What does the phrase “simple living” bring to mind?
Do you think of country living?
Wide fields with flowers peeking up between tall blades of grass?
Simple baked goods?
Slow-motion shots of nature?
A time gone by?
Simple living is no one category. It encompasses all those things or none of those things. Simple living is individualistic, spiritual, peaceful, and achievable — even in today’s world.
The response to my first post on simple living was overwhelming. The comments, views, followers, and love I received after publishing that post showed me there are so many people out there who desperately want and need to make a change in their life…but have no idea where to start.
To me, simple living is the idyllic lifestyle. It encompasses simplicity, peace, and contentment. It casts off the unnecessary and clings to the heart of matters. When we speak of something being idyllic, the tendency is to consider it unattainable.
I’m here to tell you simple living is achievable and sustainable.
All you need is a little intention.
Let me give you a peek into my own discovery of simple living, which began only a few months ago. As I began networking for my blog, I came across a few bloggers who embraced this “simple living” way of life. My first impressions encompassed an extreme experience similar to the Amish; no electricity, all scratch cooking, no electronics, farm living.
But the more I observed, the more I learned just how personalized simple living is.
I began incorporating small elements into my own life. And I noticed a rapid change.
Life didn’t magically improve overnight. But my mental awareness began to heighten. I became aware of anytime I was working too hard and shutting out my body’s physical and mental needs. When anxiety and depression came knocking, I was more mindful of where my thoughts would go. I began noticing how much time I was spending with my face in a screen. As I stared at the clutter around me, I noticed just how little I needed on a daily basis yet continued to accumulate on the basis of “need.”
With this increased awareness came the desire and willingness to change. I admitted to needing a different work schedule. My mind began to recognize the beginning of negative thoughts when they popped up to bully me. The truth of how rude and disappointing it was to always have a phone in my hand was no longer something I could evade.
But where did I start?
I had already begun a minimalist journey, my interest in zero waste living had grown, my awareness of mental health increased, but I still felt like I was missing a key piece. A piece of contentment and rest in my daily life.
This awareness is where you begin. This is where willingness turns into an ability, desire into action.
Simple living begins with the mind. You can declutter, minimize, meditate, buy items from sustainable sources, but if you’re not at peace with where you are, you will never be satisfied with where life leads you.
This is why I chose to adopt a habit of setting intentions. I began the new year creating a list of intentions to help me attain my desire for a simpler life.
When I created my list of intentions for simple living, I realized there was no clear-cut path to simple living. As a result, each person’s journey is individualistic and beautiful, with end results pertaining to the person rather than some formula for success.
However, it is very hard to jump on the simple living train without doing some pre-work. Don’t think the word “simple” equates to “easy.” Any sort of lifestyle change requires an effort. But I’ve created a 5-step system to guide you on your journey. These are the actions I discovered in the beginning of my own journey that helped me find my footing:
You don’t have to wait to move house, wait for the next baby to come, wait for new skills to be developed, wait for your budget to be better. For years, I set goals aside thinking life had to be perfect, I had to be in a better situation before moving forward. But as nothing changed during those years of waiting, I realized that “waiting” feeling was just holding me back. Maybe what I was truly waiting for was this path towards a simpler, slower life.
Over the next few posts, we will expound on each step individually and discover more about the true purpose of simple living, how it benefits both physical and mental health, and what you can do to bring simplicity to your life.