Archive for the ‘simplicity’ Category

My days are sweet and simple.  I’ve currently shifted living space from a four bedroom lakehouse to a 12 by 60 mobile home, and I’ve never been happier.   I’ve committed to living more closely in harmony with my values, caring for my mind/body/spirit, and creating moments that fill my soul with peace, with gratitude, and with delight.


I’m loving the creativity involved in living beautifully while living beneath my means.  I’m feeling good about the fact that on the rare occasion that I take myself on a shopping spree, I’m supporting non-profits like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and my local hospice and humane society rather than contributing to the crazy consumerism that is devastating the planet.  Today I purchased a bra, a pair of brown pants, a bathing suit, two really lovely coffee cups, a shirt that I love, the book, “Pebbles in the Pond: Transforming the World One Person at a Time” and the audiobook “The Girls with the Grandmother Faces” all for a total of $19.00 ( I rounded up at the Goodwill).

I love how four of my seven days begin each week.  I  wake up, do a brief meditation, write an entry in my journal, slip into my bathing suit, hop on my bicycle, and ride to the pool where I do a few laps and then join a number of delightful women to do water aerobics.

“To live content with small means;

To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion;

To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;

To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;

To bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.

To let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.”

William Henry Channing


In wanting less I have gained so very much more…



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I’d like to warmly and humbly share a gift with you today in honor of Father’s day. For the rest of this month you can listen to the audiobook, “Discovering Meaning,” for free! “Discovering Meaning: Living and Loving the Good Life” is the second of four audiobooks in the “BirthQuake: Journey to Wholeness” series.

“The Birthquake: Journey to Wholeness series is one of those rare finds written by a psychotherapist that not only enlightens, inspires, and comforts – it befriends and embraces the listener. It’s the culmination of the author’s many years of research, clinical experience and perhaps most importantly, her own life lessons. The BirthQuake series is an invaluable tool for anyone who has ever struggled or stands anxiously at a crossroad.”

Listen to Part One
Listen to Part Two

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What is the ‘good life’? The late comedian, George Burns, concluded that he had had a good life. Scott and Helen Nearing (homesteaders and social activists) maintained that they had lived the ‘good life’ too. George Burns life was vastly different from the Nearings and yet I suspect that those who knew them each well would have agreed that each of their lives had been well lived.

So many people long for a particular version of the good life that they’ve heard so much about, one that’s filled with images of luxury and wealth. Sadly, all too many of them struggle to achieve this vision in spite of the significant emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological, and ecological tolls that are exacted along the way.

Interestingly, while the notion of the good life seems to be deeply implanted in our psyche, its origin stems from the dreams of those who came before us, and meant something entirely different than what so many of us have come to yearn for. The world was introduced to the concept of the good life by William Penn and Henry David Thoreau and was a vastly different version than popular culture’s turned out to be. To them, the good life represented a life style based on simplicity, personal freedom, meaningful work and spiritual, psychological and intellectual growth and development.

As the economy continues its downward spiral and the impact of global warming intensifies, it seems more important to me than ever that we redefine for ourselves what living the good life can be.

Writer and philosopher, William Henry Channing wrote, “To live content with small means. To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich. To listen to stars and birds and babes and sages with an open heart. To study hard, think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions. Never hurry. In a word, to let the spiritual, the unbidden and the unconscious rise up through the common. This is my symphony.” Channing’s image of the good life is one that moves and inspires me. This is the ‘good life’ that can only be denied to me by barriers of my own creation, otherwise, it is always within my means and within my reach. Today, I plan to celebrate my good life….

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Duane Elgin is one of my favorite people. I was introduced to his work when I read his first book, Voluntary Simplicity, in the mid eighties. While it took several years for the impact of the book to be reflected in my behavior in any significant way, reading it changed the way I viewed myself, my culture, and the world around me. On Episode 40 of Living Dialogues, Elgin shares his hopeful vision for humanity’s future with Duncan Campbell. A vision that was taking shape while Elgin was working on the book, Awakening Earth and culminated in the publication of Promise Ahead.
Part Two and Three of the Dialogues between Campbell and Elgin are available to listen to as well.

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