I think there is a notion out there regarding simple living. That one must live a life of minimalism – a mental picture of a modern and somewhat cold dwelling place with hardly any possessions. Or perhaps one must live off the land in the middle of nowhere to truly know what simple living is all about. But what if neither of those preconceived notions are correct? What if the act of simple living was truly more of an inward expression? What if it’s the why and not the how? Consider this a manifesto of sorts. The art of living simple and making it beautiful.
Let me begin by saying, it’s taken me a long time to get here. To unearth my personal anthem behind all that I do and why. As a multi-passionate creative and if you have been around for some time, you have seen me wear many different hats through the years. Professional photographer, creative director, brand and website designer, lifestyle blogger, and content creator. As I have sifted through things these past several months in recharging my business after a season of slowing down, I have really had to get clear on one thing. I have had to put a name to that one common thread woven throughout all of it. Because let’s be honest, I will forever and proudly be a multi-passionate creative human. I believe we all are by the way. But why do I do what I do in the way that I do it? What do I truly believe in? In a noisy and crowded digital world, I knew these questions needed answering if I ever wanted to continue on. So for the better part of 2023, I have been digging.
As I looked back on everything I have created through the past sixteen years and all the work I have done, I started to see a pattern. This pattern of simplicity and a craving to sift through the excess and get to the root of things. It was in the way I tell stories and still do. An ode to the original days of blogging when you could still find human connection within the noise of the internet. A time when things were simpler. There were no influencers, there was no social media, it was simply just sharing life for the sake of it. Before we even knew what to call it. I noticed it was in the way I approach my design work. The business advice I give to fellow creatives who just want to see growth and not feel like they are trading their lives for it. It was in the content I have always been creating – from organization to simple decor ideas to elevate the home.
But it was also in how I have LIVED my life. I saw it in my insatiable appetite for things of the past and a desire to stay connected to a time when things were less complicated. It’s in the things I add to my closet and my natural aversion to trends, instead opting for simple and classic. Current fashion rules be damned if I’m being honest. I mean, there have been two summers straight where my daily uniform has been a good pair of jeans and a Goodfellow t-shirt. If you know you know. But goodness gracious, it was also in how I approach birthdays and family meals. I even found it in my why behind taking our kids out of public school and diving into home education.
This craving I have for simple living and an ache to make it beautiful was there all along (I mean, seriously – all the way to the beginning). In everything I have done and still do. A natural approach that no matter what I am doing I’m always seeking a curated version of it. How do I simplify it, strip it of any useless nonsense, while also making it look damn good? Perhaps this modus operandi just needed to be given a voice. A clear picture. I feel like I have just discovered all of these missing puzzle pieces so forgive the rambling as my eyes light up over the sheer amount of connections being made after feeling like I was aimlessly wandering through years of creative chaos.
I found myself putting pen to paper and unearthing that personal anthem I had been searching for. So here goes…
I truly do believe in living simple. Not the kind that is rooted in minimalism or the notion of giving away everything you own. Nor do I think it involves living off the land in the middle of nowhere (although, for me personally, that sounds like a dream). No, the simple life I strive for is one rooted in intention. It’s rooted in the soul. One of dinner table gatherings and bedtime stories, of family traditions, simple summer adventures, and front porch chats. One that allows roots to take deeper hold and for hearts to feel at peace. In a society that is constantly telling us to want more, have more, and do more, I find myself yearning for far less.
It’s a craving for contentment and connection amongst the commotion and constant demands. I believe in the power and freedom that comes when we are willing to ’frequently and ruthlessly’ edit our lives – to truly design the life we live and not just settle for it by default. To intentionally curate and purposefully cultivate the home we create to the work that we do.
I believe that it is through this honest effort that one can build a refuge from the overwhelming noise of today. Where a harmonious clarity is found – one that quenches the thirst of an old soul in a modern-day world. One that allows us to know without a doubt what is and what is not for us. A clarity that allows us to make choices and decisions that align with our values. Where we turn away from the hurried pace and excessive consumption and instead turn inward. To give ourselves the quiet space to develop our own personal style, unfettered by trends. To establish a home that elevates our every day, where we can melt into the comfort it holds. And to truly move to the beat of our own internal rhythm. When we are able to go deeper and not wider, do less and not more, only then will we experience the quiet and honest luxury found in simplicity.
Maybe you feel that same ache. When things seem to swirl about you, your heart and your mind long for quiet, for uncomplicated, for simple. A way of operating, of living, that truly allows you to attract and repel so quickly what is and is not for you that you actually create more space to live life. Not merely consume it. And therein lies the true gift. To not only curate the life we want but getting to also live it fully. To drench ourselves in it.
And in the chaos of today’s modern world, I cannot think of anything more wonderful or beautiful than that.