31 Days of Finding Freedom in Simplicity - Defining Simplicity

Simple living, simplicity, slowing down, living your authentic life; these are all terms you have probably heard for years.  Why did you start hearing these terms?  Most likely, like me, you were seeking out some miracle way for your weeks and months to slow down, for a little less hectic responsibility in the everyday so that you could enjoy life a little more rather than get through your to-do list again.

When I moved back to Maine from Boston in 2006 I was craving that simple living lifestyle that I had when I was growing up.  Of course that partly could have been that the first apartment my husband and I lived in after we were married had flooded and I was tired of such a long commute every.single.day.

That flood seemed like a catalyst to me.  It was definitely not the end of the world, but all the stress that I had been feeling for several months finally broke out.  I didn’t want the fast paced life anymore, I wanted to slow down.  We moved back to Maine.

31 Days of Finding Freedom in Simplicity - Defining Simplicity

Before we move on, I would like to say that not everyone needs to move to Maine in order to achieve a slower lifestyle, although it is a beautiful state, even delivering on a 5th season every year – mud season.  You can absolutely live in the city and find freedom in simplicity!

It seems like your 20's are all about self-discovery.  Trying to figure out what  your values are away from home, away from college.  A lot of it is floundering because you aren't sure about anything because you are still learning where your place in the world is, and where you want it to be.  You have commitments and obligations that you can't seem to get away from, but they aren't bringing value to you.

There were so many to-dos that seemed like the most important thing, and in retrospect they really were not important at all, but it felt like if they were not done you would be failing somehow.  

What is simple living?

When you think about simple living, what do you think of?  Do you think of a farm with animals and a large garden where you grow all of your own food?  Do you think of lots of time outdoors in nature?  Do you think of a tiny house and minimalism?

I thought simple living easily equated itself with gardening, chickens, and possibly cute little pygmy goats; back to the land.  However, when I started to take on that lifestyle, it reminded me that lifestyle was not necessarily simple either.  It obviously will cause you to slow down, tending a garden requires that you slow down and pay attention, but it didn’t give me the freedom I was expecting – because I still needed to tend to the garden and to the chickens.

I came to realize that everybody’s definition of simplicity would be different.  And now I define simple living as authentically living your life without apology.  Making your own path, and cutting out the noise.  It is making the decision to cut out everything that you feel is unimportant so that you can make room for all the things that are important.

For everyone simplicity will be different, but finding that freedom in simplicity does not have to look so different.

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