All You Need Is Less

by Susyn on August 28, 2014

Do you think about living a more eco-friendly and simple life but find that some of your daily habits get in the way? What if you there were simple steps you could take immediately to have greater simplicity in your life and free up your energy, would you take them?


This enlightening On Purpose conversation is with Madeleine Somerville, the author of All You Need Is Less: The Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity.

Madeleine adores writing in all its incarnations, and has a popular blog at She has a B.A. in sociology and became an unrepentant, tree-hugging hippie after moving to British Columbia eight years ago. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband, Adam, her baby girl, Olive, and their dog, Gus.

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Gem of Wisdom:  Be Gentle With Yourself in this Process 

Focus on what you are doing. Take small steps. Be encouraged by how far you’ve come instead of looking at how far you have to go. Pick one area of your life that you are excited about and start there.

One Small Step:  Re-Focus Holidays On the Experience

  • Do a “Secret Santa” gift exchange in your families – so you are giving one person a gift.
  • Wrap gifts in newspaper with colorful ribbon, put gorgeous buttons on it, or you can paint on it. If you are giving a child a little kitchen set you can wrap it in an apron. If you’re going art supplies you can wrap them in a smock.
  • Create a tradition of giving-out, volunteering at a soup-kitchen or homeless shelter. If you have a child, going through the toy box and choosing toys to give someone who might not have as much. Re-focusing from getting to giving.

Favorite Quotes:

“I started to have the desire to live a more green life when we got our dog several years ago. We brought him home he sat down and was licking the floor. I thought it was so cute and then I realized that I had been cleaning my floor with cleaners that had toxic warning labels all over it. That was the first time I realized I was using products in my home and on my body that I had no idea what the ingredients were.”

“I made laundry detergent and I felt like a magician. It was an inspiring and empowering feeling to be able to make something and to know exactly what went in it. Now I make most of the items in my home from cleaners, to laundry detergent to lotions and shampoos. “ 

“I started putting my recipes together in a little booklet that I would sell alongside crafts that I sold at craft fairs. Eventually my friends started asking for recipes, my family started using the recipes and I found that it wasn’t just working for me it was working for them too. This momentum propelled me to share these recipes on my blog.”

“I made a list of some simple things that you could do like getting a cone instead of a cup when you’re getting ice cream so you don’t have anything to throw away, or using a jar instead of a paper coffee cup when you go to get coffee. My publisher (VIVA Editions) happened upon this list and loved it and I was given the hugest platform to write a book.”

“I went back and forth for months with my publisher to figure out the title. I wanted something that would convey the simplicity of the environmental movement. To be eco-friendly all you need is less.”

“Take small gradual steps towards a more eco-friendly life. You don’t have to do it all at once. Just do one thing one at a time. You don’t have to focus on the 75 things you’re not doing that your neighbor is doing who has solar panels. Let each small success propel you forward.”



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How to Keep a Good Thing Growing

by Susyn on August 26, 2014

Even after you have clarity for a new lifework vision and are actively building it, there are both internal and external obstacles. How do you stay inspired and on-track?


Every three months On Purpose Show co-hosts, Susyn Reeve and Rikk Hansen, take a step back and host a special episode. These episodes are part of a series called “Perspectives on Purpose,” where we draw on our wealth of experience along with the wisdom of recent On Purpose Show guests.

During this On Purpose conversation Rikk interviews me about my experience and work to keep a good thing going as my passion and purpose continues to evolve.

I am the co-founder of and the best selling author of The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind’s Capacity for Joy. Her new book, The Wholehearted Life: Big Changes and Greater Happiness Week By Week will be published in November 2014. She has 40 years of experience as a Coach, Corporate Consultant, Educator and InterFaith Minister. Her clients have included: American Express, New York University, Exxon, Continental Airlines, The Metropolitan Museum and YPO (Young Presidents Organization).

As a teen I wrote in my journal, “What would the world be like if everyone loved themselves?”  This question has informed my commitment to partner with clients and guide them in deepening and expanding their capacity to experience vibrant self esteem, peace, happiness, love and joy. I’ve been a delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and an adjunct Associate Professor at New York University teaching Interpersonal and Group Dynamics.

Listen to this interview, as well as past and future interviews,
by subscribing to the free iTunes
On Purpose Show podcast => HERE

Gem of Wisdom: 
Love Yourself by Acknowledging Yourself

Make time each day to express your gratitude for who you are, what you do and your gifts.

One Small Step:  Create a Dream Team

Identify the people in your life who give you the support of a loving hug when you need it, give you the support of their expertise and who are the people in your life who challenge you, confront you and ask you questions. Then look at your list and identify a dream team for yourself, starting with one person who will be your vision keeper. Share your vision with this person and ask for the kind of help you need.

