"Voluntary simplicity is an individual thing… It has to be something that springs from the heart because it was always there, not something you can be talked into by persuasive people, or something we do because we want to be different, or because we’re rebellious to convention, but because our souls find a need for it."
- woman quoted in Duane Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity
Simplicity, for me, means feeling complete and sufficient within myself as much as possible. It means living without a perpetual desire for more, and cultivating a feeling of satisfaction and contentment.
Simplicity means knowing the difference between what I want and what I need, and knowing that I need very little to be happy. Simplicity sets me free and provides a basis for living more fully in harmony with myself, others and nature.
Some of the changes that Linda and I have made to simplify and enjoy life more are:
- Live in a location we love, in an energy efficient home.
- Work for ourselves in part time, temporary, casual, or contract positions (when needed)
- Constantly consider our possessions, then work at getting rid of what does not add to our lives.
- Use our vehicle infrequently (about 2000 km/year), and work towards being car-free.
- Live in the moment. Laugh, play, be silly, and be spontaneous.
- Connect with nature frequently. Nature heals.
- Spend time being, as well as doing. Society rewards doing over being, creating imbalance/unhappiness.
- Get out of debt, stay out of debt. We pay cash for everything.
- Frequent the public library. In our town the public library is free, and one of our favourite places.
- Cook all our own food from scratch using whole ingredients. We eat a largely plant-based diet, love cooking, and bake all our own bread products.
- Play music, sing, dance. Around our house a jam-session is likely to break out at any time - we love to play guitar, sing, move and shake.
- Stay home and relax. Our community and home life are so enjoyable that there are few reasons to ever leave town. Our travel budget has been reduced to near zero, and still, we never get bored!