Voluntary Simplicity

Voluntary SimplicitySpring cleaning this last weekend made me realize how much I consumed and how often I went overboard in buying unwanted and unneeded items. When my dad passed away, I helped clean up the house to sell. To my surprise, we found hundreds of shoes and purses in my mother’s closet still with price tags on them. My mom smiled and said:  ”I am a compulsive shopper”. In the basement we found food supplies that could feed a family for years. While I am not making excuses for my parents, their generation lived through the Great Depression, World War II rationing, and prepared  for the threat of a nuclear attack. Remember “duck and cover”?
While I drive a hybrid, occasionally compost, use cloth shopping bags and consider myself someone who cares about the planet, I saw my shortcomings last weekend while cleaning my closet.
I am preparing to downsize again or “right size” my life,  first starting with clothes, toys and unnecessary stuff that for some reason I want to hold onto like a security blanket.  Last year, we sold my toy car collection and that was the first layer on pealing back the onion and it really hurt.
This last weekend I made the big leap and decided to simplify my wardrobe by eliminating more from my life. I remember a trip I took to England. Walking in a small village north of London, I was impressed by the simplicity of their houses and minimal furniture.

I am now sure that money does not give you happiness but they were long intertwined in my life — I lived my life counting marbles.
When we started on the journey with Eco-Nature Care, we wanted  to reduce packaging and ingredients using easy-to-recycle packaging with no BS. I do not remember if that was the primary objective then that it has become today.

We feel you can simplify your life and still look and feel good. I hope when it’s your time to shed some “stuff” or reduce unneeded possessions you will  find a home for them to be reused, recycled, and shared.

Check out this article from Wikipedia on “Simple Living”:

Simple living (voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle characterized by minimizing the ‘more-is-better’ pursuit of wealth and consumption. Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spiritualityhealth, increase in ‘quality time‘ for family and friendsstress reduction, personal taste or frugality. E.F. Schumacker put it best by saying, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”

Others cite socio-political goals aligned with the anti-consumerist movement, including conservationsocial justice and sustainable development. According to Duane Elgin, “we can describe voluntary simplicity as a manner of living that is outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich, a way of being in which our most authentic and alive self is brought into direct and conscious contact with living.”

Simple living as a concept is distinguished from those living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice. Although asceticism generally promotes living simply and refraining from luxury and indulgence, not all proponents of voluntary simplicity are ascetics.

 

See the full article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_living