my 10 things

Posted on October 1st, 2010

mnmlist just posted a list of 10 essential things. It’s his take on those lists they do in magazine with famous personage where they get them to list consumerables they just can’t live without.

just a cute picture of a happy sheep, really

just a cute picture of a happy sheep, really

I avoid these kind of lists (the consumerable ones) as I don’t so much like consuming. This is probably disappointing for the reader. That said, I’ve got one coming up: “what’s inside my beautyf bag”…but I’m doing it so I can highlight organic options…does this make it OK? In my head it does.

My list. I had to make it a 13-pointer:

1. What I wear: the same thing over and over. I have a pair of green American Apparel shorts I’ve had for six years and I’ve wear them 4-5 times a week – for sport stuff, but also pretty much all weekend. I like the simplicity of having a ‘thing’ that works.

2. What I eat: kale… in juice, for breakfast (with a poached egg on top), in soups. If I’ve been a bit off-kilter, the green stuff gives me my energy back.

3. How I hydrate: Tea. In the morning I drink a stack of green tea (I make one pot and keep topping it up with hot water). Then I move to herbal. I make my own concoctions from herbs I buy at the health food shop and make it up in big coffee plungers and sip on it all day. My favourite right now: dandelion root (unroasted), cinnamon buds, licorice root, ginger root. When I’m feeling toxic I drink a lot of dandelion root (both roasted and unroasted; unroasted is better for you). The bad stuff just flushes out. Literally. (The French call the root pis en lit…piss in bed cos it makes you just want to go and go).

4. My favourite thing to do when I’m a bit flat: hang out in Ariel book shop in Sydney for an hour, just looking at covers and watching interested, interesting people.

5. My other favourite thing to do when I’m a bit flat: get acupuncture. It balances me like no other. I see Daniel at The Pain Relief Clinic.

6. My favourite smell: white waxy flowers – daphne, magnolia, gardenia and jasmine. I love Sydney in summer at night, when the jasmine comes out…when I ride through the suburbs it smells like happiness.

7. My essential online aid: instapaper.

8. What I do for fun: go for bush jogs. I have a ritual. On weekends I head to a National Park and, with a map and my key stuffed down my bra top, and wearing my read cap and green shorts and a bit of sunscreen, I jog through the bush. Very slowly. Slow enough to smell and see things. But with a momentum. And no carry-on clutter (water bottles, snacks etc). I LOVE to create a journey out of it…catch the train from Central up the coast (I buy a tea and the Saturday newspaper and zone out). Bush jog with just my map and key. Train home. Eat MASSIVE lunch.

9. How I feel better: salt water – floating in it. I float and stare at the sky and I reckon it works some crazy magic.

10. What nourishes me: really good chats. You have to set them up sometimes. Like, book in a chat with a friend. Not a dinner. A chat. Or you have to take responsibility at social functions to extract a good chat from someone who might’ve been OK just to flitter with small talk all night.

11. What also nourishes me: yoga. It rinses out all my angst and grounds me and makes me a nicer person. I do a vinyasa style because I like the flow it instills in me.

12. My guilty pleasure: red wine. It tastes like the earth and it fills me up… not like food does, but somehow it penetrates my cells and gives them an experience that just feels pleasantly complete. I can’t drink much of it…one glass in a session. So I drink it from a nice glass.

13. My favourite feelings: being stroked on the inside of my arm, plane turbulence (it feels exciting), sun on my face, running in the rain.

What’s on your essential list?

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  • cammy

    I loved this, I don’t know what’s on my list exactly but I know i would also include tea xx


  • Laura

    Loved this list. Mine would have to include coffee right at the top. Don’t think I could cope on caffeine free tea!


  • Mia

    1. Tea! I drink all kinds, occasionally English breakfast with milk but mostly green, chamomile, peppermint and honey/lemon. I gave my best friend a traditional Chinese tea set with the little tiny cups, it is beautifully made and we pull it out to chat. Or watch documentaries on stuff like quantam physics and deep space exploration.

