I have several intentions in the making with this blog, but now I'm announcing one of them for the first time. Besides all the art journeying and self exploring adventure, I'm also planning to Honor voluntary Simplicitous Living here. Let me give a little background...
When I decided to quit my fulltime job last summer, it was a given that we would have to simplify how we live to make ends meet. But, really, this path began long before then for me. In fact, I think that the decision to quit was highly influenced by my desire to live simpler, in general, rather than the other way around. What I found with the 9 to 5 was that there was no energy to not be stuck in the makemoney - spendmoney - makemoremoney spin cycle of living. No end in sight to that nauseating ride of never having enough time or money to live how we want to. Having issue with the whole money obsession of our world anyhow, and realizing that i was trading my most valuable commodity - my Time - for more of it... it was a no brainer to take my Time back and start living even simpler from there.
A few years back, i decided i was going to cut back some environmental footprint and invest less into the mass product-industry-commodity system by making quite a few of our bodycare and household cleaning products from more natural, friendlier, safer and affordable ingredients. This has proven to be such a fun, liberating adventure - and i get to pull out my kitchen-witch apron once or twice a month to mix up some goodies. I know what's going on my body and into my house (not a bunch of chemicals i can't even pronounce), i don't worry if the cat licks some up, i stopped getting horrendous headaches after cleaning days, and i feel better not spending so much damn time (yep, earned some time here) in stores replenishing many of these products, reading labels, trying to make the best-of-two-evils kind of decisions for my purchasing power within our budget and values. Now don't get me wrong. I don't make everything. I still wear some make-up and toss a little bleach in the toilet every now and then for good measure and sparkly white - though, honestly, I can't stand the smell of bleach. We still buy lots of art supplies because this feeds our souls, even though it may not be the most enviro-friendly practice. It's just all about a personal balance, really. But we use a lot less of store-bought body and household products. I whip up our bodywash, face cleanser and toner, moisturizer, lotion sometimes, deoderant... and our antiseptic all-purpose cleaner, window and wood cleaners, scouring cleanser, toilet cleaner... and more. It's just about doing a little something here and there, from time to time - trying it out, maybe you find you can commit to it and like it, maybe you decide it's just easier to purchase a pre-made product on something.... But living simpler is an on-going process of finding how it works for you, a little bit at a time, because you believe in it and it makes you feel good to be contributing conscious decisions to how you leave your print on this world and how you create your environment.
Are you creating a space that is a sanctuary in your home, that is contributing to your health and wellbeing? Or are you accumulating stuff and clutter and contributing to the chemicals and waste without awareness? Are you honoring the body you've been gifted with by offering up awareness to what you place in it and on it and making choices based from a place of your truth and knowing? It's a practice, this. A way of living. A work in progress. From our stuff to our food to our space to our minds, bodies and how we spend our time.
So, Steve and I are on a path of Living Simplicitously, you might say - consciously and willfully. Out of both intention and necessity - and our desire to not get lured by the temptations of our spoonfeeding culture of stuff and ridiculous debt for said stuff. We made a commitment this week to each come up with 3 things per week to get rid of. If it doesn't serve a function (like, we haven't used it in 6-10 months) or bring us Joy, it's automatically on the list for potential eviction. Yay for letting go!
And today, I mixed up a batch of laundry soap for the first time - furthering our living simpler mission. This is something I've been wanting to try for years, and I finally came across a good starter video, so I gave it a try. Should last us 96-148 loads for about $5. No nasty phosphate, sulfate stuffs going down the drain and into our ecosystem, or god-knows-what chemicals rubbing on our skin from our clothes and linens. So exciting! Took no time at all. Can't wait to see how it works for us. You can check out the instructional video here.
Oh, and the book I got back in 2007 that really opened up lots of recipes and ways to simplify products for the home was Annie Berthold-Bond's Better Basics for the Home. There's A LOT of great resources on-line these days. For a nice little article on non-consumption considerations before making a purchase: click here. I actually have a little card with similar questions i carry in my wallet as a reminder... as long as i keep it in front of my debit and credit cards it actually serves its purpose much of the time.
Did i mention the new intention yet??? I don't think so. I plan to make Sunday my Honoring Simplicitous Living day, somehow, every week, and will keep a post regarding the progress and process. I'll dive into this mission a little more moving forward, but this is the start, and it's out there.
OK, now i'm off to find 3 things to clear out of our home for this week!