So many of us yearn for a simpler way of life, a slower way to live, and an altogether calmer existence. I know I do. Many of you do, My friends do too.
But each of us has obstacles. There are a million different roadblocks that will stand in our way during this journey towards simple living (whatever that looks like for you).
It may be:
- excess clutter
- financial difficulties
- family who doesn’t understand or respect your choices
- young children
- long work hours
- an over-filled calendar
In fact, it could easily be a combination of all those obstacles over the course of your simple living journey.
I don’t mention this to discourage you. I don’t mention it to make you resentful of the phase of life you are currently in. I mention it because there are ways to overcome these obstacles and move forward – closer to the simple life you crave. And over the past week, two of my favourite writers have released new books that I think will help significantly.
It depends on your priorities, your place in the simple living journey and your desires in living a simpler or slower life, but one or both of these books could hold the key to unlocking your next move.
Clutter-Free With Kids
Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist released ‘Clutter-Free with Kids‘ during the week. As someone with a 3- and 4-year-old, this book is a goldmine of practical advice on how to minimise the child-related clutter, as well as introducing the idea of simple living to your family. I know many of you are parents, and I know many parents struggle with this, which is why I highly recommend you check out Clutter-Free With Kids on Amazon.
Also, Joshua is offering the book for just $2.99 during launch week (ending February 3) so grab your copy while you can.
Notes from a Blue Bike
I was lucky enough to meet Tsh Oxenreider (of The Art of Simple) last year, and she is just as lovely as you’d expect. This week sees the release of ‘Notes from a Blue Bike – The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World’ and having had the privilege of reading an advanced copy, I am blown away.
Tsh gets it. She and her family have battled the ups and downs of crafting a simpler, slower life and in spite of the obstacles, have largely succeeded. This is a family who makes intentional decisions every single day about the food they eat, the education they provide, the work they do, the entertainment they choose and the travel they embark on. And they get it.
As I mentioned in my last post, travel is high on our list of family priorities, so it’s understandable that this passage has stayed with me over the past few days:
“People are willing to be brave when they admit their smallness within the enormity of the world, and the best way to understand our smallness is to leave our comfort zones and start exploring, one foot in front of the other. When we go on an adventure, we’d better understand where we truly belong. We want our kids to know that it doesn’t always take an airport gate and a 747 to experience the world. It was big even in our own country. This is why we take road trips.
“Kids are explorers by nature, and travel gives them permission to dive deep into their curiosity and open their eyes in surprise. Why do they eat that? How is there snow in August? Why do I eat what I eat? What makes my home so hot in the summer? I thought summer was hot everywhere.
“Once they’ve traveled, kids have permission to question the how and why of their surroundings, because they’ve tasted and seen that other people live differently. While it may not be the most comfortable way to go through life, it’s the most honest—and this honesty opens the door to making life choices that feel right in your bones.
“As much as our family loves passport stamps, we can find the same answers to our questions about life—Why is it this way? mostly—without leaving our motherland. (But I still recommend stepping outside your national borders at least once.) It doesn’t require a lot of gas in our car or a backpack stuffed with plane tickets. But it does require bravery, and a willingness to let your kids leap onto slippery stones and investigate life up close, with dirty fingernails.”
If you’re really looking to explore the why and how of creating a slower life within a fast-paced world, then I can highly recommend Notes from a Blue Bike. Like, really, really highly.
You can pre-order your copy of ‘Notes from a Blue Bike’ from Amazon today, before its release on February 2.
Giveaway of ‘Notes from a Blue Bike’
Excitingly, the team at Thomas Nelson have given me five copies of ‘Notes from a Blue Bike’ to give away, and I would love to share them with some of my favourite people (that would be you). If you’d like to win a copy, simply leave a comment below for a chance to win one of five.
(Entries close Feb 6 at 11:59pm AEST and the winners will be contacted via email.)