Why I love simplicity
I can only tell you that I’ve experienced life from both sides of the simplicity fence – crazy busy and falling backwards into the consumer treadmill – and then simplified and feeling like all is right. It’s not that simplifying has made my life perfect – not at all – but there’s something about simplicity that I absolutely love. It’s about marching to my own drummer and shedding what’s in the way of my heart and soul.
When I discovered simplicity several years ago, I knew from the bottom of my heart that I had found home. There was something so raw and earthy about it – and at the same time – so light and freeing.
Just so you know – I came into this world wanting to carve my own trails and I did so at the beginning of my career as a journalist. I knew the rules for living this way: find something you love to do and get paid for it, and live under your means. I learned these lessons from my dad and never let them go. You had to put them both together in order for them to work.
I had a nice little place I called home, a minimalist wardrobe, reliable old car, and lots of time for friends and family and traveling.
But a few years into this, I thought I was missing something and I went to law school. Soon after I graduated I was married, had two wonderful kids, a mortgage, a credit card with a balance, more stuff than we knew what to do with, and a busy, crazy life. I missed my sweet simple life, and I wanted to find a way to have that with a family.
With simplicity, I knew I had found “home.”
That’s when, in the middle of my chaos, I discovered an evening class titled “voluntary simplicity.” I wasn’t sure what it meant, but my intuition said I had to be there. As soon as I walked in the door of that class, there was no doubt that I had found my “home.”
There were 200 people in the room from all walks of life – we all wanted a simpler, richer, sweeter life.
It looked different to each one of us – but our core dream was the same. We were the same tribe.
At the time, I had this sweet fantasy about really living what I thought was a simple life. We’d live in a little log house somewhere and grow our own food and throw oval-shaped braided rugs over the front porch railing to air out, the laundry on the back line.
So I took a class in log house building.
But we never left the city, never built the log house, never even owned a braided rug.
I discovered something about simplicity – it’s what’s inside that counts and then you can simplify your life anywhere, in any form.
Not long after I took that simplicity class, I started my newsletter Simple Living – so I could learn more and share with others what I was learning. My newsletter soon caught the eye of the media, and within a very short time nearly every media in the US and Canada called on me. I’ve been featured on Oprah, NPR and World News Tonight, as well as in The New York Times, TIME and countless others.
It was a surreal time in my life, for sure. Dreaming of log houses and braided rugs, raising kids and getting them to do their homework, and at the same time, being on shows like Oprah and interviewed by The New York Times.
But I had touched on something. I was not alone in my yearning for a simpler, sweeter life.
A literary agent got wind of my media appearances, and asked me to write my first book, The Simple Living Guide, followed by Simple Loving.
I wrote The Simple Living Guide when the kids were at school. Sometimes when I’d come into my home office to start writing, my computer keyboard would be covered in doll clothes or little toy trucks. I couldn’t have loved it more. The messiness of kids and family and real life, and that’s what I wrote about.
Keep following your dreams
and magical things are possible
My Simple Living Guide was published, and amazingly, it became a bestseller. It is now known as “the bible of the simplicity movement.”
I could never have imagined any of this happening, but I guess it’s true – keep marching to your drummer, keep following your dreams, keep simplifying your life and then magical things become possible.
My print newsletter has morphed into this blog, which I love writing because it’s so immediate, and because my readers can comment and ask questions.
Today, my dreams have evolved but my core values are the same. Now I’m loving the study of simplicity and spiritual – simplifying my mind, paying attention to my soul, and following my heart.
Woven throughout my work has been a lifelong love affair with natural health and natural food, which I first wrote about in my Simple Living Guide. Using nature as my food source and my doctor is another hallmark of simplicity – it’s the easy integration of life and nature that just makes sense.
Indeed, simplifying has given me a more integrated life in all ways. My life isn’t broken up into stuff I hate doing and stuff I love doing. There’s this easy flow that comes from setting up my finances so I can do what I love for a living, rather than spending hours and hours at a job I dislike. Simplicity makes my whole life feel like mine – rather than feeling like I’m living someone else’s life. And that comes from making lots of choices every day – how I’ll spend my time, my money, and how aware I am of what I’m doing, what I want, how I love.
With simplicity, life isn’t just a blur in the fast lane. I notice it. I appreciate it.
And I am still madly in love with the practical, gut-earthy part of simplicity, like shedding stuff, not spending more than I have so I can maintain my freedom, and being salt-of-the-earth real.
We’re a huge tribe of people who know that anything’s possible
I want you to know that you’re not alone in your desire for the sweet and simple life. You have a huge tribe of kindred spirits who want the same thing.
The way I see it, we all get one beautiful life here on this earth. We have just so many minutes, so many hours and so many days. How are we going to spend it? How will I spend it? How will you spend it? Will we spend this precious time buried in stuff, stressed out by debt and frustrated that our lives feel like they belong to everyone but us?
I want you to have a simplified, sweet life for yourself if it’s your desire… if in your heart you just know, down deep, that there is something more, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
So, welcome to our tribe, welcome to all of us, all of our dreams, hopes, imperfections.
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I’m happy you’ve come!