SLOWING DOWN

What led me to Simplicity Parenting over 3 years ago now was the ubiquitous question “how did we get so busy?” and the answer I have found was “wanting to have too much, to do too much and to be too much”. We no longer ponder the meaning of enough but are always confronted with the catch cry of a materialistic society ‘more, faster, better’ and it is difficult to escape from its influence.

Spending a term at home has taken me out of that sphere and here I have discovered that I have absolutely everything I need to make me happy and the thing that makes me happiest is open ended time! That has been the biggest luxury of this term – way more luxurious than a 5 star hotel!

Having time has given me the chance to read a lot and the book I am currently reading is called ‘Voluntary Simplicity’ by Duane Elgin. In it he explains how the faculty of the human intellect developed to support the emergence of the industrial revolution and how the human mind has taken us to a point where we are no longer preoccupied with the struggle for survival. Our levels of material wellbeing have moved beyond subsistence to unprecedented levels of abundance. This being the case we can either spend our money on making our lives bigger, better and faster or we can transfer our energy and attention from the material side of life to the nonmaterial side – areas such as family relationships, community life, making things, the arts and personal growth and expression.

This is what Simplicity Parenting is about, taking stock of what is important to us and the values we want our children to grow up with. It is about moving our energy from the quadrant of spending money to the quadrant of ‘simplicity’ where there are a whole lot of amazing life experiences that don’t cost anything and, although they don’t always come as easily as the paid experiences, usually make us feel better in the end and help us to develop ourselves as more complete and joyful human beings.