Nature Simple Living

Simple Living in Dominica – The Nature Island

Simple living in Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean, may just be one of the coolest choices to make. Why? It almost seems like the island has been naturally curated to be a top notch destination for the art of simple living and it presents the gift beautifully packaged – ribbons – or is it vines? – and all. 

As simple as simple living may sound, for many it is not the most simple lifestyle to embrace; especially depending on where you live. However, Dominica, this beautiful little island in the Caribbean, is just one of the places where it certainly feels like the choice is almost ‘kinda’ made for you. You get to live simply and you’ll be glad. Here’s why.

Simple Living and Nature

Nature: We are called “The Nature Island of  the Caribbean’.  Talk about a name that suits the face! The island is wrapped in green and the shades are many. Then, there are the portions of blue and pops of many different colors against that green backdrop. Too cool! The hills and valleys make for a spectacular lay out, enticing the most unsuspecting visitor to become a resident.

Simple and Fun Things to Do in Dominica

Natural attractions: The very nature of the island makes for some of the most interesting attractions. Nestled between these hills and valleys are majestic waterfalls, pools, and lakes for the simplest and most fun adventures.  Add these to the sulfur springs and hot water pools and you begin to call the island ‘Lil Heaven’.  The view of the most amazing sunsets from hiking trails, from the balcony of eco resorts,  the beach or from your off grid location is just the bonus. 

Simple Living and Agriculture in Dominica

Land  for agriculture: Grow what you eat, eat what you grow. Looking at your meal and finding that it is 95% from farm or homestead to your table is an amazing feat. I won’t even get into how beneficial this is for our health and wellbeing. Growing what one eats evokes a sense of pride in an individual which has far reaching benefits for humanity.

In Dominica that sense of pride exists as a result and many young people are taking the initiative of cultivating small plots of land to grow their own food especially fruits and vegetables. How amazing it would be if we continue to do so for generations to come. 

Natural Products for a Simple Life in Dominica

Natural products/resources/food: As a result of our fertile soil and initiatives by many to cultivate the land, new enterprises are born. These new enterprises make use of our locally grown resources to create hair & body care products, wines, oils, soaps, snacks and more. Just imagine freshly picked coconuts transforming into extra virgin coconut oil right before your eyes. It is interesting that the youth are the majority in these enterprises which is an indication of continuity: a plus for sustainable and simple living on the island.

Simple Off-Grid Living in Dominica

Choice to live off the grid: We are not the tiniest of Caribbean Islands and we are certainly not the most populated. Guess what? This leaves a lot of land, especially in the interior, available for regenerative farming and off-grid living. The ability to live off the grid matches the philosophy of many people who have chosen simple living as a way of life. As an eco friendly island, Dominica will thank you for preserving its resources and educating others in the process. 

Dominica: Land of Water

Water: With the abundance of rivers on the island – 365 at last count, almost any abode will be in relatively close proximity to rivers, streams or springs. These sources produce clear crystal water for quenching your thirst, keeping the ducks happy, watering the plants and keeping your cabin clean and fresh.  Way to simplify your life!

Simple Outdoor Living in Dominica

Cuisine: Our very history has influenced our cuisine in such a traditional manner. Although we have significantly modernized our way around the kitchen, no one on island can truthfully say that they have not experienced a hot meal from an open fire. In fact, it still remains one of the fun activities to do when friends and families meet up for social activities. On the outskirts of the city and in the countryside, many homes continue to rely on and enjoy outdoor cooking. Our Dominicans will assure you that food cooked outdoors under the Caribbean sun tastes way better than any other. Lemme know when you get to try it.

Sustainable purchases and Simple Living in Dominica

Not commercialized  – We know… The billboards, the store fronts, the incessant advertising can be tempting and can indeed create some artificial needs. Dominica allows you the freedom to decide what you truly need. The very nature of the island minimizes impulse shopping. The lovely purchases from our locally owned stores, talented tailors, local artists and other production creatives edge more on the intentional and sustainable side

Simple Living and the People of Dominica

People:  As I always say, above all, it is the people who add the charm and allure to the island. The same applies for those who may arrive here seeking to simplify their lives. Ras Bongo, Sister Pat, Major Smalls… (not real names) – will be there to show you the ropes. Our friendly people know of the best herbs for tea or for natural healing. They are your guides for moonlight adventures and your maps to the amazing sites deep in the forests. They know the secret ingredients to the simplest, tastiest and most natural Dominican dishes.

