and taking things day by day! It’s a forever process this thing called life, but we might as well enjoy it while we are here on this earth!

    I’m not sure if my comment really related to what you’ve written, but I felt the need to share that stuff..HA!

    1. Shira

      Thanks for sharing this with us Britt – your passion for life comes through in everything you do and I think that obsessing for us enthusiastic people is a by-product of that (trust me I am the king obsessor and know how you feel all too well!). I heard a phrase the other day that I thought was great “Analysis equals paralysis” …. ie. overthinking is the enemy of productivity. A hard thing to stop doing!!
      We will all get there. If you’ve ever watched Randal’s iconic Honey Badger video, I highly suggest it. It helped me let go big time!! Crazy but true!

  10. Caitlin

    oh shira, how i loved reading this post. i wasn’t following you back when you talked first about your compulsive shopping, but will go back and read it. i’m so happy you are able to be in the moment and not have to shop in attempt to find happiness and content.

    1. Shira

      Thank you Caitlin!! I am so happy to have you here now….your support means so much. Thank you for this :)

  11. Kristy

    I love this post! It’s so wonderful, after hoping for so long to finally “arrive,” to realize that you “arrived” already. It’s easy to keep hoping to find balance, not realizing that you already have balance. Very inspiring post, Shira. :-)

    1. Shira

      Thanks Kristy! Crazy that we are living the ‘good old day’s’ (referencing the Office finale now). It’s been a fun journey to healing and being honest with myself and others. Thank you for being here!

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