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Simplicity -- A Voguish Way To Track Your Lifestyle!
Glossy magazines now sell the simple life. Around the world, people are consciously exploring various expressions of simplicity of living. People are awakening to the sanity of simplicity as a path to sustainability. Simplicity is simultaneously a personal choice, a civilisational choice, and a species choice. Even with major technological innovations in energy & transportation, it will require dramatic changes in our overall patterns of living & consuming, if we are to maintain the integrity of the earth as a living system. The coming era of constraint in use of certain resources can bring focus & energy to crafting lives of elegant & creative simplicity.
Although the ecological pushes towards simpler ways of living are strong, the pull towards this way of life seem equally compelling. In reality, most people are not choosing to live more simply from a feeling of sacrifice; rather, they are seeking deeper sources of satisfaction, than are being offered by a high stress, consumption-obsessed world. While happiness has not increased, during this same period divorce rates have doubled & a teen suicide rates have tripled. A whole generation has tasted the fruits of an affluent society & has discovered that money does NOT buy happiness.
In search of satisfaction, millions of people are not only 'downshifting' - or pulling back from the stress of the rat race - they are also 'up-shifting' or moving ahead into a life that is, though materially more modest, rich with family, friends, community, creative work in the world, and a soulful connection with the Universe.
Simplicity is not so simple. Simplicity means choosing our unique path through life consciously, deliberately, & of our own accord. It means to live whole, to not live divided against ourselves. This path emphasises the challenges of freedom over the comfort of consumerism. It means consciously organising our lives so that we give our "true gifts" to the world which is to give the essence of ourselves. The only true gift is a portion of your authentic self.
Simplicity means to choose ways of living that touch the earth more lightly & that reduce our ecological impact. This life path remembers our deep roots in the natural world. It encourages us to connect with nature, the seasons & the cosmos. A natural simplicity feels a deep reverence for the community of life on earth and accepts that the non-human realms of plants & animals have their dignity & rights as well the human.
Simplicity means that the way we live our lives represent a work of unfolding artistry. Simplicity means there are many forms of "right livelihood" in the rapidly growing market for healthy & sustainable products & services of all kinds from home building materials & energy systems to foods & transportation. There is great opportunity for a highly purposeful economic activity to unfold.
In terms of family simplicity, a growing no. of parents are opting out of consumerist lifestyles & seeking to bring enhancing values and experiences into the lives of their children & family. Simplicity means that, by cutting back on spending that is not truly serving our lives, & by practising skilful management of our personal finances, we can achieve greater financial independence.
Simplicity means taking charge of lives that are too busy, too stressed and too fragmented. In order to seek one's own direction, one must simplify the mechanics of ordinary, everyday life. Simplicity is a path of beauty that celebrates natural materials and clean, functional expressions. Soulful simplicity is more concerned with consciously tasting life in it's unadorned richness than with a particular standard or manner of material living. In cultivating a soulful connection with life, we tend to look beyond surface appearances and bring our interior aliveness into relationships of all kinds.
The growing culture of simplicity contains a flourishing garden of expressions whose great diversity and intertwined unity - are creating a resilient & hardy ecology of learning about how to live more sustainable and meaningful lives.