My husband and I have been pondering a lot about minimalism and living simply. Both terms have kind of become fads and of course businesses are using them to market new designs and to continue to suck us in to buying more, however we are slowly discovering the beauty and joy that can be found in living this way. As we wrestle through this journey we thought we would share some learnings and insights along the way….
Recently we have been wrestling with questions such as how can we live more simply and what does ‘living simply’ really mean. My husband just returned from a 48 hour solitude spiritual retreat (which means he went camping alone for 48 hours for a time of reflection and rejuvenation) and had some positive reflections on this topic. He was aware of how little he really needed in order to experience joy, and was surprised by what he craved or desired. He shared that he craved more quiet reflection time in nature, and more quality time with friends and family doing things he loved such as campfires, canoeing, fishing, and hiking. He didn’t miss any of the stuff or the business of life.
One of the things my husband shared that struck me was when he was talking about his 5 hour hike around the lake. First off, he did most of the hike in bare feet, as his sandals were causing him blisters. Throughout his hike, in bare-feet, he had to walk on both natural, over grown paths through forest as well as sections of paved paths. He was distinctly aware of how soft and comforting it felt to walk on the natural forest floor compared to the paved paths which felt hard and at times painful to walk on. He was reminded of the beauty of nature and how what nature has provided is often simple, beautiful, and ‘enough’ and how destructive and intrusive manmade inventions can be. Don’t get me wrong there are many man-made inventions that are important and necessary but there are often times when we cause more harm than good or what we create isn’t actually better than what creation and mother nature can provide.
Our second big learning recently is that simple does NOT mean easy. People often think that when you say something is simple it is easier but that is definitely not the case. And in the conversation of simple living, simple is often harder and more time consuming. And yet simple is also more life-giving, more satisfying, encourages relationship building, and is less destructive and isolating. By becoming minimalists we in turn learn to live simply – and have more time for it!
Here are 5 ways we are trying to live more simply this summer…
Be sure to follow and/or subscribe as my next post is on how we are working on # 1 and 2 including a great recipe!
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