I can simply say I LOVED THIS BOOK.
The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs.
From the moment I started it up in the mountains for a weekend away with my family, to the turn of the last page. This book has changed my life on a deeper level than any of the simplicity books I read at the end of last year. This, along with all of the others, came recommended to me by Katie Berggren on a Facebook exchange one afternoon. She was right, of all the others, she said The Simple Living Guide was still her favorite.
It is mine too.
The author Janet Luhrs, sums simple living up this way, “Simple living is about living deliberately. That’s all. You choose your existence rather than sailing through life on automatic pilot.”
I have written down so many quotes, I am fighting not to share them all!
As we have talked about time so often on this blog, and others that I follow, this one seems acute to some of us Mom’s:
“Our time famine is really and intimacy famine. It is much easier to stay busy and frantic than it is to love and know ourselves and others deeply. We’re busy because we want to be busy. Staying busy appears to give our lives meaning (just look at all of the things I have accomplished and all of the things I do in my life!) and staying busy is safe. We don’t really need to get in and look at our lives when we’re rushing from one thing to the next.”
So often I think I have fallen into the trap of “staying busy appears to give our lives meaning”. If I was busy, doing this or that, fighting this injustice or that, volunteering at this or that, I was more important to society than ‘just’ a stay at home Mom. I am finding that, for me, being ‘just’ a stay at home Mom is giving me the opportunity to actually become way more than the standards in which society has set.
“The real answer was whether I was at peace inside or not. If you’re peaceful inside you can live anywhere. If you are in turmoil on the inside, or if you are used to giving in to one desire after another, no log cabin, monastery, or clutter-free house will still your restless waters.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have thought to myself, if I could just go to an ashram for awhile and be still, if my house was just clean and actually stayed that way for more than 20 minutes, if we lived here, or there, or had that book, or that latte, I would be happier. More peaceful. This is the key to blooming where we are planted I think! Find the peace within, then you will reflect it out.
And I love, “Michelangelo was once asked about the process of creating a great sculpture. He answered that all he did was cut away what was not the sculpture. Our highest self is in there, waiting.” I suppose the only question would be whether we are honoring that, or whether we are running through our daily lives searching for our higher selves on shelves in store, in food in the cabinet, in addictions, busyness, and the like.
The greatest thing about the idea of simplicity is that it doesn’t mean giving up all of your possessions and moving to an island somewhere and living off the land. That is the choice for some, but the key to simplicity is living YOUR life, in YOUR way, as simply as you want. The freedom that can give us is time, choice, flexibility. When we work all day to pay for all the things we have, it doesn’t give us a lot of time for contemplation, for volunteering if we choose, for spending time with our families, for learning new things, for cooking from scratch, for acquiring new hobbies, or nurturing the hobbies we do have, for travel, for just ‘being’.
Many people want high stress, high workload carriers. Simplicity living doesn’t say you shouldn’t do that and point fingers, it says if that is what you want to do GREAT, just have awareness about it. If that isn’t what you want to do, but are doing because somehow society deems it so, or your living to such an extent you have to do that, then lets realign with what we deem important and begin a new dimension of our lives.
She says, “Sit for awhile. Think about this. How much of your time is spent on the following (a) working to buy a houseful of stuff; (b) working to earn more money to pay to insure your houseful of stuff; (c) cleaning, rearranging, storing, and maintaining your stuff?”
I can tell you, I spend A LOT of time on C.
As a Mom, I will leave you with these two quotes, but go out and check out this book from the library or buy a copy of your own. It just might change your life too! Seriously, the one friend I convinced to finally read it is just as in love as I am with this book, The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs. Life changing. Life inspiring. Life enriching.
For our parenting:
“Ask yourself: If I were to go through one typical day with my children with this tender, bittersweet awareness of the fleetness and fragility of time in my heart, how would it change my life as a parent?”
“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the un-lived life of the parents” ~C.G. Jung