Learn more about Simple Living in Dominica

So whether you choose to visit and stay in one of our amazing Dominican owned eco resorts, our mini campgrounds and guest houses or whether you are looking to become resident here, you’ll see or rather you’ll feel it. You’ll  feel the good vibes! The simple life that you’ve dreamed about is right here – on this amazingly beautiful island – my home: Dominica.

Learn more about simple living, well-being and nature on the Caribbean Island of Dominica. You can do so by subscribing to Simply Grethel on YouTube and leaving a comment. Otherwise simply shoot me an email at

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How to Find Inner Peace – The 5 Piece Toolkit

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How to Find Inner Peace – The 5 Piece Toolkit

How to find inner peace is an important topic these days. The word is out. Inner peace is the new wealth and everyone is dashing to get their portion. Well hold up a moment! It is not reserved just for the highest bidder, the richest or the poorest. It is not reserved for the most aggressive, nor for the best negotiator or the most popular. 

First of all, inner peace is not for sale. Secondly, there is enough for us all and last but certainly not least, it has always been an amazing part of the fabric of true health and wealth. We are glad though, that many are coming to the realization that inner peace is what really matters and it is what most of us are truly seeking whether we are aware of it or not.

What is Inner peace

The term Inner Peace is self explanatory but for definition sake let’s just consider it a state of mind which is tranquil; free from worry, where an individual experiences harmony with him/herself. Inner peace can exist in the most chaotic of situations and on the flip side, an individual may be in what appears to be the most Zen-like situation and not have inner peace. 

Inner peace is a state of mind and attaining it requires a conscious and intentional effort. Easier said than done though, however the benefits are incredible. Let’s explore five tools, among many, which are valuable in helping us find inner peace.

1. Know Yourself – Have a good definition of yourself

What pisses you off? You should know.  If you know, you can devise ways to avoid it or to deal with it. By knowing, you now have the choice to decide whether you will ignore it or figure out why it messes with your psyche. In so doing, you just may be able to construct or seek relevant assistance to construct strategies for eliminating or minimizing its impact on you. 

Now what brings you joy – peace – contentment? Hmmm…

In knowing ourselves, we should seek to understand our likes and dislikes, what delights and what disgusts us, along with identifying strengths and weaknesses. Making this distinction is a gateway to inner peace as this provides the appropriate tools to better navigate life.

Metacognition and Inner Peace

Metacognition is very important in this process. This involves the  understanding of one’s own thought process. Simply put, metacognition is an understanding of how we arrive at our thoughts and the patterns behind them. 

Attaining inner peace is a deliberate and intentional process and this involves learning. In so doing, metacognitive practices play the role of allowing us to monitor, make assessments and plan along the way and it allows us to ask ourselves: 

What did I do when he approached me?

Why did I have such a response? 

What can I do the next time something like this happens?

Your understanding of these factors may be a handy tool on your path to inner peace. 

2. Educate Yourself – Learning, Unlearning and Relearning

Education is vital to the process of achieving inner peace.  In the process we should be prepared to learn, unlearn and relearn. Education affords us reasoning skills, it sharpens our ability to deduce, make inferences and analyses. Here we are looking beyond formal education and this can be achieved in many ways. Let’s explore a few. 

Reading: With a visit to the library or the click of a button we can explore a world of experiences capable of positively impacting our lives. A good book allows us to explore the world, experience different cultures, learn from others while at the same time adding depth to our thought process.

Travel: Like our book above, travel exposes us to new experiences. This exchange and sharing of culture called travel is capable of boosting our creativity, tolerance, imagination as well as our perception of the world and the people therein. A broad perspective and understanding of the world has the potential to contribute to a sense of peace within us.

Courses: Call it the internet, the metaverse or whatever you choose to. One thing I know for sure is that courses have never been more at our reach than they are now. Just think about it and boom! – you are able to connect with an entity who is capable of mentoring, tutoring, lecturing or guiding you in your field of interest. Even in the face-to-face realm, courses are available in a variety of subject matters. Making a great choice in this regard can be beneficial as we seek to better understand ourselves and find inner peace. 

