Creating a life of simplicity is not hard. But it is complicated.
And being surrounded by people who don’t understand, people who don’t agree or people who are outright derisive of the idea can make it more complicated. Even moreso if those people are your family and friends.
As someone who is a passionate advocate for living with less, I don’t often talk about decluttering and minimalism offline.
Partly because I don’t think I have all the answers, nor the ego to assume my way is the best and only way to live. I also want to avoid being that person who talks incessantly about their new interest, passion or job and who you can’t wait to escape from at a dinner party. You know that person?
That being said, making changes to your life – big, important changes – is much, much easier when you have access to a support network of like-minded people.
You have people to bounce ideas off, you learn from those who have gone before you, you impart your experiences on people following behind. You are exposed to different views, opposing perspectives and both the length and breadth of experience that each person has to offer.
The beauty of our connected, digital world is that we can meet like-minded people from all around the globe. Last month I Skyped with a simplicity devotee in Egypt (you can see my interview with Tohami here on Midway Simplicity) and over the weekend have been emailing minimalism experts from the US.
So today, I want you to meet my kindred spirits. I’m going to introduce you to a group of writers who help keep me inspired, motivated and aiming higher on my simple living journey. Some I know personally (via the web) and others I admire from afar.
I know many of you battle against family and friends who may not understand your goals for a simpler life. So these wonderful people and the communities they have built will be your support network when it comes to living with less.
Leo Babauta – Zen Habits
The spiritual godfather of simplicity, Leo is a one-man world-changer. He writes beautifully, he motivates and he inspires. He is so generous with his experiences, both in living a very simple, beautiful life with his wife and six kids, as well as sharing how he harnessed his passion to become a super-successful entrepreneur.
Joshua Becker – Becoming Minimalist
Another passionate family man, Joshua inspires me to embrace not only living with less, but the joys and struggles that brings. He is fully aware of the challenges this lifestyle can bring our way, but his family’s story proves just how worthwhile a change it is.
As a suburban dad and husband, his journey towards simple living is so accessible – it’s the story of the everyman – but his spirit and kindness have elevated that to something much greater. I am always, always inspired after reading his blog.
Rachel Jonat – The Minimalist Mom
The first of my kindred spirits who is raising a toddler, I love the perspective Rachel brings in her approach to a simple family life. Having young kids in the house changes your ideas of simplicity and minimalism – whether you like it or not.
Rachel and her husband have given up so much of their stuff so they can experience the world more fully. She has “two pairs of jeans, no car, no debt, more time and less stress.” She also made a sea-change to the Isle of Man and frequently travels the world with her family. She has truly embraced the opportunities that living with less brings – and how inspiring is that?!
Courtney Carver – Be More With Less
One of the first simple living blogs I found, Courtney gives not only a woman’s perspective on living with less, but a chic, fashionable and health-conscious woman. Her writing is thought-provoking and poignant, but also funny and sweet. Her minimalist fashion program – Project333 – is a must-read for anyone looking to simplify their wardrobes to the (fashionable) essentials.
Tsh Oxenreider – Simple Mom
“Like Zen Habits in an apron”, Tsh’s blog is full of practical tips and suggestions on how to live life more intentionally. Simplicity, running a home, happiness, family and health are all topics she writes so beautifully and realistically about. What’s more, her and her husband feel that a passport is one of the greatest gifts parents can share with their children. Which is capital-A Awesome.
Needless to say, she is one cool mama, and I’d give anything to sit down and share a coffee with her.
Jill Gaupin – The Minimalistas
A relative newcomer to the simple living scene (like me), Jill’s blog is just beautiful. She brings together minimalist interiors, fashion and inspiration. Every time I visit her archives (she’s currently on a nursing school sabbatical) I find another gem. Do yourself a kindess and spend time working through her archives – you won’t be disappointed.
Joshua Fields Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus – The Minimalists
These guys are cool. I think if I ever met them in person, I would be incredibly intimidated because they just are so…self-contained. They write essays – some short, some long – about living a life of simplicity. What’s more, they then they back it up with their actions everyday.
They’ve recently moved to a cabin in Montana where they focus their time on writing, playing music and helping others. They feel like the hipster friends you wish you had growing up, except, you know, I don’t think they’re wankers.
Kindred spirits don’t have to share exactly the same perspective as you, in fact, where’s the fun in that? But there will be a true connection between the way you and they see the world. You will feel like they are speaking to you. And if you’re really lucky, they may just help change your life.
Do you have kindred spirits? Those who understand you, help lift you up and inspire you?