September 5, 2015

Choosing Simplicity


First gleaned apples of the season sitting on my window sill.


You aren’t legally required to conform… yet. It’s only social pressure and expectations. You can rid yourself of all of it - your big house, your vehicle, and all the many things that are mostly unnecessary. You can quit your unwanted job, you can leave your career aspirations behind. You can choose to live simply.

You can live simply and do what you really want to do, despite the persistent myth that you need a high paying job to do so. You can leave the people that are pressuring you into a high stress, high consumption lifestyle. You can scrap your plan and everything you have been taught.

The list of things you can toss while living simply is endless. You can give up your $5.00 a cup morning coffee. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home. You can eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them in the garbage. You can give up habitual purchases and spend mindfully with intention. Spending less on the unnecessary means more money and time for what you really need.

You can have more time to do the things that you are passionate about, whatever that may be. More moments with your kids, tend a garden, paint, write a book. People don’t want that kind of freedom enough. Conforming seems easier. They are in thrall of the consumer illusion and visions of success. All the while the clock is ticking.

Life is short, and the nourishment of the soul that comes from living simply on your own terms is worth more than a bigger pay check, material wealth, or pleasing other people.

I have never met anyone who took the risk to choose simplicity, and regretted it. None. But I have met lots of folks who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, and realized too late that there is so much more to life.

14 comments:

  1. It's so true, I've never known one person who regretted living a simpler life. The only regrets are for the times you back slide into the old way of consumerism. It baffles me why more don't live this way, but I do believe that momentum is going in that direction.

    P.S. I have no idea how, but it seems I'm no longer a follower of the blog. Taking care of that straight away

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    1. Freedom is priceless. Generations X and Y are figuring this out and acting accordingly, as are older folks such as ourselves. Previous generations also knew a simplicity that most baby boomers never did.

      Thanks for signing up with us again. We don't like to lose followers. Welcome back.

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    2. Still not sure how I lost all the blogs I was following!

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  2. Yes you can! I do believe that people are so brainwashed to think they need to be like everyone else that they forget it is their life to live. My partner, child and I are off on our extended road trip in a van. No jobs, no destination, we are going to live as "frugal nomads" for as long as we can and want to. Not everyone can do this. There are certain conditions required ( some money, a decent vehicle, the desire to live in a van, no obligations that require us to be somewhere). The biggest requirement is the mindset that it can be done. Each and every time we tell folks of our plans they sigh and say "what a dream". Our goal is not to make people envious our goal is to see the country, live simply and boldly, use our resources wisely and enjoy the life we have. Thanks as always for your inspiring posts.

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    1. Yes! I love living as frugal nomads. Linda and I have been settled for a year now, after living in our van last summer. We miss being on the road completely free and unfettered. Take care and enjoy all the precious moments. Hi to your partner and child.

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  3. I knew those apples had to be about ready for harvest! Outstanding photo! Not sure if I would just eat apples or create yummy-ness with them and then eat, probably both!

    I love the statement "You are not legally required to conform." And your "You can...." statements. These positive statements of what we can do inspires and energizes, such a wonderful post!

    For the past year or two, I've been thinking about shifting to something real different like living on the road, etc. I'm challenged to figure some of it out. When I'm ready, I plan to throw it out there and ask for input. So this post is right on point.

    Meanwhile, I keep simplifying, tossing out responsibilities, paying down debt, living out my mistake of getting too many pets, tossing out things (a.k.a. Crap), tossing people who are draining and not supportive, tossing out spending for things I don't need or want and don't want to take care of because "I CAN" In the end no matter what lifestyle I shift to what I'm doing is going in that direction.

    I don't know who to credit with this, but I read it somewhere. "Just keep taking steps. Eventually, you will be somewhere else." Another one, "No matter where you go, start going somewhere." Sums up how I'm living right now, into action with no destination, just a direction.

    Agree with Vicki about needing money for some changes and to support any lifestyle (though there is a small pioneering group of folks who are going it with no money philosophies.)

    Glad to see Miss Marla back. I was concerned. You inspired Gregg to do a post about free books and audio books. I've returned to that post several times for resources. I also found out my library has more resources than I thought. I'm utilizing some of those now, thanks Gregg!!


