Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Live simple so that others may simply live

Live simply so that others may simply live – Gandhi

This is my new motto – I really want to learn more, action and live a more conscious and intentional life. I wont put myself down and say this is a new thing for me... I have been conscious and intentional in many aspects of my life. It’s just that I really want to be conscious about getting better about this. So I’m setting myself a goal to learn things and do things that mean I will be living simply so that others may simply live.

I want to use Gandhi’s inspirational words to challenge myself. I’d like to consider
  • How I spend my money
  • How I spend my time
  • How I relate with other people
  • How I listen to my spiritual self
  • How I impact on other peoples quality of life
  • How I relate to precious resources on our planet
I’ve started doing some reading about the ‘living simply’ movement, which appears to come in different forms and is called different things. The first thing that strikes me is that ‘living simply’, or striving for the ‘simple life’ (or in my parents time – the ‘good life’) is definitely not new to me. My parents made decisions when I was a child to live simply – I think forced by financial pressures as much as anything. But I spent the majority of my childhood on a property with no electricity and no town water. We grew our own fruit and veg, and supported other local producers. Mum sewed and taught us to sew our clothes and we learnt other useful skills, such as baking bread, jams and preserves. I was brought up on home grown sprouts, goats milk from our own goat, and home grown eggs. It was a good life for a kid.

But I doubt it was a simple life for my mother – washing with the petrol driven washer with wringer, keeping the kero fridge alight, stoking the fire in the heat of summer to keep hot water, and teaching us to read, play music and entertain ourselves in the dime light of a kerosene lantern.
So as I embark on a conscious year of learning how to be more intentional about my life, to look at the principles of ‘living a simple life’, I will be interested in finding the balance. I do have a complicated life – working away from home, returning to my little haven only 4 out of 7 nights each week. But my income helps me achieve many of my life goals – travelling, learning, contributing to human rights programs in India, supporting community action in my local area, and supporting my partner with his ambitious goals to develop better cycling infrastructure through lobbying decision makers..

So balance is important, between simplicity and complexity, creating time/space & energy, and giving back, and the balance of costs/benefits and spiritual.... I think this is going to be an interesting journey of self discovery.
But, I don’t want it to simply be a journey for me, alone... I don’t live alone. I want to engage my partner is these discussions also. This will be a new challenge for us too. He has strong ideas about some things.  As one author I’ve been reading highlights, any lifestyle change on my part requires stakeholder buy in from my loved ones too…

2014 blogging goals
While I’m committing myself to the pursuit of a more simple life – one that follows Gandhi’s words – I need to maintain a balance of the other aspects of my life that fuel me, replenish me and define me. My blogging life as previously been a place where
  • I review my reading – reading is a personal challenge for me, and I have gained so much from setting reading goals – such as the Japanese Literature Challenge – so I’m going to keep that aspect of blogging alive too.
  • I post gardening and environmental actions and events – this is about me sharing my little bit of mother earth with you. I believe we can all gain from what happens in my garden. This year I will be revisiting the permaculture principles on a monthly basis as I flick my calendar over.
  • I share my love of Paris, France and the French Language. I love hosting Paris in July, and I will be undertaking to do that this year again. I love visiting and learning from others who love Paris too.
  •  I gloat over Aussie cyclists in the grand tours.... I’m becoming a tour junky, and also do a bit of cycling myself, so January I go to south Australia to see the Tour down Under, and July I get lost in mist of Tour de France!
  • Blogging is also a place where I explore spirituality and self awareness, sometimes randomly. I don’t know why I think blogging is a good place for all that, but it’s sometimes cathartic to write about those things.

So I hope you’ll join me in some of this journey… lets see where 2014 takes us.


vicki (skiourophile) said...

Good luck with your goals, Tamara. The choice to change may have been the hardest part - I wish you well. I'm glad you're continuing with Paris in July too - I love that!

Jeanie said...

I think blogging is a fine place to explore every single one of those things (and I'm especially happy about Paris in July!). I'm also happy about the Tour and about everything here.

Your goal for the year in terms of lifestyle is an important one -- and one I think we should all examine a little more closely. But it made me smile and realize your wisdom when you mentioned taking your partner's thoughts into consideration, too. After all, we are drawn together because we share certain things and some may be a little different. To be able to work them together is what makes relationships work, too. You know that -- and THAT makes me smile!

Jeanie said...

Just a quick thank you for the nice words on the Christmas posts. Definitely not living simply there, but it's the time of year when I just can't!

Esme said...

Those are some good wisdoms to live by.

Anonymous said...

A fantastic post and one that expresses my oxymoron of a life perfectly. Where the boyfriend would like nothing better than to abandon the world and go and be self sufficient on a little croft somewhere, we can't really achieve certain things without our income at this moment of time. We're off to India again this year and working hard to get there! We have a love affair with that wonderful country and I'd love to put my money into something over there in the future.