As a imperfect eco warrior I try to tread lightly on the Earth. I quite like this planet and unlike others I have absolutely no desire to live on any other planet. But I only have a tiny budget. At times I have looked longingly at eco gadgets wanting my little space I call home as self sufficient as possible but I have come across a bit of a cross roads. My husband used to work at a large energy firm. He absolutely hated working for the 'bad guys' and used the first possible opportunity to get out. But one thing he gets really annoyed about is the word eco. When you think of heating systems for example. Economy and ecological have two very different meanings yet they both get shortened to eco. This lead to a great amount if stress for my poor husband when he had to explain energy bills to customers. So which should the eco warriors in us follow well of course we want to be ecological for example using solar panels but for those of us living in cloudy UK they are not the most economic way of getting energy. We have all heard about green washing. Company's hiding under the shortened eco. So a bit of balance is needed. For me looking to old fashioned techniques of frugal living seems to be the right balance. Turn off lights if you not using them. Reuse items. Make things. There are a multitude of recipes on the internet for homemade laundry powder. Grow things. Spend a little time saying thank you to the planet we live on. It really is a beautiful place.
I have a confession I'm a perfectionist but not a very good one. I love the idea of everything having its place and approaching a project with complete focus and mindfulness so the result is flawless. The only problem Is I come up to an obstacle decide its not going to be perfect and give up. The idea of something not being finished to perfection is too difficult to bear. As I have got older I have learnt to be patient, take baby steps and understand I have to start somewhere and my Yoga training has taught me to let go of outcomes and focus on the journey. But there is always a part me that focuses on perfection. I love looking at items that have been loving created by crafts people from years of experience polishing out imperfections over those years. I love chocolate, OK love isn't strong enough. I adore chocolate and nothing please me more then finding crafted chocolate made by an passionate chocolatier . Of course chocolate at that quality comes at a price and is a once maybe if I'm lucky twice a year treat. But then if I had it more often it wouldn't be perfect. This is the key to perfection and how perfection can be enjoyed. It has to be rare other wise It isn't perfect. So struggling perfectionists' like my self out there do still strive for perfection with compassion for ourselves. it makes us better. But remember for perfection to be enjoyed it needs to be rare.
so what do you want to be when you grow up?
a question that as a child is cute. A firefighter, a ballerina, a knight or a princess. But then in the teenage years becomes a source of anxiety. Suddenly at 15/16 years old you are expected to make big decisions on your career. For some this is easy. They know the path they want to take and take it. For others including myself we go for one career idea to another. Our education zig zaging across different subjects and still not knowing what the final subject should be. Yesterday I watched a TED talk by ..... And had a bit of a epiphany. For years this question has caused anxiety and at times depressive thoughts for me. My mum always knew what she wanted to be and my dad always tinkered with computers and electronics so they found their careers reasonable easy and both have been successful at what they do. What's wrong with having multiple pursuits instead of being what she refers to as a specialist. My partner is of a similar mindset. Throwing ourselves in to a project to then get bored and move on to another. The answer is there is absolutely nothing wrong. In fact the world needs a balance of multi-skilled and specialists. So maybe instead of asking what do you want to be when you grow up. Maybe we should ask. What are you going to be today?
Simple living is a choice. It’s the decision to declutter your life, your house, your mind and your body. By removing distractions we can really find what it important in our life. I am aiming to live more simply and spend less time doing unimportant things.
The best way to start simple living is to make of list of four or five things which are most important to you. Make them very specific. This may take time and lots of editing, they might change as life changes, flow with that.
Once you have found what is important to you, begin to look at what is creating noise in your life. For example that TV series you are watching. Is it really important to you? Sometimes you are committing hours of your life over a span of years to watch all the episodes. What about Digital clutter? Look at your Todo list. Is that cluttered also. What about the room you are in?
No one is perfect. As i write this i have a pile of bin bags full of papers i have sorted out ready to go to recycling. It is a process and you have to start somewhere.
Simple living can go to extremes. You don’t need to live like a minimalist to enjoy living simply. It's about recognising what enriches you live and what doesn’t.
I plan to explore simple living more in later Blog posts.
One: Notice the trees
No matter whether you live in the city or in the countryside. When driving, walking or sitting on a bus or train. Take a moment to look at the trees. Every day they are changing in Autumn as they gradually turn from luscious green to the golden yellows, oranges and reds.
Nothing beats going for a walk on a crisp bright Autumn morning. As the temperature lowers wrapping up a little more in a jumper or coat. Listening to the crunch of the leaves under your feet and the light beaming between the trees. The rewarding yourself with a hot drink at the end.
Three: Bring Autumn into the home
As the temperature starts to drop. Warm up your home with so autumn colours. Add little accents around the home such as cushions. Maybe use candles with autumn shades and scents. Use Autumn scents such as Apple, cinnamon or nutmeg.
Four: Enjoy Autumn food
Autumn is harvest time and it's a great time to enjoy the foods on offer at seasonal prices. Make an apple bake, crumble or toffee apples. Poach pears in spiced red wine. Make pumpkin soup with a kick of chilli served with fresh baked bread still warm from the oven. There are also some great festivals to celebrate with food such as Bonfire night in the UK and Halloween.
Five: Make a fresh start
Autumn is a great time for a fresh start. It's the start of the academic year in the UK and children grudgingly go back to school. Give the house a good clean in preparation of spending more time indoors. Check you plans for the future and see if you need to make any changes. Be ready for the preparation towards Christmas. The run up in retail begins in September.
Autumn is a great season to enjoy nature and the beautiful planet we live on. Quite often we get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to enjoy the present. Take a moment to enjoy Autumn's bounty it is good for the body and the mind.
Lots of love