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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Luxurious Simplicity

Nov 02, 2010 12:29PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

My life is anything but simple—the theme of this month’s issue. Maybe that’s why I was so drawn to this topic in the first place. Confucius gives me pause when he says, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” 

As a publisher and franchisor to a family of 80 Natural Awakenings publishers, I realize that my to-do list likely will never be completed. So, I have decided to build into the course of my days as many simple pleasures as possible, often in ways that make me feel supported and connected. 

During Florida’s growing season I like to take a break now and then to focus on my backyard vegetable garden. It’s a lovely way to slow down and be present in nature. This hobby also provides a gateway to a community of kindred souls involved in similar pursuits. Fortunately, anyone can partake of an abundance of fresh local produce through a food co-op club, a community supported agriculture (CSA) group, community garden or farmers’ market. You’ll find a ready list of yummy resources on page 40. 

 I’m also a big fan of the fresh fragrance and meditative activity of air-drying clothes, recalled from a time when I had no access to an electric dryer. Local eco-activist Kristina Isenberg recently inspired me to return to this simple pleasure. This mother of four began by drying her daughter’s cloth diapers the old-fashioned way—pegged on the clothesline, bleached by the sun. Now, she’s started a movement: see “Clotheslines Make a Comeback.”

Naples’ Really, Really Free Market is something else I look forward to. The first Saturday of each month I check around my house to find things to give away to others who might actually use them; sometimes I also pick up something I need, all the while making new friends. Right now, I’m thinking about items that will contribute to a perfect holiday free gift exchange.  

Duane Elgin’s recently updated classic, Voluntary Simplicity, has long been a roadmap to a more soulful, satisfying life for me. He says, “Simplicity that’s consciously chosen, deliberate and intentional supports a higher quality of life.” Thus, this month’s articles feature Judith Fertig’s, “Less Stuff, More Happiness."  

For further inspiration, we hear from several local individuals who intentionally strive to live simpler lives. I especially love Dr. Brian Thornburg’s good old-fashioned common sense approach to his local pediatric practice, where patients often sign up for his parenting classes after experiencing his family’s lifestyle—including the garden, cows, goats and chickens.

Here’s to the ultimate luxury—simplicity!

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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