3. Take care of your health – Get in great mental and physical shape

What did they say about health again? Health is wealth. Well, we already know that inner peace is part of the fabric of both health and wealth. To achieve inner peace, we should take care of the body and mind; the abode of inner peace. Here are some health tips:

Eat well: What are the different food groups? What are the nutrients they provide? You may be years past your Food & Nutrition class but this bit of information is vital. Eating a proper balanced diet has the power to positively affect our mood. You see the brain and the body work together, therefore whatever we put into that body affects the brain and its functions.  

Get a good night’s sleep: a good night’s sleep is important for both physical and mental wellbeing. It allows the body to recharge and refresh and it has the ability to keep us calm and alert. 

Exercise: Exercise does wonders for the body but did you know that it is super beneficial for the mind? Exercise makes you feel better about yourself. It helps with calmness. It can reduce sadness and anxiety and generally helps to regulate our mood which ultimately leads to inner peace. 

Mental Health and Inner Peace

Seek Psychological Counseling: We are getting to the core of your being here. Professional counseling allows you to open up in a trusted forum with a trained facilitator. The benefits include:

  • The release of hurt and resentment
  • The possibility to feel understood as a human – free from judgement
  • Emotional healing
  • The exploration of possibilities for mental growth and avenues to peace of mind. 
  • Facilitation in clearing your conscience, asking for forgiveness 
  • Support as you allow yourself room to heal
  • Support in attaining self compassion 
  • Transformation from negative to positive self talk
  • Support in taking responsibility for your actions

Alone time: Be still, dig deeper and get to the core of who you are. Learn to let go, cultivate hope and faith.

Self-care and Relaxation: Yoga meditation, spa, family time, games night, visualization, mindfulness as well as spending time in nature are all practices that hold the potential to guide you towards inner peace.

The body and mind are intertwined and require a holistic approach. These health tips will help us feel better about ourselves and we may find that we are less likely to: be anxious, rude or dismissive and on the other hand, we become more tolerant, calm and understanding with a greater sense of peace of mind.

4. Practice Empathy – Be Compassionate

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is a well known quote from the great book – the Bible. There are many other similar sayings all pointing towards putting ourselves in the shoes of others.

Unless you live alone in the land of Nowhere, you will find that you have to interact with other humans at some point in life. The result of these interactions depends a lot on you. Yep you! Your interpretation and response largely depends on how you perceive events, your ability to see things through the eyes of others, your experiences and awareness. 

Empathy points to emotional intelligence. When we understand ourselves we better understand others and as we seek to understand others we learn more about ourselves. 

Through empathy we become better able to assist others, listen to others, share, mentor, counsel and make more meaningful connections. These empathetic responses further allow us to deepen or gain inner peace.

5. Be Authentic – Be unapologetically you (within reason)

Have you had an interaction with an individual that left you with the question: Bro, who are you?

Perhaps. It feels like the person is conflicted with who to be and when to be who. Ok, this may be puzzling but indeed some individuals take on the persona of perhaps someone they admire, someone who is popular or someone they dreamed of being. This in itself can present barriers in the development of the individual in question as he/she is limiting genuine self development. 

Being authentic in your approach to life is an important tool in the process of attaining inner peace as it allows you to sharpen the tools for your own growth as a person.

Authenticity and Inner Peace

Being ‘authentically you’ allows you to:

  • Dig deeper into the core of your being and ‘know thyself’ 
  • Sharpen the tools to self improvement
  • Embrace wellbeing
  • Minimize the need to imitate others
  • Make good choices as they will align with your personality 
  • Minimize the need to live another person’s lifestyle
  • Lessen the need to prove yourself to anyone

So… do you! Dig deeper, find that place of peace that passeth understanding and reside there happily. Do not feign it though – you will know and you matter! Instead, strive for it, manifest it, visualize it, work for it.

