Some of my favourite Youtube channels are beautiful vlogs by people who have swapped a busy lifestyle for a simple one in a country cottage. I watch videos of people doing this all over the world and I adore their videos (I’ll post links to my favourites at the end of this blog). They are beautifully made, edited and the love of their life is evident throughout the videos. I find them inspiring and it is definitely a dream of mine to move to the countryside very soon, it has been calling me for a time. However does that mean I can’t live more in this way now? Of course I can!
And so can you.
There are many ways we can bring the notion of simplicity into our lives, no matter what stage we are at on our journey. It doesn’t mean giving up the things that we love to do or going without. First and foremost, for me living simply is a feeling. The great thing about feelings is that they can be carried anywhere with you.
To find this feeling, firstly I worked out the essence of what I wanted from a simpler life. For me, it was more of a connection with myself, with nature and feeling more joy every day. So I began working on ways to bring that into my life where I was. When I began this journey, I was travelling a fair amount to perform across the country and even though I was busy on my own terms as a self-employed musician and wellbeing facilitator, I was still busy. How I started to bring simplicity into those days was to find nature in every place I visited. I would arrive in cities earlier than I needed to so I could have an hour in a park or at the beach. This meant I felt grounded and connected with the place I was in rather than flying through it and leaving in whirlwind.
I then began to work out how that feeling could be weaved more into my work and daily life so there wasn’t a great transition between the two. This definitely led to a change in my work. Previously, when I performed in theatres and in cabarets there was much more of a separation between my true self and a glamourous stage character. This was interesting and definitely a creative experience but it didn’t feel right and it didn’t feel real. I am much happier when I share my songs now and that’s because I keep that feeling of simplicity with me when I am on stage now too.
I then began transitioning to more local sessions and became more picky about events further away. This brought my travel time down and reduced my carbon footprint per session in the process.
Next, I began to bring the spirit of slow living into the rest of my life. I worked out that the way I am able to create simplicity without living off grid in the woods is by embodying the essence of it throughout my day. Not pretending but bringing that level of peace into activities I love even if it’s not at the level I am aiming for yet. So even though I live with my neighbours quite close, I still tend to my garden as if it’s a cottage garden. I still spend time in the woods even though there is a short walk through the estate to start the walk. I feel these “interruptions” of modern life don’t need to take away from my feelings of joy. If anything, I am able to bring joy back from my simple world to the modern one, if that makes sense?
I make sure I include activities that are simple and don’t require technology. Gardening is one of my favourite ways to spend time. Growing my own food and flowers is so happiness making to me, to see the progress everyday! I also joined community groups such as the Transition movement that shares the idea of sustainable living and so I can work towards this on a larger scale with like-minded people.
Some might say these ideas are old fashioned and can’t work with modern life. It’s either one or the other. I don’t believe this has to be the case though. I think I can live simply and also enjoy aspects of modern living. I am grateful for video calling my family, I am grateful for being able to watch beautiful films, I am grateful to be able to record my songs to share and to be able to cook food with the ease that our elders did not have.
However I still love simplicity and slow living. So I am also grateful for the time I give myself to create, for the days when I don’t speak with anyone, for the woods that feel so homely.
What does simple living mean to you? I would love to hear how you create or intend to create a more simple life, if that’s your goal, And if not, that’s great too. I say this a lot- we must follow what we are drawn to do!
Here are some Youtube channels I love…
And Me 😉 I only started this year so I’d be very grateful for your support!
Best Wishes and Deep Breaths,