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Return to Book Page. Kindle Edition , 45 pages. Published August 11th first published June 6th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. This book was full of great common sense ideas for paring down and clearing out all the clutter that everyone has, Quaker or not. It was simple and concise with good practical ideas that didn't end up being more work than the original problem was. Katherine rated it really liked it Aug 20, Matthew Foster rated it it was amazing Jan 27, Jonathan Sell rated it did not like it Oct 20, Peter Bragg rated it it was amazing Feb 08, Pamela rated it liked it Jan 05, Liz rated it liked it Jul 14, Maria Jordan rated it really liked it May 19, Chris Stillwell rated it liked it Apr 25, Norma DiPietro rated it really liked it Sep 06, Helen rated it really liked it Sep 12, Doris Elaine rated it it was amazing Sep 06, Erin Frank marked it as to-read Nov 08, Anita marked it as to-read Jan 07, After all the root of all evil is not money but rather the love of money.
In the past five years I have been feeling this inner nudge to dig my way out from the papers and other possessions that have taken over my time and concentration: As I slowly emerge from the piles of papers that have grown in my office and taken a toll on my mental space, I find that there is now a driving force towards simplifying my life.
I have already been trying to operate on the maxim given by William Morris: However, the essence is that the things I have around me need to feed my soul and not possess me. As Jennifer says at the end of chapter eight: We will ensure that what we gain from scientific advances is not encountered by a loss of connection with each other and with the rest of creation.
The paradox of this world and its gadgets is that our time-saving technology makes our lives busier.
Look around and you will see how little personal time we have left. Gone is the simple walk to clear our minds or evenings of just sitting on the porch with neighbors. Instead, we leave our homes, cell phones in hand, texting to friends, business associates, and others to run to the mall to shop. Unless, that is, we make a conscious choice to live more simply. Kavanagh, who is a Quaker, begins her examination of leading a less complicated life by reminding her readers of the spiritual roots of simplicity. Instead, the author explores how making a decision to simplify our lives affects not only the individual, but the community as a whole.
Kavanagh began her own steps towards simplicity when only a few years from retirement she gave up her publishing career, and her comfortable London life to travel the world helping with social projects where she could. A Quaker Travels the World.
Nevertheless, she gives a compelling argument in favor of the benefits of simplifying. Among other ideas that she ponders are how the busyness in our lives complicates things. This book is for anyone who finds themselves overwhelmed by the clutter of material things or overly busy.
It is also a book for those who wish to live more consciously as a caring global citizen. It is a thought provoking primer for those seeking to find a simpler more fulfilling life in our chaotic world.
Jennifer starts her book by saying "Simplicity is neither simple to achieve nor easy to define. After all, 'the root of all evil', it is said, is not money but 'the love of money'. This encompasses her whole attitude to "living simply". To give examples, our spiritual needs may include the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, art and music - unlike the early Quakers whose meeting houses had very high windows so that one wouldn't be distracted from meeting for worship.
They didn't approve of music either, as this was another distraction. One may need a big house to house others, a car so that one can travel to necessary places.
And in our concrn for the environment here is a selection from her list of suggestions: She tells us that we must each make our own list. It isn't productive to reduce ourselves to the level of the destitute, but common sense and more practical to only get rid of things that we don't really need for our chosen way of life. If we have difficulty in finding the right leadings to reduce our clutter, Jennifer recommends, "Regardless of label, there can be no simpler practice than sitting down and opening up the self to the Divine or Higher Being.
In this slim volume Fitzrovia author Jennifer Kavanagh looks beyond de-cluttering and encourages us to find a deeper often spiritual meaning to and enjoyment from a simpler life. Despite my distaste for Catholicism the simplicity of life in the monastery gives me time to rejuvenate. But Kavanagh is not concerned with a temporary spiritual detox holiday. Instead she examines how and why we might want to achieve a more meaningful permanent settlement in our own lives; how we can de-consumerise and understand what it means to lead a more economically and emotionally contented and sustainable life.
True to its name, this book is clearly and simply written.
If you have a busy life and want to focus on simplicity you will be able to find time for it. It is not a narrowing of life but a distillation. It is not so much to do with possessions but our attitude to them… It is also not just about ourselves.
A simple life will encompass not only our own needs but those of others, and those of the environment in which we live. Conversely taking a conscious decision to simplify our outer life can help us to achieve a simpler inner life. Outer distraction or distortion reflects an inner fragmentation.
But it is not a one way process. We have probably all had the experience of clearing our desk and finding that the external order clears our mind.