I started this site to talk about minimalism.
I wanted to explore how simplification, a boiling down of the unnecessary to the essential, improves life. I wanted to talk about the focus of mind and thought that comes as a natural occurrence when we minimize distraction. I wanted to explore how creating time and space in our lives creates the opportunity to give small, but significant, gifts to ourselves and others.
But who am I to give advice on minimalism? I have a lot of debt, both from student loans and your typical consumer-type loans (car loans and credit cards used to get by in lean times), and I’ve earned my living the last seven years by creating marketing plans to sell more of the stuff of modern life (packaged foods, clothes, electronics and the like).
This his has been a hard year for everyone. People on both sides of the political spectrum worry — about their families, their communities, and our country. I feel that stress and angst quite personally and deeply. I’ve allowed self-doubt and the distraction of social media to keep me from sitting at this keyboard for months, all the while feeding a dissatisfaction inside me.
Something has to change.
I believe we best affect positive change in our world by first creating change in ourselves and then using that energy to connect and create within our local communities. We can and should continue to make our voices known to our national representatives. That’s how democracy works best. But life, the everyday every day, works best when we laugh and love and create and connect with those around us through conversations that include more eye contact than emojis.
The Minimalists often say there’s no one flavor or recipe of minimalist. Perhaps minimalism means you have only 33 items of clothing. Maybe it means you live in a small home with a few possessions. Maybe it simply means that you feel the metaphysical weight of the physical stuff and clutter in your life, and you want to make a change.
Very soon, we plan make some big life changes to reduce our overall debt, minimize some of our physical possessions and move to a more community-building and connected lifestyle. I’ll share those changes here in the hopes that they can help some of you find your own Way.
There is no One Right Way to be a minimalist, or for that matter to be a Democrat or a Republican, an American, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or atheist. There is only the way that gets you through your day with more love and less hate, more faith and less fear, more connection and more community.
Podcast & Blog
While I mostly podcast, I occasionally write down my thoughts. You can all my podcast episodes and blog posts here. Each week, the Simple Life Works podcast will:
Each week, the Simple Life Works podcast will:
- Bring you tips and guidance for living a simple, more fulfilling life
- Share real stories from people doing good, simple works that:
- improve their lives
- meaningfully connect with others
- contribute to their communities.
Subscribe to the the SLW Newsletter for all my latest podcast updates and publication schedule.
This week I sit down with Jay Amargos, owner of i’Mindful Studio in Bentonville, Arkansas, and a certified instructor for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Pioneered by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR is a clinical approach to stress-reduction through meditation and other mindfulness techinques. For me, simplification leads to less clutter. When we have less mental and physical…
Inspired by a woman in London who saved $24,000 Pounds by not spending money for a year, Summer Davis has embarked on her own Year of No Spending. Summer and I sat down to talk about her ambitious plan and how she plans to balance that with the daily demands of life, work and family.
Amy Robinson & Tribe of Women establish cultures of women supporting women and more good men in our personal and professional lives. This week I sat down with Amy to discuss her work with Tribe of Women and what she does every day to minimize distraction and better connect with those around her.
On his site, mnmlist.com, Lea Baubata writes defines minimalism as: “It’s about stuff, and how it has come to overwhelm us. It’s about distractions and commitments and a never ending task list. It’s about the culture of more, of bigger, of consumption. It’s about how less is the answer.” If you regularly feel overwhelmed, this podcast is…
We all have that thing that we never prioritize into realization. I graduated college and worked for the next 20 years believing that success and happiness lied in more — more responsibility, bigger salaries and higher titles. I chased all three, working for as long it took to get more money. In 2009, I declared bankruptcy and…