Joyful and pleasurable leisure activities are part of "Voluntary Simplicity". I really love writing on Spark People ! I also love cooking and taking care of my 4 pets. My favorite thing to do it to just "hang-out" with my sweetheart, Johnny. We talk, watch TV, play games, (and of course make love !).
Part of "VS" is "quality time with friends and family". Both of my sons and my daughter-in-law are visiting for Easter next Sunday. I am SO looking forward to it. I LOVE MY KIDS and enjoy it when they come over for lunch and we can talk. We have good "quality time".
Fitness Minutes: (189,398)
265,558 4/13/14 10:54 P
Voluntary simplicity also involves "meaningful work, whether paid or volunteer. I cleaned my disabled neighbor's apartment yesterday and tomorrow my sweetie and I are helping an elderly couple clean out their garage, as they are moving into an ALF. I'm retired but still do odd jobs here and there. I like to be busy sometimes. Love my "Spark-time" though too !
Thanks for writing BLUENOSE and MRSMUDSHARK ! I love cooking also and try to use fresh vegetables and cook from "scratch" ! I actually lived in a tent in the woods with no running water for almost 4 months ! After that, I'd had enough of camping - but I do still love the woods. LOL I need to get rid of a lot of knick knacks also. Who wants to dust? I live without a vehicle - over 5 years now. I walk. Ride a bike. Take the bus. Call a cab occasionally. Arrange a ride with a friend. etc. (I still have a valid driver's license just in case).
Again, love to hear how other's incorporated "voluntary simplicity" into their lives.
Edited by: GREEN-EYED-LADY at: 4/12/2014 (10:32)
4/12/14 8:13 A
I have read about this a lot, and over the years have made a bit of progress on it. I have reduced the clutter in my home by a lot. Very few knick knacks around, just a couple that I really love or have a special place in my heart. The next area to tackle is the thing that brought me here-getting control of diet and activity. I already get great pleasure and satisfaction from cooking, I love the whole process of dicing and cutting and creating a meal. I use very few processed ingredients at this time. I love nature, too! Our love of camping gets us out to the woods often. Except now I have a travel trailer, no tent for me at this point in my life!!
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
4/12/14 8:07 A
Yes I don't use twitter, Facebook etc. the cell phone I have is only used when I travel and sits in the drawer the rest of the time. It doesn't have texting or any other features, it merely sends and receives calls.
Voluntary Simplicity started out as just "limiting material possessions to what is needed and/or cherished". Now it has grown to much more. I have a lot of stuff that I could get rid of. I need to work on that.
Fitness Minutes: (189,398)
265,558 4/10/14 10:18 P
"Aesthetic beauty in your personal environment" is also part of "Voluntary Simplicity". My sweetheart and I are constantly decorating and improving our apartment. We both want to live in a nice, clean, organized place. I would hate living with a "slob". My sweetie is very good at painting and hanging curtains and building shelves, etc. He's awesome !
Another aspect of "Voluntary Simplicity" involves a "connection to nature, such as spending time outdoors regularly". I live on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, so I see a lot of different birds. I walk outside everyday, but it is on a sidewalk. I wish I had a path through the woods to walk on. I can't afford to travel to visit other beautiful places like mountains. I LOVE nature. It is the handiwork of GOD !
Fitness Minutes: (12,145)
4/8/14 9:13 A
I am intrigued by the concept. I am going to do more reading on it. I have been trying to get rid of things - whether throwing out or donating. I love the feeling I get after "purging" a closet or room. I think extending it into other aspects of my life would be beneficial as well.
Voluntary Simplicity also involves "practices that foster personal growth, an inner life, or spirituality; such as yoga, meditation, prayer, religious ceremonies, writing a journal, and/or spiritual reading." I've been reading a book about spirituality and writing about it in my blog. I also pray. I listen to Joel Osteen's message on TV every Sunday (for over 7 years now). I think I'm doing pretty well in this area. How about you?
Voluntary Simplicity also involves a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, adequate sleep and nutritious food. I'm really doing well in this area, eating veggies, walking, and sleeping well, except that I know I need to cut back on alcohol. The medical community recommends no more that one drink per day for women and I can't do that. One always leads to several. I was alcohol-free for 107 days over the holidays so that was a really healthy lifestyle for me.
Voluntary Simplicity also involves a "connection to community, but not necessarily in formal organizations". I'm not involved in any church or charity or club so I guess I need to work on this. But I do walk to the local stores everyday and know all the clerks and run into neighbors who I talk to -- so like it says, I have a connection to the community but not necessarily in a formal organization.
