The Not So Big Life

The Not So Big Life

Sarah1We can all be designers and architects…that is, architects in the process of our LIFE remodeling, according to Sarah Susanka, a bestselling author, architect, and cultural visionary. She was named a “Top Newsmaker” by Newsweek magazine, an “innovator in American culture” by U.S. News & World Report and has shared her insights with Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Rose. Sarah is well known for her book The Not So Big House, a guideline for remodeling with the approach of “build better, not bigger.” Her main approach to design is that if we look at the way we truly live, it’s not the size of the house that makes us feel comfortable, but the flow and function and attention to detail that makes us feel “at home.”

Her book The Not So Big Life, is an extension of this Sarah2philosophy and uses the home as a metaphor to discuss more peaceful and centered ways to live our lives. As she puts it, “Your life is a lot like the house you live in. It has some things that you like and some that you find irritating.” Some problems are more difficult to identify, articulate, and resolve because they are less visible. However, just like remodeling a house, “you don’t need to change a lot of things in order to shift the character of the house, but you do need to evaluate what isn’t working and determine what you would like to have room for but don’t. Then you need to compose a good design solution that uses what already exits but modifies it here and there to accommodate the new functions. After that you must develop a thorough set of blueprints that record all the decisions made. And finally, to live the changes, you must build.”

To explore resources to simplify, prioritize and slow down, Sarah’s book offers a comprehensive tool for evaluating your life and redesigning it to fit who you really are and to reflect your core values.

Here are the 12 steps that go into the making of a The Not So Big Life

  1. Developing a Blueprint for a New Way of Living
  2. Noticing What Inspires You
  3. Identifying What Isn’t Working
  4. Removing the Clutter
  5. Listening to Your Dreams
  6. Learning to See Through the Obstacles
  7. Improving the Quality You Have
  8. Creating a Place and a Time of Your Own
  9. Proceeding Through the Construction Process
  10. Moving into Your Not So Big Life
  11. Maintaining Your Newly Remodeled Life
  12. Being at Home in Your Life

A detailed explanation of the above 12 steps can be found in an excerpt from her book Not So Big Life. “Learn How to Restructure and Simplify Your Life”

sarah3A master in the use of metaphor to help explain new dimensions of understanding, Susanka unveils a process for changing the way we live by fully inhabiting each moment of our lives and by showing up completely in whatever it is we are doing. Through this process of self-discovery, described in The Not So Big Life, readers uncover more meaningfulness and vitality in their own lives.

The Not So Big House book series by Sarah Susanka brings to light a new way of thinking about what makes a place feel like home – sarahbookcharacteristics many people desire in their homes and their lives, but haven’t known how to verbalize. How big is Not So Big? Not So Big doesn’t necessarily mean small. It means not as big as you thought you needed, but designed and built to perfectly suit the way you live.

   sarahTedTalk Possibilities—Life’s Invisible Feast Sarah Susanka at TEDxSanDiego 2013

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