| Anne Williamson | 

I am not the poster child for simple living. I don’t live in a tiny house in the woods off the grid. I don’t raise livestock, darn socks or knit. I enjoy eating out, and many nights, thank g/God for TV dinners. We own two cars and more stuff than we need.

This does not mean I don’t strive to live simpler. Over a span of 15 years, I have made significant changes in the way I live and interact with “stuff.” I started off making these changes out of concern for my fellow humans and our planet. I kept making changes because I found peace in doing so.

This peace has come not with any sort of “arrival” but through the journey of gradually eliminating some things so that other things may speak more freely, may take up more space, in my life. It’s the peace that comes with fewer distractions. It’s the peace that comes from a life that increasingly tells the singular story of what I value, find joy in, love.

Simplification is not one size fits all. It can’t be; it’s shaped by your purpose and your story, which is unique to you and different from me. I do believe, though, it’s a way of being into which we must lean – for the sake of our own joy as well as others. Excess anything, whether it be accumulation or mental static, is unsustainable and affects those around us as much as ourselves.

This is why, in groups, over the next two weeks, we’ll explore this topic. First, this coming week, in contrast to the modern American way of “busy lives, lots of things,” we’ll discuss a philosophy and theology truly native to this land. The idea is not to set the former up as wholly “bad” and the latter wholly “good”; but, rather, how might the latter balance the former. Our spirituality, like our biology, is evolving.... What do we need to hear now – individually and as a culture?

Whether you’ve participated this round or not, you are welcome to come learn and add your voice! I hope you will.