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.
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 big, important changes to your life 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. There are over 5,000 of these like-minded folks in my Facebook group and we are from all corners of this blue planet. There we share our struggles with simplifying, our victories, our questions and our experiences, and lives are richer for it.
Having people who 'get you' can help a great deal as you move through the process of simplifying your home and life, so if you're needing support or encouragement please come and join us.
My Kindred Spirits
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 and others I admire from afar.
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 young family, I love the perspective Rachel brings in her approach to a simple 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 with her family.
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 mindful, intelligent, chic 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 – The Art of Simple
Tsh and her family of 5 are currently travelling the world. And while her thoughtful and practical posts on simplicity have seen me make dozens of massive changes to our own family life, it's her philosophy of travel, exploration and intention that make her a true kindred spirit. Plus, her and her husband feel that a passport is one of the greatest gifts parents can share with their children. Which is something I can really get behind.
Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus – The Minimalists
Late last year I had the pleasure of meeting these guys in Sydney, and was so struck by their warmth and passion for simplicity. They write essays – some short, some long – about living a simpler life with less stuff. What's more, they back it up with their actions everyday and they do it while maintaining some very impressive hair.
Kindred spirits don't have to share exactly the same perspective as you. (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?