    2. Scuba diving… nothing equals the bliss of being in a world of underwater magic (everything is strange down there, it is like Wonderland on acid) but also being able to move in three dimensions. After being on a boat all day and doing several dives, suddenly moving in two dimensions and not floating up and down is unusual, and you have to get used to that again. I love the feeling of laying in bed with my eyes closed and feeling like Im still moving.

    3. Getting up early, meditating, yoga, drinking at least 3 litres of water every day.

    4. Trying to live as simple a life as possible, a novelty after being a consumerist for many years!

    5. Simple food shared with loved ones.

    I cant wait to see what everybody else has… Im sure I have more!


  • Jo

    Love this list Sarah.
    I think I’m going to try some bush jogging!


  • Erin

    Over the last couple of years I have come to realise I can live without a lot. My essentials are music, trail running (it clears my head), my two dearest friends (one makes me laugh, the other provides wisdom and intelligent conversation), some kind of creative outlet (writing, photography, etc), pilates, lots of water and lots of light.


  • tegan haining

    Plane Turbulance?? That’s a first – hahaha

    I like going to the movies alone, with a bucket of popcorn. I pretend i’m SJP from SATC (wow that looks like code). You know the episode where she goes on a ‘date’ with the city?

    Hmmmm I don’t know if i should be telling people this…..


  • pip

    1. water water water – 2 litres in the morning (warm + lemon) and then endless cups of geen tea throughout the day. (Must admit I sneak in one Earl Grey mid morning).

    2. pilates – it does wonders for my body and mind. I’m long and wiry – too much cardio makes me hyper and anxious.

    3. conversation – my husband, my best friend, random strangers… doesn’t matter who as long as it’s not small talk. I particularly like engaging people who are 20 – 30 years older than me. They often have a refreshing perspective on things.

    4. engaging with my 2 children – my little boy is soo huggy and when i hold him it feels like loving energy just courses through my cells. simply looking at my gorgeous daughter has the same effect. sometimes it feels like my heart won’t fit in my chest, i’m so puffed up with pride and amazement at their very existence.

    5. writing – i’m a writer by occupation and nature. it satiates me like good food.

    6. self enquiry – i’m on a spiritual journey and i try to remember this in every moment, every encounter. (can’t get enough of caroline myss – and this blog).

    7. good food – my staples are quinoa, seeds, salad, berries, fish and chicken. i love seeking out new recipes that fit in with my way of eating.

    8. My husband – he truly is my rock. He makes me laugh and keeps me sane. it’s like living with a psychotherapist who knows me completely.

    9. CHRISTMAS! love it. love driving around looking at Christmas lights on the houses, love the sparkly tree, the parcels underneath (what’s in them is irrelevant). The anticipation is delicious.

    I could go on but it’s someone else’s turn! xxx


  • Sarah

    I wrote my own, here: Ten Essentials
    Hope you like it!
    Erin above just said Music is her essential, and I’ve just realised it’s mine too! It’s crazy how something that is essential to you becomes something you don’t really think about or realise you do need, it just exists.


  • Sarah

    Sorry, my html isn’t very good anymore. link here.


  • James

    Jasmine is so happiness for me……what a great spring/summer smell……

    Running through the bush……..nothing more spiritual I believe. Leave the iPod at home and listen, smell and feel the different sensations under the feet……beaut! I’ll run by those green shorts and red cap one of these days Sarah, if I haven’t already. Isn’t there something great about runnng in the rain…..except in winter with a biting wind!

    For me to add to the list would be: the first coffee of the day, breakfast with a sprinkle of aktavite, being in teh garden.


  • August

    Ooh I like that sheep! Excellent sheep.


    H Pip Reply:

    Love this comment, made me giggle for a bit longer than is acceptable


  • AJ

    I was trying to think of what my list would be, but i found it difficult to come up with essentials that I do on a consistent basis. I realise that in order to do this you have to know yourself pretty well and have your life reasonably in order! That in itself gives me lots to ponder. I’m going to set about creating my essentials first, maybe then I can list them for all to see.


