Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.
~Henry David Thoreau
Are you drowning in your stuff?
Starved for time?
Ready to get out of the vicious work and spend cycle?
Do you long for a a life that reflects your priorities and values?
Do the headlines and economic indicators – skyrocketing gas prices, declining house values, increasing job layoffs, and diminishing dollar – have you exploring ways to tighten your belt?
The time may be right to take a closer look at Simple Living, an approach to life practiced for centuries by the Shakers, Amish and Mennonites and advocated by Henry David Thoreau back in the 1850s.
What is Simple Living?
Living simply is about living consciously, living intimately, living authentically.
It’s about choosing your own path, charting your own course, stepping out of of the mainstream obsession with materialism and consumption.
It’s about realizing that Life can’t be purchased, it must be lived.
People become simplifiers for a variety of reasons — to reduce stress, improve health, have more quality time with loved ones, live sustainably, pursue their dreams, indulge their creativity. There are lots of different paths and approaches to simple living. There is no right way — only the way that is right for you.
Simplicity provides tools that we can use to stop living on auto-pilot and take back control of our lives by clearing away our piles of clutter, overflowing inboxes, stuffed closets, meaningless commitments, debilitating debt, and overs-scheduled datebooks.
I fell in love with the concept of Simplicity back in the early 1990s and have been working to simplify, streamline, and live a more satisfying life ever since.
The benefits are incredible – more time for things you love, more freedom, more joy. But it’s not easy. Your decisions and choices may conflict with those of your family, friends, and colleagues who may not understand or agree with what you’re doing.
And the temptations of excess — to overspend, overeat, overindulge — are everywhere.
For me every step toward a simpler, freer, less cluttered life, while not always easy or straightforward, has been well worth it. As Henry David Thoreau said, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
To learn more about Simplifying you can check out:
Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. This book forever altered the way I thought of money by defining it as something for which we are willing to exchange our life energy. It outlines a 9-step process for reaching financial freedom that requires living as frugally as possible.
The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs. I became a Janet Luhrs fan when I first read her Simple Living Guide ten years ago. It’s full of real life examples of people who have chosen to simplify in a wide variety of ways. If you like it, you can subscribe to her monthly newsletter for ongoing advice for living a simpler more streamlined life.
The Simplicity Reader: Simplify Your Life, Inner Simplicity, and Living the Simple Life Elaine St. James. Three great simple living books combined into one, each with 100 practical ideas for streamlining your life and removing the extraneous to make room for more of what you want.
The Power of Simplicity by Patty Kreamer. A great little guide filled with practical strategies for taking control of your clutter and simplifying your life.
It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by organizational consultant Peter Walsh. A great tool for simplifiers ready to face their clutter issues head-on. Part One explores the clutter problem getting to its root causes. Part Two provides detailed strategies for clearing the clutter from every area of your home.
Are You Ready to Simplify Your Life?
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