Voluntary Mindful Simplicity
“Voluntary Simplicity for us means choosing to live on and with less. Mindful Simplicity for us means to raise our awareness to the interconnectedness of our choices and consumption and Slow means just that – taking the time to smell the roses, to be present with whatever we’re doing and with whom we are with. In the process of stripping away all the unnecessary and getting clear on what is really important for us we have reached a place where we have more time to live and do the things that bring us joy and less stress.
One of the questions asked was how far is too far? For us the answer is quiet simple, were not sure but if it’s not fun, then we’re guessing it could be too far. Neither of us is really interested in living in a cave on a few nuts, shoots and leaves, so for us that would be too far. Mark Boyle, author of “The Moneyless Man” also a bit too radical for us so we’re sorry to say that we don’t know how far too far is for you.
Only you will know that, and for that reason alone we always advise to go slowly, one step at a time, this way you’ll get the feeling when it’s right for you and when you have perhaps gone too far.
Does a life of voluntary simplicity mean there are no luxuries? Not for us it doesn’t and this is where the ‘mindfulness” comes in. Being mindful of the costs, direct and indirect allows you to make the choices that are best for you and the planet. We love to read and listen to music. Do we need to buy every book or CD we want to read or listen to? No, there are loads of alternatives such as libraries, share groups, exchange networks etc. We are old school when it comes to reading and music – We like books and CD’s (I actually prefer vinyl, but that’s another story), what we don’t like are the new electronic books like Kindles or music downloads. We call it tacit nostalgia and we love touching, caressing and fondling books and CD covers, it’s our little fetish.
Does it mean I can’t enjoy the food and drink I like? That’s entirely up to you just consider the global implications of your choices. We try not to buy too much food preferring to grow and make our own. We try to avoid imported food wherever possible and food that is out of season is off our table. You will have to come to your own sense of balance. Being mindful and aware of the food miles, chemicals, processes and cruelty associated with your food may help you to come to a balance that suits you, your pocket and conscious.
Let us make it clear, we’re following a path of voluntary simplicity not object poverty or religious purgatory. We are all individuals and what is comfortable and practical for one may be too far or not far enough for another – only you will know. We chose to live a simpler, slower, more mindful way not because we wanted to strip away every vestment of enjoyment out of our lives. Quite the opposite, we want to live in a more enjoyable, meaningful and sustainable way. Towards that goal, we mindfully explore everything we do, have and want, and hold ourselves up to for analysis. Stripping back the layers of excess to reveal that place of “simply enough” has been a liberating journey for both of us.
How do you simplify your lifestyle? The good and the bad news is you can’t follow someone else’s approach, buy a book or sign up for a workshop, as much as an army of people would like you to do so. You have to follow your own instincts, and find out what’s right for you. How much you need, will depend on how you want to live.”
Simple Living, Slowly: http://fontedebaixo.weebly.com/
Our aim is to live Slow & Simple.
We want to live in such a way that the quality of life for us and the planet is more important than the attainment of wealth and material belongings.
Who are we? Two fairly ordinary people who decided a few years ago to get off the 9-5 bus and live a slow and simple life.
We try to live sustainably and keep it local. Whatever we do, we try and do it mindfully and allow each day to unfold following a natural flow of energy. What needs to be done is mostly done, but not always and that doesn’t bother us in the least. There is always tomorrow!
We grow most of our own food and it is totally organic, we eat a vegetarian diet and live with the tempo of the seasons. We make cheese and yoghurt from our own goat’s milk and keep Indian Runner ducks and honeybees.