  • Jo-living savvy

    I used to have a blue pair of shorts that I wore everywhere. I took them everywhere. But alas one day I found them (unintentionally) around my ankles. The elastic in the waist had finally given out. I put them out into the rag bag. I still find myself looking for them though and have never found a replacement.


  • NatalieW

    Sarah, this is the best top ten I’ve ever seen from anyone!
    its so different and interesting and its so ‘you’ :)

    My top 10 is
    1. dancing. for me dancing is an expression, an art, when you dance you feel fit, young, (high!), a bit insane and in your own world. You r happy and you are feeling the music. you experience art not through looking at it, admiring from afar, but by experiencing it with your mind and body.
    (its an exercise too!)

    2. watching performance art..
    Its live and I can feel the adrenalin rush from the performers (and audience). Every session of performance art is different, because the audiences are always different and the performers get the different energy each night and reflect back different energy. Its like experiencing one of its kind.

    3. I love Strangers who smile (one time one bus driver greeted cheerfully every single passengers who board the bus ‘Hello!Good Morning!!’ with the biggest smile. He definately made my day, got me to smile and think how beautiful the morning is (it’s 6 o’clock in one (miserable) winter morning.. Love his enthusiasm and happy positive attitude.
    I love a saying which says ‘Be the best not in, but for the world.’
    I love especially unexpected nice gestures.

    4. I love to see people who take pride on their work. Whatever that work is. I particularly admire teachers and farmers.

    5. my favourite taste – is the first sip of coffee when I just got up.

    6. my favourite traits – humility (and isnt this the hardest) I also believe that when nobody knows thats you just did a good deed, the universe will respond/gv it back to you even more than human does.

    7. my favourite feeling – the feeling of laying down with the pillow on my head and closing my eyes when I havent sleep for days.

    8. Favourite sight = sunsets (it is beautiful in a mysterious ways), old couple holding hands. Airports (its the place where ppl are excited and new adventures begin), smiling children.

    9. Giving back = yes I lose my material possession/time/energy but I always get another level of satisfaction (I also read in Oprah that by sacrificing what we want for the greater goods can boost our happiness to another level) which I find it very true.

    10. having a passion for life. never lose that inner child. Be interested and interesting,excited and see the miraculous in the common. having a job which is not just a job or a career but also your calling.


  • NatalieW

    erm sorry one more.
    reading your blog, Sarah. x


  • Lisa

    I love running in the bush so much. And a run in the bush in the rain is pure bliss. I walked Oxfam Trailwalker last year (100km from Brooklyn to Mosman through the most glorious bush) and I almost physically ache when I see where we would train. It’s about the memory and the bush. I’m already planning a doozy for this weekend. My problem is I only like running in one direction (a return circuit does my head in), so I always need to hatch an elaborate plan for a pickup. I have a plethora of 10+ km bush bashes if you ever need any inspiration….Love your list!!!!


  • Christine

    1. Water. Water that I can gulp, also the type that stretches out the horizon that I can splash around in and stare at. Water reinvigorates me.

    2. Walking. Early morning. Late nights (and I mean late). There’s not alot in the world that can’t be worked out by a good walk. Also I’m a constant mover. If I can walk/bike/run I feel free.

    3. The smell of my dogs when I give them a cuddle. This and knowing my parents and closest friends are a phone call or train ride away keeps me steady when I’m not.


  • Stephanie

    I’m with you on everything but the plane turbulence. Are you kidding me? Pass me another little plastic bottle of red wine, please!