Favorite Quotes from this Interview

The first thing to keep in mind, which has been so true on my path is that the journey continues I life. As soon as you think, I’m here, and I’ll be here forever, my problems are solved, you can be pretty sure that you will outgrow it at some point.”

“You may stay in the same business or in the same job title but since we are constantly growing and evolving in order for me to continually express my purpose I have had to go inside many times in my life and ask the question, Who am I going to be, what am I going to do when I grow up?”

“There have been times where I didn’t know if I had it in me to create another area of focus in my life.”

“Earlier on when I had a lot of excitement about a new area of focus, the gift of being and elder, I didn’t know what to do, where to go and how to approach this. So I did what I suggest to my clients and what I write about, I started talking to a few people who I knew would help me clarify my dream.”

“One of the ways we keep things growing is have a dream team, a mastermind group. A group of cheerleaders and supporters who don’t require that you have the final answer and are willing to go on the journey with you.”

“When I was 64 I realized one day that I wasn’t going to be 20 again! I began to think, I’m stepping into this new chapter, this new passage, new time of my life and my work here is to be, give and receive Love. How was I going to step into this role of being an Elder – how was I going to make myself available in this way? It became clear to me that my task is to share what I know – and what I know is about self esteem, leadership, the creative process, and what I know is that when we embrace and love all of who we are we have access to our inner wisdom, to Source Energy and to an infinite array of resources.”

“My new book, The Wholehearted Life which will be published in November 2014 is an expression of my continued growth and evolution. It is based on my personal experience and my experience with thousands of people I’ve worked with – and the ways that we nourish a loving connection with ourselves, including acknowledging and appreciating the full range of feelings that we experience.”

“I started out feeling negative about negative feelings judging myself – I shouldn’t feel jealous, I shouldn’t feel angry, I shouldn’t be regretful.”

“To stay on track and to keep a good thing growing I made a commitment and created a 21- day daily ritual for myself that included eating nutritious plant-based food, reading a poem each morning (from our guest Mark Nepo”s book, Reduced to Joy), meditating and wrote a blog post. I gave myself the inner time to be present and clear.”

“Acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. There is a particular momentum when you acknowledge steps you have taken along the way to bringing your dreams to life.”


Links to the previous Perspectives on Purpose Shows


Having the Time of Your Life

August 26, 2014

It often seems that the problems and struggles of life capture our attention and get a grip on us. How do you have the time of your life – how can you appreciate the journey – what are the tools or the words to enrich your life? This inspiring On Purpose conversations is with returning […]

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Do You Have a Story to Tell?

July 29, 2014

Have you ever noticed that a good story can immediately capture the attention of an audience?  Do you have a good story that highlights your journey to fulfilling LifeWork?  What’s the best way to tell it? This weeks inspiring conversation is with Mike Tringe,  the co-founder of CreatorUp, the e-learning platform to make great video […]

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Aligning with Your True Nature

July 29, 2014

Are you ready for your work and life to be an expression of your true nature? This energizing On Purpose conversation is with Rony Reingold - the CEO of Embodied Truth Coaching.  As a Transformational Coach, Motivational Speaker, and co-Author of the Amazon best-seller, In Pursuit of the Divine.  Rony has guided countless clients across the […]

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On My Own – I Am Ready

June 17, 2014

Tuesday, June 17 2014 – 5 Days After Completing the Cleanse and I am now in another phase of Loving My Body – this is the phase where I continue to use what I have learned.  This is the time where, in the past, I have gotten lazy and have been easily seduced by the […]

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I Am Continuing

June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014 – Day 3 After the Cleanse Today is the 3rd day after I completed Elissa Goodman’s 21-Day Cleanse.  As I write, I am sipping a green juice that I made about 10 minutes ago (kale, celery, carrots, apples, lime and ginger).  While it is too early to say, I’ve maintained a […]

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I Am Complete

June 13, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014 – Day 21 Today’s affirmation – guess what it is. . . Yes, I AM COMPLETE! I am thrilled, energized, grateful, jumping for joy that I have completed Elissa Goodman’s fabulous 21 – Day Cleanse Click Here Now to listen to my On Purpose Interview with Elissa where she gives a […]

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I Am New

June 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 – Day 20 As soon as I focused my attention on today’s affirmation, while meditating, an image of a newborn baby filled my inner movie screen. As I imaged the new soft skin of a newborn all of my senses came alive.  I had an overwhelming powerful feeling of wanting to […]

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I Am Healthy

June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 – Day 19 I must admit, I am so HAPPY that I have and am following through on my commitment to Love My Body.  YAY! Today’s affirmation is, I Am Healthy.  When I first read these words I could feel some hesitation, a twinge of doubt about whether I’ll be able […]

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