simple living


Focus on Simple Living

Does your Family do Down Time?
by Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC
There is an old zen koan that says, “don’t just do something, sit there.” It has wonderful application to family life today. We’ve created the most overscheduled and busiest society in history. Our kids are moving from one activity to another, and they seem to have more schoolwork, more choices, and more pressure than they ever have before.  <more...>

Are you addicted to TV?
by Katherine Westphal
It is 2AM and you are blankly staring at a rerun of "Columbo". You meant to go to bed hours ago, but the time has somehow managed to slip through your fingers. Your hand reaches for the remote. <more...>

I Just Want a Simple Life!
by Catherine Pulsifer
It was one of those days when you felt like winter was almost over. The sun was shining, there was no wind, and it actually felt a bit like spring! It was not a day to stay in the house. So, we went for a drive to a friend's house. While there, our friend's mother came over. 

Reflections of Simplicity
by Dionna Sanchez
Simplicity.  My sister and I have been reflecting on simplicity lately. We both seem to have gotten contemplative on where our lives are leading – and if we really want to pursue that direction! 

Simple Living in a Materialistic World
by Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC
We were sitting in the family room. My kids had finished their first day back at school after the holiday break, and my wife was working late. Michael, my six-year-old son, was finger knitting. Sarah, my eight-year-old, was knitting a scarf. I sat near them and folded clothes. Occasionally someone would share something that had happened during the day, but otherwise it was quiet. <more...>

While You Have the Time, Take the Time
by Crystal Paine
Here in Kansas, where we live, the leaves are turning beautiful shades and falling off the trees. Just last week, I was babysitting some little boys and we were playing outside. The area around their home was carpeted in leaves—-ready for our enjoyment! We raked the leaves into huge piles, jumped in them, buried people underneath them, and threw leaves at each other. We had

Simplifying Simple
by Eliza Bloom
I have a 440-page guide on how to simplify my life, but I 
haven't found the time to read it.  Like you perhaps, my once-quiet world now clatters with the joy of a large family. Amid the din, I've had to simplify my quest for the simple. <more...>

TV's effects on your family: Lessons from the Easter Egg Hunt
by Katherine Westphal
It was the big Easter Egg Hunt. My friend Christy and I lined up with the other kids. We all gazed greedily at the field of goodies before us. "GO!" yelled the announcer. En masse we rushed forwards. For some reason, everyone veered to the left. I stopped. I glanced at the untouched feast to my right. I ran right, gleefully scooping the candy before the rest caught on. At the end, I had a bagful of candy. Christy, who had followed the herd, had one piece. I was eight at the time, but I never forgot that day or its lessons.<more...>

Simple Living Means... 
by Catherine Pulsifer 
Simple Living means different things to different people. Here is our definition of simple living: <more...>

Are You a Sleep Walking Zombie?
by Royane Real
Are You a Sleepwalking Zombie?  Do you get enough sleep? Chances are you don’t. Many people living in modern industrial societies suffer from a chronic, and worsening sleep deficit. <more...>

Raindrops and Rubber Boots
by Amber Price
It’s often the simple things in life that make the most significant impact on us. Simple things that change our view of life, change the way we make decisions, leave lasting memories in our minds. <more...>

Letting Our Kids BE Kids
by Dionna Sanchez
Society is changing. There are so many new activities and opportunities available to children. Five year olds are playing softball. Ten year olds have the chance to play football. It amazes me sometimes. It bothers me. <more...>

Overscheduled Kids
by Rae Pica
Like the childhood obesity problem, the subject of “superkids” gets plenty of press these days. Time devoted the better part of an issue to it. Newsweek featured an article titled “Busy Around the Clock.” Articles with titles like “Whatever Happened to Play?” “Pushing Children Too Hard,” and “Are You Over-Scheduling Your kids?” show up in print media and on the Internet. Books with titles like Hyper-Parenting: Are Your Hurting Your Child by Trying Too Hard? are appearing on bookshelves  <more...>

The Penny Jug:
Getting Wise to Satan's Tricks
by Nancy Twigg
When my husband was a small child, his grandfather had a favorite prank he loved to pull. When Michael and his family went to visit, Grandpa Twigg always brought out his penny jug. This jug was really more like an urn, with an opening at the top just big enough for a small hand to reach inside. Grandpa Twigg kept his jug full of pennies. <more...>

Just Say No!
by Bria Simpson
Something we are often guilty of- is saying yes to help others, when we really want to say no. Are you guilty of this problem, as I have been? Why do we do this? Maybe it's because we don't want to disappoint someone or because we feel like we have to "do it all" to be respected and feel valued. Hogwash. If we <more...>

Relaxation Couldn't Be Simpler
by Kim Beardsmore
Many people use their sofa and TV to help them 'switch off and relax'. In reality, television programs can suspend you n stress for yours, with depressing or thrilling storylines, violence and madness! <more...>

