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As a reformed shopaholic, Mary Carlomagno, author of Secrets of Simplicity, says she can relate to women like Candice. One day, Mary says her excessive spending knocked her over the head—literally and figuratively. While getting ready for work, she says boxes fell off a closet shelf and landed on her head. "That was a not-quite-subtle message for me to change my life a bit," she says. "I said: 'Something's got to give here. This is a little crazy. How many pairs of black pumps do I really need?'"

From that moment on, Mary says she started to take stock of her life and identify areas that seemed off balance. As an experiment, she began giving up one thing—like alcohol, elevators or shopping—each month. "When you make these subtle changes, and you practice it every day, it really opens up space," she says. "When you create space in your life, something new can come in."

Watch Mary discuss the importance of simplicity after the show. Watch

Want to start simplifying? Mary says you shouldn't think of the process as a punishment. "It can't be, 'Oh, you're taking this away from me,'" she says. "It's: 'What am I opening up? What am I going to gain from this experience?' And with this experience, you gain the appreciation for the things in life you are so blessed to have."
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FROM: Oprah's "What Can You Live Without?" Experiment
Published on March 02, 2009

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