    I used to run at the national level (I’m not Australian) and I trained for one year in Canberra, once upon a time. I still have such vivid memories of running in the hills and bush around the city – I revisit them in motion in my mind as in a dream. I love what you said about “no added carry-ons.” I have never carried anything with me when I run (no water, no gels, etc. – not necessary if you’re well-hydrated, etc.) ; I see people these days and I wonder what they are planning for with all of that gear (being lost in the Sahara for two days?). I think it bothers me so much because I feel that people are being suckered into buying accoutrements they don’t need (true in North America I find, at least), instead of truly subscribing to the actual experience of running (guided by their intuition, their own heartbeats, etc.)


  • The Everyday Minimalist

    That sheep is making me smile!

    5 things I enjoy:
    – Drinking tea or fresh ginger slices with honey in hot water
    – Eating candy. Lots of it.
    – Being with BF.. even sitting next to him, I feel better.
    – Blogging. I get so much pleasure out of it!


  • The Everyday Minimalist

    Crap, I forgot the last one:

    Watching funny comedies like Modern Family or something kickass like Nikita.


  • steph

    love the idea of a date in the city going to the movies solo, as sometimes there is a movie you might just wanna see that your mates just don’t !, i might have to go see eat pray love solo, i’m excited!. and i must try this tea dandelion, i’m on the nettle atm high in iron.


  • Rach

    Hi Sarah

    Wow, your blog just continues to blow me away – please don’t ever stop writing!

    My ten essentials are below:

    1. Water. For drinking and for centreing. I live across the road from the beach and find if i’m away from the water for a day or so, I have withdrawals. Water is goooood.

    2. Love from my special man who is the epitome of positivity and warmth. When I think of him, I imagine snuggling into him or holding his hand and it fills me with delight.

    3. Lip gloss… I have a slight problem with lip gloss (as in, I apply excessively). What can I say, I hate the feeling of dry lips!

    4. Exercise. Running on the track beside the beach, bootcamping, doing pilates, losing myself in a good yoga sesh, sweating it out — I love it. It’s essential for my happiness, for clarity and for energy.

    5. The World Wide Web. I love to research and read and the Internet marries the two perfectly.

    6. Good food. Fresh fruit and vege rocks my world. I especially love a juicy berry, a nectarine that’s juices run down my arm, a mango with flavour that explodes in your mouth and sweet, sticky, delicious dates. YUM.

    7. People. I love my alone time, but mostly I am happiest when I am in the company of inspiring, energetic, warm, funny, good people. I worked at home for 6 months a few years ago and remember it being one of the most challenging times for me because I felt out of touch and “flat.” It actually surprised me how much I rely on a chirpy hello in the morning or intermittent chats throughout the day with friends at work. Likewise on the weekends, I’m happy to flit from catch up to catch up because I like to connect. Crazy Saggitarian traits coming out now!!

    8. Reading. I devour books… but they have to suck me in. If I’m not “captured” in the first few chapters, the book gets relegated to the pile on my bedside table to “read at a later date.” (note: this pile was an endless source of guilt until I read an article on Danielle LaPorte’s WhiteHotTruth about giving yourself permission not to finish that crappy book. SO TRUE, why do we worry about such silly things?!)

    9. Nature and greenery. The sun shining through the trees in the afternoon, the smell of freshly cut grass, rainforests. YAY.

    10. Vitamins. I eat well and have been loosely following the Blood Type Diet (I’m an O and have cut out dairy and wheat which has been FREAKIN’ AWESOME for my body!) but I love the ritual of having
    my vitamins each morning just before I leave for work. I definitely notice a difference if I miss a few days.

    Thanks Sarah, what a great exercise in gratitude this has been!! x


  • A

    i just did the list, typed it up, stuck it on my wall as a way to remind myself it’s nice to know yourself and very important! i love spring air it’s like a drug xxx


  • Jacquie

    What did I ever do without this blog? You often write about just what I need to read to remind me what I love doing or what I need to bring more of into my life. THANK YOU.

    (By the way, many of my things are the same as yours – I’d add ‘connect with animals’ – whether that’s patting a cat or watching birds or ants do their thing for a half an hour. It is a perfect way to reconnect with the moment and ‘be human’.)


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