So this was ‘How to Find Inner Peace.’ Here’s hoping that you found the 5 tools from the toolkit valuable. As a bonus for getting to this point I’ve decided to add another important tool to the toolkit: Simplify your life! Be sure to visit again as I will be sharing more on inner peace and simple living right here. In the meantime enjoy: Simple Things that make me Happy

Nature Simple Living

A Rainy Day In Dominica – The Nature Island

So we woke up to this! A super rainy morning on the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica.

The usually un-assuming nearby stream was no longer a trickle. It was seemingly beating its chest affirming: I am Dominica as well and this is how we do it on a rainy day! 

It was dramatic, it was loud and it was daring. The stream seemed to be demonstrating its potential to me and all the neighbors who popped their heads out to have a glimpse. Many were left wondering if the usually unnoticed lil’ waterway could continue to grow. The now lil’ giant was making an affirmation.

Tea on a Rainy Day in Dominica

And so it continued for a while but as soon as the water cleared a bit I decided to head down to get some tea bushes for my morning brew. 

BTW, what do you enjoy drinking on a rainy day – Basil, lemon grass, ginger? Share with us in the comments below.

Better or perhaps other things came to mind though, on this beautiful rainy day. I contemplated the beauty of this wet morning and all the possibilities that came along with it. 

The shiny wet leaves, the drenched grass, the dripping fruits, the glittering flowers, the chirpy birds and buzzing dragonflies were now beckoning me. (Imagine this against the different shades of green of the Nature Island, Dominica) I obliged. 

(See 5 things that helped to up my fun level on this beautiful rainy day – later in this post under NOTES)

Rain and Change on the Nature Island

Look how things change eh!

You see, the day before, I filmed a portion of my YouTube video entitled: 12 Simple Things That Make Me Happy and that section was called ‘Exercise‘. Just on the bank of this very little stream, was the precise location where I did the hula-hoop and a bit of skipping. I wonder if you would even notice that little stream in that video?

Life happens. Things change. One day it’s up, the other day it’s down. One day you’re in, one day you’re out. Today it’s sunny, tomorrow it’s rainy. It is a matter of perspective. Positivity may already be coming from your situation; from that change. Sometimes we simply need to allow ourselves to recognize it. Change is necessary for survival, for growth and even for happiness.

Having fun on a rainy day in Dominica

So, on this beautiful, rainy Dominica day, I created my own adventures, I explored new possibilities. Games were invented, songs were re-written and sung – track after track, after track.

Can you guess what I am singing here?

On an island where cascading waterfalls emanate from places where they didn’t exist the very day before, what did you expect? I certainly opted for the fun, carefree route – dancing in the rain – Dominica style.

What Comes After a Rainy day in Dominica?

Then boom! Just like that, the following day, the sun shot it’s rays through the leaves of the great almond tree in the yard. The stream happily sang and danced it’s way as it welcomed the warmth and appreciated the change and difference the sunlight brought about. 

As for me, I grabbed my camera, sneakers and some nuts for the birds. Off I went, giving praises for the day: different yet beautiful all the same.

Notes: A few tools that upped my fun experience on this rainy day

  1. My boots: A great pair of rain/garden boots
  2. A rain coat: easy on – easy off. Perfect for my tropical island
  3. My camera: You got to document this awesomeness
  4. Tea: Yummm

What do You do on a Rainy Day?

I am so curious to know. What do you do or how do you spend a rainy day where you live? What is it like? Are you the ‘odd one’ dancing in the rain or is this the usual? What do you drink on a rainy day? How do you dress? Most importantly; how do you feel on a rainy day? Tell us in the comments here or at Simply Grethel on YouTube.

You may also like: Simple Things that make me Happy Thank you for stopping by…. See you on the next one.

Simple Living Well-Being

Simple Things that make me Happy

Simple Things that make me Happy was compiled as a result of gratitude and in response to this question: What if happiness is just outside our window or our door? This we should explore! (Window? door? Oh, let’s just call it windoor)

There are many sayings, beliefs, quotes and theories about happiness. I however know for sure that there are just some simple things, many of which are found just outside my windoor, that certainly uplift my spirit and up my happiness level. I like to call them my simple joys.

Here are 12 Simple Things That Make Me Happy:

#1 The Sky

Is there anything as beautiful as watching the dawn skies transform into that glorious blue with portions of cottony, fluffy white? Perhaps! But the sky on a bright, sunny day with a cool breeze on my face really gets me.

