December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

These are not hopeful times, but it is when it is most dark that we need to light the candle of hope. So I started looking for candles.

There is nothing more hopeful than seeds. Linda and I spent some beautiful moments sorting seeds today. As we did, we talked about what the garden of 2017 will look like. An eagle flew by outside our window, a nice reminder of our connection to the Divine.

Another trip around our life-sustaining star, another garden, rebirth just around the corner. Cycles upon cycles upon cycles, an endless flow. What a joy to prepare packets of potential that will become food for both stomach and soul.

Awakening to our own potential is the greatest joy of all. Like tending a garden, it is hard work. As has been noted by many, "the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off". First awareness. Then transformation.

Maintaining Not Buying Anything has been transformational. It is heartening to discover that people around the world are living smaller, feeling happier, and reducing their environmental footprint. We thank you for being part of the new growth in our own practice of simple living.

Together, in our blog garden, we are planting and nurturing seeds that will grow into new and better ways of living with Mother Nature. We can see that increasing numbers of people are coming to the understanding that life infuses everything. It's a big party, and everyone is invited. BYOS.

Here is to a hopeful 2017 bursting with growth on both a personal and global scale.


  1. Anonymous1/01/2017

    You are so right! I've been reflecting on much the same theme these past few days. The Universe will unfold as it is meant to do. All is impermanence and I need to let go of wanting things to be other than they are. Not to say we can't work toward a better more compassionate world, but let go of our notions of how we may want that to play out.

  2. Seeds are wonderful. And that includes the seeds of thought. I applaud you and Linda sorting your seeds and thinking about how they'll change your future (by giving you food/herbs and increasing your connection to nature). Watching a seed sprout and eventually bear something edible is a miracle. Thinking about your seeds has made me to wonder if you and Linda are now following a completely vegan diet (some time ago you mentioned the vegan diet). I have read so much about how a plant based, whole foods diet seems to stop MS in its tracks and wonder if you've had any luck with this. The Swank diet limits fat intake drastically (and ideally we humans should not eat any saturated fats if we can help it). He claims that 95% of people with MS who follow a low fat diet show no progression of the disease.
    I have been very interested in a low fat, whole foods vegan diet. My husband and I are in our 60's and this year we have dedicated ourselves to following a plant based diet 100%. I also like Anonymous Alex's comments on no oil vegan. We have been slowly working toward a 100% plant based diet over the last two years and feel that this year, 2017, we're ready to take the plunge and include not cooking with any oil (we did give up oil derived from seeds more than a year ago, eating only cold pressed organic olive oil and using it to cook at low heat so it does not become hydrogenated).
    I hope you and Linda have become 100% plant based and wonder, as so many surely do who read this bog, if it is helping her. I am not an organized religious person, but I am Buddhism inclined because I feel it is more spiritual than commercial; no dogma, just suggestion which leads one to find their own way. So love this blog and your philosophy and hope for the best outcome as you and Linda continue to fight against MS and work like squirrels in the fall to keep your nest warm and cozy and your larder full of plant based edibles. Peace and love in this new year. Look forward to being allowed to be included in your journey toward enlightenment. Deva

    1. Anonymous1/03/2017

      Hi Deva.
      The Chinese Chan Buddhists eat a plant based, Zhao cai (斋菜) diet. Check out this talk on MS which expands on Swank's work

    2. Thanks Alex, I'll do that!

    3. Deva,

      Nurturing seeds and growing things is indeed miraculous. I love having that kind of connection with the food we eat, and it helps keeps us from total dependence on a system we have no desire to support.

      We are familiar with treating MS through diet, and are always open to new information. We eat vegetarian, but are always modifying it as we continue to study nutrition and health. Congratulations to you and your husband for making the commitment to a vegan lifestyle. That is living the life you would like to see reflected in the world.

      Thankfully Linda has not been experiencing much in the way of progression in recent years. We attribute that to diet, low stress lifestyle, adequate sleep and hydration, regular movement/exercise, the healing power of music, and frequent laughter. We steer clear of doctors and the "sickness management" system for the most part.

      Happy New Year, and thank you so much for sharing with us all. Love hearing how our readers are responding to these challenging, yet exciting, times.


      Thanks for adding the link.

  3. So wonderful to hear that Linda's MS is not progressing. I am a true believer in mind over matter and completely agree that good nutrition, low stress, sleep, water and exercise and a positive happy mind do more than any science experiment (also called medication). You are lucky to have each other. Have a wonderful New Year! It's great to have you back online.

    1. Deva,

      Thanks for the kind words. MS sucks. But we have each other, and we have a life we enjoy. Our blog community is part of that enjoyment, so we are happy to be back.

  4. Thank you Gregg and Linda. Your blog is a garden and you two are its gardeners; seed planters, nurturers and supporters of simply living. Most of all you live it fully. I've learned so much from your writing and the writing of the community gathered here. It has assisted me in refining my simple path.

    What a nice collection of seeds you've sorted, the promise of life and grow in days ahead.

    1. Terri,

      I keep looking out the window at the garden. We planted garlic for the first time ever, and are very excited for spring. Only a few more weeks.


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