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    1. How exciting. Who knows what awaits you with your positive attitude and willingness to do the hard work. Like the quotes. Destinations can sometimes be very limiting versus just going with the flow and seeing where that takes you.

      I would find going no money to be a bit of a problem at this point, but it is definitely something to strive for. The less dependent we are on money the more free we will be.

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  4. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me as I didn't get enjoyment from things as much as everyone else. I honestly thought I was missing something important because I wasn't interested in cars, or jewellery, or fancy overseas holidays, I thought I was missing a source of joy that everyone else found so easily. This wasn't helped by several family and friends (and my partner) calling me things including 'killjoy' 'homebody' and 'scrooge' and implying I did not know how to enjoy myself properly, because I wasn't conforming.
    It wasn't until a couple of years ago I finally had this epiphany that maybe there wasn't something wrong with me, maybe there was something wrong with everyone else!! I really think now that as a society we are in very late-capitalism and something serious needs to shift in our way of life. Maybe it is the more sensitive 'homebody' types (like me) that feel it first...!
    Thanks so much for your blog, has been so refreshing to find a community that thinks like you.
    Clara (Australia)

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    1. Clara,

      So happy that you took the time to drop us a line. I can really relate to everything you say, and agree that we are entering the final throes of capitalism. We are reaching the limits to growth, just as predicted decades ago.

      I think it makes sense that us self-described "sensitive homebodies" would be more attuned to what is happening out there. Just because we are staying home doesn't mean we aren't watching.

      It is nice to know there are others not motivated by money, stuff and expensive extravagances. Such people are rare in consumer cultures. As the quote goes, "It is hard to take less when you could take more".

      Sensitive, non-conforming simple livers unite! Together we can change the world.

      Honoured that you are with us. Happy spring.

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    2. Eckhart Tolle has a wonderful description of we sensitive homebodies in "A New Earth"

      “Others, after the natural expansion that comes with growing up has run its course, lead an outwardly unremarkable, seemingly more passive and relatively uneventful existence. They are more inward looking by nature, and for them the outward movement into form is minimal. They would rather return home than go out.

      “Some of them find it hard to fit into this world. Some are lucky enough to find a protective niche where they can lead a relatively sheltered life, a job that provides them with a regular income or a small business of their own.

      “In past ages, they would probably have been called contemplatives. There is no place for them, it seems, in our contemporary civilization. On the arising new earth, however, their role is just as vital as that of the creators, the doers, the reformers. Their function is to anchor the frequency of the new consciousness on the planet. I call them frequency-holders. They are here to generate consciousness through the activities of daily life, through their interactions as well as through ‘just being.’

      “In this way, they endow the seemingly insignificant with profound meaning. Their task is to bring spacious stillness into this world by being absolutely present in whatever they do. There is consciousness and therefore quality in what they do, even the simplest task. Their purpose is to do everything in a sacred manner. As each human being is an integral part of the collective human consciousness, they affect the world much more deeply than is visible on the surface of their lives.”

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  5. This might be the best and most compelling summary of simple living I've seen. Beautifully stated. I deeply regret having spent most of my adult life following the herd and chasing the big job, big house, "better life". It is only in the last few years that I've realized how misdirected all of that has been. Actually, I think I realized it for a longer time, but didn't know how to break free from that life. I've started to do so now with a move to a much smaller home, and a change to a much smaller job that I truly enjoy. I've never been happier! Thank you for all of the inspiration here on your blog.

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    1. I love to hear about other people's simple living conversion experiences. Congratulations. You are prepared for the new world that is forming all around us, and are an example for others to follow.

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  6. I am officially done working at my job. I spent my first week caring for two little ones and making freezer meals for the busy family. My friend was helping me and her observation about me was that I don't like to own a lot of stuff. I said it weighs me down. My task will be to make decisions about my late husband's stuff. I think I am strong enough to deal with it by now, but it may be hard.

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    1. Yes! How exciting. It is possible to do so much without the added weight of consumerism and all it entails. So sorry to hear about your husband.

      You have come to the right crowd for dealing with stuff - we are here for you. Take care.

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