The Day X-Mas Went Up For Sale
by Geela
My mom used to say, *we remember a friend with a flower.* In other words, it's the intention and not the size of the gift that counts. But in a materialistic-driven society, where everything has a price tag even friendships and holidays, that's considered *uncool* and politically incorrect.  <more...>

Stress Relief - A Simple Plan for Living!
by Carl Caton
Can I share with you a simple style of living that creates less stress in your life?  It begins with three rules for daily living.  Here goes:  <more...>

Words Without Actions
by Catherine Pulsifer
Not long ago, I was interviewing two people applying for the same position. When the first candidate was asked what her goals were, Becky replied that continuous learning was her goal. When asked what steps she had taken to accomplish her goal, Becky said that she was going to sign up for a course in the fall. <more...>

Plenty of Time
by Susie Cortright
Most mornings, we revere a quiet pace around my home. We celebrate slowness. But today, it is almost noon, and we are late, and I can't find my keys (though I know I had seen them on the counter just moments before). I am suspicious. <more...>

TV news: 
Turn it off and get a better picture of the world

by Katherine Westphal
Television news programs are just about the worst way to get news for two important reasons. <more...>

Busy Fish: 
Tips for Changing Your Day from Chaos to Calm
by Robert A. Eubanks
Syndicated columnist Dale Dauten recently wrote, “One of life’s great joys that we’ve lost is that of the empty day, a day given over to quiet, to reading and contemplation. Our planners and PDAs give the illusion of importance and of being in control.” <more...>

Are You Addicted To Your Activities?
By Dr. Margaret Paul 
Activities - such as sports, creative projects, reading, work, TV, meditation - can be a wonderful way to relax, express yourself, or connect to yourself. Or they can be an addiction. How can you know the difference? <more...>

Ten Fantastic Reasons for Downshifting
by Tracey Smith
1) Eliminate financial stress.  Realise the equity that surrounds you, ditch the mortgage, dump the store and credit cards. Downshifting need not mean a smaller house, just smaller outgoings and less pressure on your wallet.  <more...>

Quiet Time
by Bria Simpson
"Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is." - Thomas Szasz, Hungarian psychiatrist  Serenity? A quiet mind? I must be joking! No, not really. If we want to connect with our inner selves and really know who we are, so we can live authentically, we must find time to quiet our minds. It's in the silence that our soul speaks to us. How can we possibly make this time and what do we actually do?? <more...>

Unplug from the 'TV Matrix' 
by Katherine Westphal
In the movie The Matrix, humanity was enslaved by machines which plugged into their brains and created an artificial reality, while sapping their energy. Only when people unplugged from this Matrix would they begin to see, feel, and live in the real world. It is not too different from how many people live a good chunk of their lives plugged into a television set. The TV  <more...>

The Greatest Hour of My Life
By Carl Caton
The day began as just another Sunday. It was a warm spring afternoon. One of those gems when you are not planning to do anything. The morning was spent going to church, seeing friends, and eating out at lunch. My little boy's eyes were a little weary when we got home. He needed an afternoon nap. My wife was in need of an afternoon nap as well.  <more...>

Busy Fish: 
Tips for Changing Your Day from Chaos to Calm

by Robert Eubanks
Syndicated columnist Dale Dauten recently wrote, “One of life’s great joys that we’ve lost is that of the empty day, a day given over to quiet, to reading and contemplation. Our planners and PDAs give the illusion of importance and of being in control.” A beautiful statement but what Dale doesn’t acknowledge is that we’ve become such slaves to busyness and mental stimulation that spending “a day given over to quite” would drive most of us mad! It would be nothing short of a drug detox. <more...>

Mommy Time Outs
by Alyice Edrich
Mommy Time Outs.  Do you feel tired, beaten and worn down?  Maybe you need a time out...  Have you ever found yourself so wrapped up in work that you have forgotten what it’s like to just enjoy being alive? As moms, we tend to do all and be all to everyone but ourselves. <more...>

At-Home Parents Need Time Too
by Stephanie Foster
It's wonderful being able to stay at home with your children, whether you have a job or business, or not. But you need your spouse to be supportive, as well as friends and family, or your life becomes much more difficult. You may feel as though you are stuck in your house, or spend all your time taking care of others with no time for you. <more...>

A Friendly, Frugal Thing To Do!
by Cyndi Roberts
How many times do we all say to ourselves "This year I will send birthday cards to all my nieces and nephews and anniversary cards to all my brothers and sisters and cards from the kids on Grandparents' Day?"  <more...>

Big Time Entertainment for Kids -- Basically Speaking
By Joe Bingham
"Mom, Dad, I'm bored. What can I do?" Ever hear that one?

I always thought I should basically just be a guide to my kids as they grew up. To them, however, I must look more like a circus ringmaster. Which ok, maybe I've got the pot belly, but I don't even own a top hat! 

To Rhyme Or Not To Rhyme
by Anthony Keith Whitehead
That is a question asked by many beginners in writing poetry.  What is the answer? Like all good answers it begins: "It depends".  <more...>

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