By Kristen Manieri

Cultivating the Art of Living Well

We’re back! I am so excited to kick off season three with you. Since launching in 2017, we’ve explored a lot of different topics including parenting, travel, leadership, mindfulness, purpose and gratitude.

Looking back, I can see a common thread not only to this podcast but to everything I am doing in my life, and it’s this: I want to create conversations and inspire contemplation about what it means to live a more connected, conscious and intentional life. As you’ll see from this new website, I am passionate about the idea that we can live life like we matter.

This week’s guest couldn’t be more aligned with this philosophy.

Shannon Ables is an author, blogger, podcaster and vodcaster steeped in an ethos of cultivating the art of living well. My way into her world was through her 2nd book, Living the Simply Luxurious Life, which will form the basis of this week’s podcast conversation. From there I dove into Shannon’s lifestyle blog, The Simply Luxurious Life and her first book with the same name.

I reached Shannon in her relatively new hometown of Bend, Oregon for a deep dive into what it means to live a simply luxurious life. What’s ahead is the perfect conversation to kick off season three.

I love everything Shannon stands for, especially the flexibility for our own personal expression of the good life. Your version of the good life could be totally different from mine. That’s totally fine. The point is to spend some time thinking about what living well looks like to you, and then setting the wheels in motion to bring those ideas to life. Shannon has so many resources and inspiring insights, so a good place to start is her website, which is www.thesimplyluxuriouslife.com.


Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from this conversation:

  1. Simply luxurious living starts with simplicity, consciously editing out what doesn’t feel satisfying and choosing quality over quantity. At its essence, it is a commitment to cultivating an everyday life that you love.
  2. There’s also an element of working towards something, looking forward to something ahead that’s important or special to you, as well as slowing down to savor what’s in front of you right now. It’s about cultivating a sense of appreciation and presence.
  3. A simple way to drop into the present is through your senses. Use nature, use food, textiles and scents to bring you back to the present moment more fully.
  4. We live in a ‘thank god it’s Friday’ culture where the concept of creating a life filled with everyday delight and moments of savoring is not celebrated or commonly voiced. If your life feels like a daily grind, ask yourself why and what you could change, little by little. You get one life. Why would you want to simply survive when you could thrive?
  5. Sleep, rest and rejuvenation are the foundations of a good life. Our energy, goodwill and will power are finite. We need to refill our stores if we’re going to be able to cultivate feelings of optimism, possibility and joy. Start to build more rest into your life and gradually get comfortable stepping away from the world to reset and re-center.
  6. Another key component of Shannon’s philosophy is mastery of the mind. As she states, knowing how the mind functions and what it needs to function optimally helps us nurture thoughts and beliefs that supports the life we want.
  7. Use curiosity to begin to explore and discover what feels good for you. Maybe it’s more creativity, maybe it’s more time outdoors, maybe it’s a new career or hobby. Start to look for the markers. Ask yourself, how would I spend my time if I had a week completely to myself? Use your answers as clues to what you could create more of in your life.
  8. It’s our responsibility to elevate each and every day, to design a life that’s filled with delight. It takes time to create healthful and nurturing routines and rituals, but it’s a strength that gets honed over time and with use. Pretty soon, you’ll find that prioritizing feeling good becomes second nature.


Here’s what I want you to hear above all else: You matter. And when you start to live your life from that place, start to make yourself a priority, things shift. Let’s shift together. Keep coming back to this podcast, reading the blog and looking at the courses I am offering. Let’s make a pact to live a more connected, conscious and intentional life. I’m in. Are you?

Until next time…

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