Voluntary Simplicity involves a "conscious and comfortable relationship with money, charting a course between deprivation and excessive accumulation". I believe I've really achieved this for the most part. I have a very nice apartment and everything I need but not a lot of junk. I am somewhat deprived because I can't afford a car, but everywhere I need to go is close by or there is a bus or a friend who gives me free rides. Occasionally I need to get a taxi cab but that is rare. I've become accustom to living without a car and hardly miss it anymore. It's been over 5 years.
Another principle of "Voluntary Simplicity" is joyful and pleasurable leisure activities. I enjoy "sparking", especially writing my blogs, walking, certain TV shows, reading, cooking, taking care of my pets, playing various games with my sweetheart, and, don't forget, "making love". I do wish I had the opportunity to go swimming more often. What do you enjoy doing?
One principle of "voluntary simplicity" is "quality time with friends and family." Recently my sweetheart and I have been ridding our lives of people who we no longer want to call "friends". We want to make friends with a better quality of people - not the losers we used to hang out with. How about you? Do you have good quality friends that you spend time with? If so, God Bless You !
I've been moving toward simplicity my whole life. I'm obviously not there yet but I keep plugging away at keeping things simple. Spring is on it's way and it's going to be time to clean out the clutter and donate, donate, donate!
LOVE all the posts ! Like Cameosun, I was married to a man who HAD to have the LATEST, GREATEST, and FASTEST EVERYTHING ! It drove me crazy and I eventually left him. SO MUCH HAPPIER NOW !
Like RIET69, I'm always cleaning out my closet and drawers and donating old clothes - especially now that I'm losing weight with SP and lots of stuff is too BIG ! Woo-Hoo !
Unlike JEN-IN-CA, I can't live without the TV but my son and his wife don't miss having one and I don't leave my TV on all the time. I turn it on for a specific show and then it goes OFF. People that leave their TV on constantly, especially all night, drive me crazy.
MJEFFERSON has the right idea. If it is important to you - KEEP IT or DO IT. If it isn't then consider getting rid of it.
Thanks again for posting everybody ! You all ROCK ! Valerie
i just read the article on here about this yesterday .. saved it to my favorites .. i want to start praticing this even more .. i have so many "things" i want to rid myself of .. i am looking at all the "stuff" on my desk right now and thinking "do i really need all these dust magnets?" .. life would be so much better and simpler, and i would have more time and "money" for things that really matter, like now that i am getting fit how nice would it be to take a vacation!! i love the outdoors and water and a vacation hiking or water activity would be great .. i am going to buy the book (another purchase, LOL).. or even better try and find stuff on-line about this and ways to do it ..
Fitness Minutes: (16,395)
1,280 3/9/14 12:55 P
Truthfully, in some ways I do, and in others I don't. If it is important to me, I'll do it or keep it. If it doesn't have real personal value, it's gone! :)
I do! We don't have a lot of stuff in our apartment and don't keep things we don't use or need. We don't have TV. I never spend money just to have the latest technology, and I limit how much I use my phone and computer.
Check out these blogs on simple living: http://zenhabits.net http://www.theminimalists.com
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
3/4/14 2:13 P
Another way to practice this is by limiting the amount of "stuff" you gather in your house. I find that one way of limiting stuff is when I buy something "new to me" I try to get rid of something. For example if I get a new coat I look to see if I can donate a coat to Volunteers of America or Salvation Army. It has worked well for me through the years.
Fitness Minutes: (5,698)
3/4/14 1:32 P
Amish principles are similar to voluntary simplicity.
I have been consistently reducing 'stuff' in the house & life for years. I've also dropped 'problem people' out of my life. I have found that certain people enjoy drama and when there isn't any, they will create it. They also refuse to heed any advice.
My issue is being married to someone who doesn't get the 'simple life' concept & has to constantly buy the latest tech tools, kitchen gadgets, etc.
Not only is "voluntary simplicity" about limiting material possessions to what is needed and/or cherished, but another principle is to have meaningful work, whether paid or volunteer. This is something I need to work on. I really think I should do some volunteer work. Maybe at the food pantry at a local church or at the hospital. I'm not sure. Been thinking about it for years.
WOW ! Love the ideas of how people have simplified their lives to what THEY are happy with. That's the whole point, right? Don't give up things that are very important to you. But have JUST THE RIGHT THINGS in THE RIGHT AMOUNT FOR YOU.
