Thursday, 14 May 2015

Simple Living - What it Means to Me..

Lately I've been thinking about the concept of 'Simple Living'. It really does seem to be the 'buzzword' of the moment. Just the other week I while we were in Surfers Paradise, I popped into Coles for the first time in ages, to grab a few things for our picnic and I noticed a sign down one of the isles that said something like, 'Cole Live Simply Range' and I had to do a double take.  While I love the idea that simple living is becoming a mainstream, achievable way of life, I couldn't help but worry that it could also turn into another money making fad.  Ever since, I've been wondering about what it really means to live simply.  

And it seems I'm not the only one pondering simple living.  Lovely ladies and fellow simple living advocates, Brydie and Julie have been writing about it too.  So, inspired by their posts, I thought I'd explore what simple living means to me.  


When I look around at my home, it doesn't seem all that simple.  It's often busy, probably too cluttered and never picture perfect.  There's toys, a washing basket or two, crafty projects, assorted shoes and ephemera all about the place.  The dining table is very rarely empty and almost as soon as I pop all the toys back in their baskets, they are back out all over the floor again.  The shelves are busy too, with rotating vignettes, candles, found feathers and leaves and I won't even start on the craft room (although if you do want to see it in fine form pop over here).  Mine is not the home of a minimalist, it's the home of a creative family.  

So how do we live simply?  Well even though there might be a bit of clutter about and the washing basket is never really empty, we try to buy and use less and be conscious of how we spend our days.  When we moved last year, we let go of a great deal of our belongings and as we live in a cottage without much storage space, what is out and on display is all there is.  For me, living simply isn't just about de-cluttering though, it's a whole lifestyle and a way of thinking and being.  And this kind of being is not always innate, especially if like us, you haven't always been living this way.  It takes daily reminders, persistence and passion.  I have days where I feel like I'm not doing enough, where I wish I could update all my cleaning equipment from plastic to lovely wood and metal and have a curated wardrobe of beautiful organic, ethical clothing. Some days I want to live the kind of 'simple life' I see on Pinterest, but I have to remind myself, that those images aren't totally real and that by me feeling that way, they are achieving their purpose.  

So I live simply, my way.  I give myself a little high five when I harvest a few veggies from the garden, when I notice that the worm farm is working and whenever I make a batch of homemade washing liquid.  It's hard some days to measure the results, there's no voice over to narrate your journey and tell you how far you've come.  But for me, it's moments when I look around and I'm truly happy in our home, when I'm calm and content, not rushing, or frantic.  When I open a jar of my own homemade jam or bake a loaf of bread.  That's when I know I'm living 'my simple life' and I don't need to compare my version of simple to anything else. 

Have you been think about simple living lately? What does it mean to you?
Much Love & Light
xxx

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10 comments:

  1. Sophie, so interesting to hear your take on this. It's a big old thought process for me at the moment, and much to be delved into. Hearing that Coles has jumped on that buzz word band wagon, and I want to shudder a little. So many different branches off this topic, you really could write pages and pages of changes, ideas, ideals... And curiously where it all goes from here. More to muse on for me! BUT, in a nutshell, yes, your version of simple, that's mine too. X

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  2. Thanks for the link Sophie. My way of living simply is similar to yours. Something that I didn't mention in my post is that I'm trying to be mindful about living more in tune with nature. It's been windy here for the last few days, so instead of battling with the wind and working on our garden beds, I've kept inside more doing things like baking, knitting and chatting with my family. There is so much I could write about living simply, but for me it comes down to keeping things simple, homegrown, homemade, wholefoods, nature, family, living gently with love and kindness. Take care and enjoy xxoo

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  3. ah, coles, simple living! I too live in a creative family home. I make things and so do my littles, we will never have orderly, minimalist things but I am swaying towards more conscious buying and using what we have to manage. I am reading the book "living simply with children' and it is so inspiring. Using a lot of Waldorf theories and hits the nail on the head for why simple is often better. I suppose the good that Coles jumping on board is simple living becoming more mainstream, even if it's a lame version of it!
    So nice to pop in and read a blog post. I think we are on the same page about blogging again. It's lovely really. xx

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  4. This sounds like a very balanced way to live simple, being gentle on yourself and the world we live in! :) xxx

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  5. Life sounds good at your place Sophie...just as Brydie said, there are so many branches on this topic! Have a lovely weekend x

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  6. Hi Sophie, I loved reading this post and it's so interesting to see different perspectives on "living simply" ~ our family moved to the country one year ago and I hoped to live a more simple, slow-paced life. I have to say, in the hustle and bustle of getting reading on school morning's I feel that our life is no slower paced than it was when we were in the city, and as you said there are still mounds of washing to fold and life doesn't always seem that much simpler on the surface. But I am more inspired to slow things down in so many other ways that I am able to ~ we have started baking our own bread, not every day, but the days that we do it's such a wonderful feeling! When I watch the girls knead and play with the dough for an hour or so, using only their hands, to me we are living simply. When I take the time to knead the dough myself and really enjoy the therapy and sensory experience of it ~ that feels like simple and beautiful living. Taking the time to light a candle, drink tea from a teapot, grow our own fruit and veggies, make our own pizza dough, play and read under a tree ~ these are all what living simply means to me :) small steps! Happy weekending. Fleur xx

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  7. The idea of "simple living" products - especially sold by a supermarket - makes me cringe. I must admit the term "simple living" hasn't ever sat well with me. ...and even more so lately. I've been thinking of other phrases that i feel more comfortable with. "Wholesome living", "good green living", "sustainable living"..... but in the end i think some things don't necessarily have to be simplified to a phrase. And life is probably one of them.

    I love that you describe your home as the home of a creative family. Sounds simply perfect xx

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  8. The idea of "simple living" products - especially sold by a supermarket - makes me cringe. I must admit the term "simple living" hasn't ever sat well with me. ...and even more so lately. I've been thinking of other phrases that i feel more comfortable with. "Wholesome living", "good green living", "sustainable living"..... but in the end i think some things don't necessarily have to be simplified to a phrase. And life is probably one of them.

    I love that you describe your home as the home of a creative family. Sounds simply perfect xx

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  9. For us it means growing fruit and vegetables and making food from scratch. Knitting and sewing. Tending to the fire in winter. Living in a small house but having a lot of outdoor space for chickens, ducks and vegie garden and hopefully a small orchard one day. Staying informed and connected to the sustainable living community...

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  10. This is so beautiful, and I completely agree. I hear people toss around words like "slow living" and "mindfulness" as if they were the latest new gadget to try out. It makes me frustrated to see simple living turned into a commercial fad, which basically contradicts the whole concept. To me, simple living is the tiny moments, the quietness of the soul, to listen to your heart and what it needs, to eliminate the plethora of options presented to us on a daily basis and stick with the few things that nourishes your life and makes your soul healthy. To allow space in the every day to breathe, and to focus on gratefulness over what we have more than need of what we lack. :)

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Thank you for stopping by! ~ I just love receiving your comments! I'll be sure to pop by your place too. Much love ~ Sophie x