Blue skies simply make me happy

#2 Water

Rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, ponds: they all strike a cord. It may just be the notes of the flowing water or it may be the memories of amazing childhood adventures that they evoke. Either way – clear, flowing crystal water has such a positive effect on my mood. Oh yes, clear flowing water is definitely among the simple things that make me happy!

#3 Activities with Children

They’re amazing! Even the voice of a child ups my happiness level. They simply brighten up my day. Their conversations, their laughter, their smiles, their silliness, their brightness are just awesome. Designing, playing, jumping in bouncy houses, learning and creating with kids is a whole different level of happiness. It’s the mood!

Kids activities – Among the simple things that make me happy

#4 Music

To this day, I have not figured out my favorite genre. From country, to rap to rock to bouyon – as long as it is a good sing-a-long. You know – a good hook and a couple of relatable and memorable lines – I’m in, singing away, rhythm or not. What is life without music?

#5 Foraging

The joy when I discover a hidden branch, overflowing with guava-cherries or a ripe pineapple under the tall grass! What about that forgotten avocado tree with overloaded branches? Sapodillas, Lemons, watermelons are among some of my happy finds as well. My childhood finds were fat pokes, guavas and sweet peas (poire doux). I have a planned adventure coming up for rediscovering them. It’s the find!

#6 Plants, Trees, Flowers

I love to be surrounded by big trees, green plants and a pop of color from our beautiful Caribbean flowers. Trees, plants and flowers, especially those that are growing wild, doing their thing on their own, are my faves – oh how this pops out the happiness within me.

Plants are simple things that make me happy

#7 Animals

Although I am not big on house pets, I somehow always find myself near animals. Stepping outdoors and seeing a friendly iguana, a playful goat, a nervous ground lizard, buzzing dragonflies and colourful birds puts me in a long term state of happiness.

Meet Iggy Da Iguana – Sunbather par excellence!

#8 Feeding the Birds

Feeding the birds is such a gratifying activity. Watching them wait in the branches or fly to the window sill to inform of the late delivery of nuts is sure to make anyone happy. The tiny legs, the beautiful colors, the variety and distinction and above all, the chirping songs sure gets me on a high.

#9 Swings

How would you like to go up in a swing? It feels like the words of the poet Robert Louis Stevenson were directed at me and perhaps at you too. The sight of a swing adds so much joy to my day. Getting on a  swing is joy in action. It is exhilarating, it is fun! The thrill is amazing as you get off the ground and sail into the blue skies.. Ahh, what a treasure! 

Enjoying swing at sunset – Purple Turtle Beach, Dominica

#10 Exercise

That thing I call exercise! Well it is not the top-notch training that I so admire. It consists of stepping outdoors and running, jumping and doing some goofy, silly stuff. This puts me in a state of happiness with added benefits for my general well-being.

#11 Basketball

Whether it is playing the game by myself, with others or just toying with the ball, basketball somehow gets me super happy. On days when I can’t go past my home, grabbing a ball and bouncing on any available pavement or doing ball tricks somehow works and keeps me super happy. 

Toying with a basketball

#12 Ripe Plantains

When some slightly over ripped fried plantains hit my taste buds, it is just sheer joy. But wait, I love them boiled and roasted too. In my mind, this was a special creation crafted just for me – but then again, I have witnessed the joy that ripe plantains bring to many others on our beautiful Caribbean island. Have you stopped at one of our roadside grills? This is proof, it’s real: ripe plantains bring joy. Adorn your dish with some!

Grateful for these Simple Things that make me Happy

As simple as they may seem, these are among my personal luxuries. Anything that keeps me in that optimal mental state is beautifully guarded in my treasure box and cared for in the most exquisite manner. 

What are some of your simple joys? Share with us in the comments below.  I would so love to know.

Here’s to  happiness!


What really causes Holiday Blues? The Christmas edition

What really causes the Holiday Blues? ‘Holiday blues?’ some may wonder. Yes, holiday blues. You see, some people do have a difficult time amidst all the holiday festivities. Holiday blues is a term that we generally hear prior to, during or after different holiday seasons. It is most often related to the Christmas season, so let’s explore the term in this context.