Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What colour is your version of simple living?

I wish blue was a natural hair colour!
Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue.
 I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too... 

(Did I get the order of colours right?)

I love rainbows and all of their colours. I used to run a grief and loss program called Rainbows when I was a high school chaplain. I loved it for many reasons - and one of those was a very superficial reason - I got to wear my rainbow scarf! 

My house is full of colours. I have 'rescued' crocheted lap blankets on every pre-loved chair and hand knitted covers on my cushions. A friend was going to throw them out, can you believe that? She inherited them with her house. To me they were treasures - to her they were tacky. I have tapestries on the wall - created just for me, by a lovely old lady who is a friend of the family. 

This leads me to the point of this post. As simple livers we come in all different colours, and then within these colours - all different shades. 

Some are homesteaders on large plots of land. Some are vegans. Some kill their own meat. There are people who grow their own but they live on little suburban blocks. Me? Just now I grow only strawberries, native plants (they grow themselves), roses and weeds. I'm really good at growing weeds! I love that others grow their own, and I am learning so much from them. I even get to share in produce from the hard work of some of my friends. 

When we were first married we lived on a large block in the city. We had bees, and chooks (i.e. hens), and ducks and my husband grew our vegies. Now we live in the country on a small block, and we have moved so many times over the years that I just don't seem to be able to get started. 

Some simple livers are minimalists. Not me again... but I do subscribe to the philosophy and strive to hold all things lightly and to only have in my home what I love or can use. I totally agree that clutter - physical or mental - is a burden. 

Some make from scratch. Some brush their teeth with bicarb soda. Some adore upcycling and regifting. Some love old fashioned books - some e-books. 

Some don't own a car. Some only buy local. Some aspire to zero waste homes.

Some use toilet cloths. Shock horror!!! Some even compost human manure! (I love how controversial we can be!)

Some love verge collections and dumpster diving. 

Some think about their impact on the world, and that motivates their choices. They want to share the world's resources. They buy fair trade. They are environmentally conscious. Living simply so that others might simply live. 

Some are frugal - out of necessity, or to give them some level of freedom of choice - often to pursue their dreams, or so they have time to volunteer or to give money away. 

Some have some sort of spirituality that perhaps guides their choices (me) - others do not.

There are op shopping-buy nothing new-fashion fasters... There are so many versions and combinations. It is so exciting. No wonder I love this simple living world so much.

For almost all of us simple living means putting people and values above material possessions. It seems that most of us are trying to work out the difference between our needs and wants. 

At the Simply Living Challenge Facebook page, the other day, I posted something that someone openly disagreed with. We agreed to disagree. It was totally harmonious.  

I was asked for writer's guidelines for the book we are creating together here. Here it is: simple livers are the same but different. Be true to your version of simple living. That is all I ask. There is no right or wrong - just as there is no one right or wrong choice of favourite colour (though I do love my electric blue wig!). 

So go in peace my friends - to celebrate your colour of simple living, and if you feel like you'd like to - please consider sharing your version with us in our manual. (Scroll down to the previous post for more information or leave a comment.) 

Asta x


  1. I love my simple way of living and if it had a colour it would be the colour of dawn! c

  2. Ah Dawn. My favourite time of the day Cecilia. Sumara, on our FB page, said she'd be earthy, natural colours. These conjure up beautiful images. Lovely to read your comment, and not long after dawn! Asta x

  3. If I had a colour it would be any of the berry fruits. Cranberry, plum and wine goblet colours.
    When we lived in Thailand we learned a common English phrase used there. 'Same same, but different.' Shop keepers used it when they showed us goods which looked a little (sometimes a lot) different to what we were looking for. It's a bit of a joke now... even printed on T-shirts... but the premise is a good one. We are all a little same same... as we are different.
    Blessings, my dear rainbow friend. xx

  4. Dottie - my new catch phrase 'Same,same,different'. I love it! I wouldn't mind wearing a t-shirt with that message, actually. Surely if we all thought like that there would be more peace and harmony in our world!
    I love your choice of colours. I love red - and there is a lot of red in our colour range. Very nice indeed.
    Asta x

  5. Asta,love this post.
    I have to put this here.:

    I only use cold shower,it does get cold in Victoria but my body is used to it.
    Some parts of my life are ascetic more than simple living.

    I hope to cut my time on the internet down to 3 h per week,.

    Colour is important in my life.

    My front door is painted in red.

    1. I think I will paint our door fire engine red Wimmera, though I do love a bright blue door too. Hmmmm. Hard choice.
      I took an internet/phone sabbatical for one week this year. It was glorious. Good on you!And thank you for taking the time to read my blog!!!- Asta x