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7 Ways to Simplify Your Life

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Reclaim Community Life
We live in a culture where self-containment is seen as a life-simplifying strategy. We think that keeping our distance will help us avoid complicating variables. And yet perhaps youíve noticed that striking up an impromptu conversation with a neighbor or stranger at the supermarket can lift your spirits in surprising ways. Thatís because human beings crave connection with each other, and we long for a sense of community.

A great way to engage more in community life is by joining and regularly participating in a civic group, house of worship, book club or professional organization. Youíll begin to look forward to the regular meetings, and a host of benefits will follow. (For more on the benefits of community, see ďCommunity MattersĒ)

Itís easy to let our lives become consumed with unnecessary busyness, worry and distraction. But when we walk down each of these seven paths mindfully, our steps will feel lighter, our spirits refreshed.

A Garden of Your Own
Have you ever noticed that whenever you bring fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers into your home, they steal the scene? Everyone loves the beauty, the aroma, the connotation of care.

Farmersí markets are a wonderful source of all this fresh produce, of course. But better and more satisfying still is growing your own goods in your own yard. Itís more local, less expensive and healthier: You soak up vitamin D from the sun, get some exercise and let your mind slip into a meditative state. And did I mention harvesting the actual fruits of your labor? Thatís the sweetest thrill of all!

You can start small: Just one tomato plant on your patio will net you an unexpected bounty (enough for several pots of homemade chili!). And while youíre at it, cultivate beauty with flowers and plantings. Nothing man-made quite compares.

Next: 4 more ways to take simple living a little further

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2:19AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

Great reminders! Thanks for sharing.

11:01AM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

Thanks for this!

Terrie - if you ever come back and check this - why don't you print it up and stick it on the fridge or somewhere you can see it often? You'll probably learn it by heart very quickly and be able to recycle the paper!

11:25AM PST on Dec 6, 2010

Interesting. Thanks.

1:18PM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

Ok, so almost 2 months later, this is still in my inbox. Today, between other chores I decided to clean out my inbox.

Dilema: if I put this into a 'folder', it might get forgotten about. If I print it, it will probably get put into a folder, where it will be forgotten about. Not to mention that if I print it, it makes actual clutter vs. visual clutter if left in my inbox.

Neither of these are doing anything to help me simplify my life!

If anyone is still monitering this post and has any ideas, I'd greatly appreciate them!!!

6:55PM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

I really liked this article, especially after reading Juliet Schor's The Overworked American. If you're interested in the economic standpoint of the work-spend cycle Juliet Schor is a good place to start. My goal is to learn to live a "simple life." I have not yet chosen how I will define "simple life" for myself. The idea of life "off the grid" is sometimes a romantic preoccupation, but I am, at this moment, still to addicted to my modern conveniences. Anyways, I don't want to hid from the world; I hope to one day change it... after grad school xD

1:24PM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

i'm spending a lot of time on the web. anybody notice how much time we spend on care 2? so, anyway, since i'm here at this desk so muc, i decided to plant flowers in the garden and orchids up and down the trunks of all the trees outside the (5) windows. that way i get some peace while i am online: i don't feel guilty like i am wasting time ~ being online is like taking time out for meditation - which everyone would agree is a good thing...?

8:32AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

So happy to read this...I am from Mexico and I think that all of the things you mentioned here will improve the lives of a lot of Mexicans. Thank you!!

7:52AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

idk....this is so over-simplifing simplifying . And like Krista R. says what you love? Very unrealistic. And this is not real life. Most people cannot or do not have the resources to begin a business. If I try to simplify my life too much I get STRESSED OUT! Life is not easy it is hard work. And stress....I can't give up my car or ride share .... Don't make making life "simpler" simple. Not being negative...being realistic.

3:58AM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

I like the community life and garden of your own concepts. I have a little balcony, but am dreaming of having a garden. Even finding an allotment here is proving hard. But not giving up.
Community life is a challenge and questions your dedication and motives. I'm getting involved in promoting the English speaking community here - to help others integrate and to find more outlets and possibilities for our bilingual child. But as each commitment approaches, I find I question my resolve, motives and desire. Most of the time, I'm glad I've committed though.

12:04AM PDT on Jun 21, 2010


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