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
2/28/14 10:55 A
I have never heard that term but I do practice what I call leaving a light carbon footprint on this earth by reusing and recycling and not buying thins that I don't need. I am careful about my use of gas, electricity, water. It is a constant consciousness and awareness that I have cultivated.
I have a car and a television but I don't have a cell phone, just a land line. My mother was very poor when she was growing up, and she taught me to count my pennies. My father would say "It's only money," whenever something expensive came up. That irritated my mother, but they loved each other and they made it work. My Dad worked hard when I was a kid, overtime, to give the family everything we wanted.
I walk to the store whenever I can, but it's nice to have a car.
Edited by: ANAMORPHOSIS at: 2/28/2014 (06:56)
2/28/14 6:05 A
I try to have a simple life. No car, Iphone, Ipad, no laptop, rent a small space which I keep minimal possessions in. No credit cards, pay cash for everything. I do love to quilt and have lots of tools to do so but at least I'm making a useful blanket for someone.
I "get" the nostalgic notion of wanting a simpler life as stated by the O.P. but that doesn't work for me, life's intricacy's, for me, is what makes life interesting and fun!
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
1,169 2/27/14 4:48 A
I live a life that is a combination of the simple and the complex. I do not own a car or a television, but I own a Macbook Pro, an iPad, and and iPod. I don't own a home, and my furniture is a combination of hand-me-downs and thrift store pieces. On the other hand, I buy art pretty regularly, and I have to add pages to my passport because I travel so much.
In short, I simplify the things I don't care about, and make a big deal of the things that are important to me.
Never heard of it, but I practice it,after moving back here from Africa, my husband and I only owned 6 suitcases. Today I've got a $10 couch and chair, some free things for essentials, I do have a car but need one for work, and I own a TV, laptop, phone and kindle. That's it and ther is no clutter, housework is easy. I am thankful for my simple decluttered life.
Wow, I never heard of such a thing, but I've lived that way myself for almost 5 years, since I moved back from TX to IL. I left car in TX for sister & BIL so I walk, bike or use public transportation. Hadn't plugged in my TV since I moved from one city in IL to another except for a couple movies & exercise videos (all of which I can watch on my computer), so donated it recently. Am constantly downsizing, eliminating items & donating. I've always considered myself a minimalist; last year went to a tiny house conference in Colorado & plan to build one in the next couple years.
Edited by: GINGERVISTA at: 2/26/2014 (23:12)
2/26/14 10:50 P
Reading these posts, I don't believe that I do.
I don't believe that I could live without a car. With a bus that runs on a summer schedule. (Sometimes the bus runs and sometimes it doesn't, most of the time it doesn't) Besides that in my city a two way bus trip costs more than a gallon of gas. And my mother is elderly and cannot walk the quarter mile to the closest bus stop.
I don't need lots of jewelry or electronic gadgets. I don't drive a fancy car, but a simple Honda. So in those ways. I might be practicing simplicity
Dean Anderson (Behavioral Psychology Expert) wrote that "voluntary simplicity" is "about living a full life by intentionally designing your life so that you don't have to sacrifice anything important or waste your time, energy or material resources on things you don't really need or cherish"
He lists 11 principles in his article "The Benefits and Virtues of Voluntary Simplicity". Check it out on SP.
Fitness Minutes: (57,011)
4,787 2/26/14 10:19 P
I keep things "simpler" than my peer group, but I don't go to extremes. My mantra is more "moderation in all things" than extreme simplicity.
Fitness Minutes: (1,635)
107 2/26/14 9:37 P
Never heard of it but I try to live with least as possible as I have a small place and don't want more things than I need as opposed to want. I also like keeping my meals as simple as possible to cut down on cooking and the potential for waste. When I drive I also try and do as many errands/business in the same area as to cut down on mileage and use of gas. I also recycle and reuse or donate as much as possible, I don't want to waste in my quest to live simple but as good as possible.
In some areas of my life I do practice simplicity but not sure it's entirely voluntary.
2/26/14 9:27 P
I guess a homeless person would be blessed to be living in "involuntary simplicity" then...........
Fitness Minutes: (10,050)
2/26/14 8:59 P
I no longer need the best and richest foods. I choose now for nutrition. I have a simple wardrobe. I don't have artificial nails, expense salon visits, expensive makeup. I live within a strict budget. I went from 3000 sf house to about 900 sf. I have no mortgage. I am highly organized in my personal space. If I don't use it I don't hoard it. I have a car, a used one, gas efficient, I choose the shortest distance between 2 points. I have zero credit cards. I give back. I am at personal peace with myself. I am a happier and better person.