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Home » Ritual and celebrations

Simple living – what it looks like to me

Submitted by on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 Loading Add to favourites  11 Comments

woman meditating

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Continue your reading read on at the bottom of this post by clicking the links to the other participants’ posts.

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I’ve been looking for some new carnivals to participate in this year and came across the beautifully named “Simply Living Blog Carnival”.

Doesn’t that just make you breathe a little more deeply and feel more relaxed just thinking about it?

How could I resist when I find myself more and more consumed by thoughts of, well, the consumerist society that I find myself living in.

Don’t get me wrong. I love some of my “stuff”. I love my computer which enables me to work from home, achieve a life / work balance (sometimes!) and through which I have met many wonderful people.

I love my washing machine which spares me a few hours and dry hands every week as it does everything for me.

I love my car which offers me convenience, allows me to visit friends and patronise local farm shops.

I love that I have enough money to buy my needs AND some of my wants.

But over the past few years I’ve felt an increasing yearning for something else. Not something more, but something LESS…

Less hours spent at the keyboard. Less stress. Less juggling commitments. And yes, less STUFF.

I feel as though I’m drowning in stuff. Things that once bought me pleasure now burden me. The more stuff I own, the more I’m tied in, tied down and tied to taking care of it.

I have to move things back to their home, clean them, maintain them and in many cases, step over them.

Whereas I think my possessions used to define me; I now know that not to be true.

So I was delighted to find the prompt for the January Carnival which reads “Simple Living means something different to each person and family. We want to know how you, personally, define simple living for yourself and what that looks like in your life”.

For me, simple living is about mindfulness.

It’s about having time to breathe, to BE, to relish the now.

it’s about savouring the moment; whether it’s watching a sunset, listening to birdsong or stopping to get into your child’s laughter.

It’s about feeling the deliciously warm water on your hands as you wash the dishes, feeling the stretching, lengthening, sensuous feelings in your body move as you brush the floor and taking time to smell the air-dried, sun-dried laundry as you make the bed.

Living life in this way turns chores into delights and put us in a state of gratitude and joy.

It’s about not being rushed, but being present and looking for the gifts in every moment; for there are an abundance of gifts just waiting to be discovered.

It’s about not being too tired at the end of the day to listen to your family, to have the energy to share in their lives and to be emotionally available.

And most importantly it’s about taking time for ME. Indulging in the things that bring me pleasure, fill up my reserves and allow me to be my best. As mothers we often selflessly give of ourselves until nothing is left. My biggest learning and the best gift I offer my family is to put myself first so that I can be available for those who need me. As the saying goes “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” and it’s such a profound truth!

it’s one which challenges and pushes us; makes us question ‘selfish’, pushes the boundaries of our guilt and urges us to discover who we really are – not mother, lover, sister, daughter, friend but who we truly, truly BE.

What does Simple Living mean to you?

 

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Continue your reading by clicking the links of our participants posts. 

 

  • The Moments In Between – Amber from Heart Wanderings takes her yoga practice off the mat to focus on the ordinary moments which make mothering magical.
  • Simple living – what it looks like to me – Does simple living mean we have to be selfish? And what does selfish mean anyway? Mrs Green from Little Green Blog ponders in search of a more simple life…
  • A Simple Life is a Peaceful Life, For Me - Destany at They Are All of Me writes how simplicity is a very necessary part of her daily function and crucial for coping with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
  • Getting Back to the Basics – Minimalism was the first step toward living simply for Momma Jorje. Now she’s got big plans on getting back to the basics of living in order to live a simple, healthy, family-focused lifestyle.
  • Simplicity – What living simply means to sustainablemum and how it is woven into the fabric of daily life.
  • Simply Living - Sophelia of Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan writes about her reluctance to tighten her budget after years of living in poverty, but also her anticipation of the pleasures of simplifying her daily life as she and her husband prepare to adopt a child in Japan.
  • The Simple Life: A Work in Progress – Joella at Fine and Fair ponders her idealized vision of simple living and discusses the steps she’s taking to get closer to it.
  • Simple Living is Simply Living – At Living Peacefully with Children, Bart and Mandy hope to help their children focus on what is truly important by simply living.
  • Happiness, not Greatness – Lauren at Hobo Mama discovered that ambitions got in the way of simply being.
  • Shifting to Simplicity – At Authentic Parenting, Laura shares a couple of ways in which she tries to simplify her life.

 

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11 Comments »

  • […] Simple living – what it looks like to me – Does simple living mean we have to be selfish? And what does selfish mean anyway? Mrs Green from Little Green Blog ponders in search of a more simple life… […]

  • I love the sensuous way in which you describe your household chores. The great mindfullness gurus teach presence in this exact way: pick one thing you have to do every day and do it mindfully and sensuously.
    Thank you for your participation, looking forward to your next post!

  • Sophelia says:

    “looking for the gifts in every moment; for there are an abundance of gifts just waiting to be discovered.” Just lovely :)

  • Wonderful post, Mrs. Green!! I was thinking about the whole “stuff” issue recently … and that phrase “you can’t take it with you”. I realized that, like everything in our lives, stuff comes and goes … we love a thing for awhile and then we don’t … and it’s okay to let it move on … perhaps to someone who is at the stage to love it for awhile. It’s when we develop an attachment to something that trouble begins. I believe attachment prevents us from letting go of a thing when it’s time. That’s not to say that I’ll purchase something thinking that I’ll only own it for a short time because that may encourage buying a lot of stuff we don’t need. But rather, I recognize that stuff doesn’t need to have a large value, especially emotional value. Perhaps our goal should be to always make stuff “serve” … when it no longer serves us, perhaps it will serve someone else.

  • Destany says:

    I don’t think I’m doing my chores right… ;) You make me want to do them, and to find the joy in them. What a load off that would be for me, and a huge stress relief. If I wasn’t rushing through them so I could move on to more enjoyable tasks, but instead find the comfort in actually doing that. That sounds so lovely and I think I will certainly work on that!

  • Thank you for your reminder to put myself first to make sure I have enough to give. I often forget this to mine and my familys detriment.

  • Beautifully written. You touched on so many aspects of simple living which speak to me. I really don’t have much to add, as you have already said it. I hope you will join us for next month’s Simply Living Blog Carnival.

  • To me simple living means having few possessions and eating frugally. Don’t get me wrong. I have an expensive car, a very large TV, 4 computers and 2 iPads. But all these things are well used, functional and necessary for my income.

    My house is simply decorated with a few wall paintings, a few rugs, a comfortable sofa and few things for the house. Everything has been designed so it is easy to clean. Anything that is not used is either given to Goodwill or sold on Craigslist. I have a strict anti-hoarding policy which brings wails of protest from everyone. If I buy clothes or shoes then something has to go. And I abhor food waste and never buy anything until the refrigerator is completely empty. It’s a bit bizarre and drives everybody nuts, but the fact of the matter is every scrap of food is eaten up. Nothing is wasted. It also means we pay attention to selecting good quality food we really would love to eat. And we have drastically reduced the amount of packaged foods we buy, which forces everyone to cook and make fresh food and reduces at least our contribution to the landfill.

    The fact of the matter is the more things you have, the more you will be weighed down by the burden of it. It is a really tough thing to do, even for me. Sometimes I languish in anguish over a “ get rid of decision”, but only then can you really enjoy life.

  • Oh what an awesome post!! I agree sometimes we just need to stop and smell the roses as they say. I love sitting out on our deck and watching the sunset, watching our grandchildren looking at the world around them with awe and trying to learn all about everything. I love finding new ways for us to live a more Eco Friendly life and seeing how much fun it is. Again such a great post!!

  • Momma Jorje says:

    Oh man, you remind me how much I still have to go before life feels simple. So often it seems I am running nonstop just to run our household. I have no idea how I managed as a working parent in the past.

  • This is lovely! I was reading once about feng shui and how even the possessions you have that are out of sight send out a negative energy field. I might not believe in a physical energy field from clutter and too much in storage, but I know for sure there’s a psychological one for me! Every thing I own that has to be moved, cleaned, dealt with becomes so draining to me. I definitely feel at peace with less stuff and more simplicity. Thanks for your post and the inspiration to look at where I need to simplify.