As we find ourselves reeling after more lockdowns we thought it would be a great time to reflect on the numerous benefits that come with living slow, connecting with our loved ones, and readjusting our priorities.
We were especially lucky to share a (virtual) cup of tea recently with the lovely Eleanor Ozich and chat about her book The Art of Simple and how to lead a simpler, more fulfilling way of life.
Hi Eleanor! Your book The Art of Simple explores a calming more joyful way of life with simplicity at its core. How would you best describe simple living?
Simple living isn't about determining how little we can live with; it's about celebrating the small, beautiful things we simply can't live without. To live this daily experience, however, we must learn how to discern what brings joy, and by contrast, what's causing clutter in our lives. This philosophy applies to our surroundings, thoughts, and the things we choose to do throughout the day. In other words, it's about learning how to be ruthlessly intentional about all the little details that make up our daily lives.
Why do you feel it's important for us to embrace a slower pace, especially now in our current world?
We live in a time where we have an abundance of options at our fingertips, not to mention constant digital distractions, which can leave us feeling easily overwhelmed and steal our sense of joy. Perhaps you feel the pressure to constantly strive for more? More money, more things, more success, more self-worth? Oftentimes, I become fixated on chasing these things, hoping that I would feel fulfilled.
It's only since drastically simplifying and adopting a simpler style of life, have I started to understand that when you live with less, you end up with so much more. And isn't this what most people want out of life? To experience more joy? The thing is, it's simple, really. Yet, we often choose to complicate things.
What benefits do you believe we can gain from this?
Simple living is a lifestyle that embraces quality over quantity, which is kinder not only on our wallets but on the environment, too. Instead of always rushing to buy the next best thing, you consider what's most important to you, a choice driven by necessity not by possessions or status. Not only do you get to discover the benefits of mindful consumption, but you can also be a beautiful example to those around you of what's possible.
How might you encourage someone to start slowing down + stripping back?
Firstly, I'd encourage you to only keep and acquire things that you find to be beautiful, that bring immense joy, or that are useful on a daily basis. You don't have to do a massive overhaul if this feels overwhelming, it can be a slow and enjoyable journey that you chip away at day-by-day. In fact, it's an ever-evolving process, and one that I find cathartic and rewarding.
Secondly, you might find joy in quieting the digital noise. Start by unsubscribing to emails you don't read, turn off unnecessary notifications, remove social media apps or take a regular social-media detox if you find you spend too much time online.
Lastly, give yourself permission to be self-centered and prioritise a handful of simple, daily rituals that you can enjoy for yourself. This can even look like scheduling time to do absolutely nothing at all. Boredom cultivates creativity. Boredom helps you to be more open to a new perspective, spontaneous adventures and fresh ideas.
What are some of the smaller pleasures in life that you are enjoying right now?
The simple task of preparing and enjoying my morning cup of tea is my most treasured ritual of all! It's about relishing each step of the process, waiting for the kettle to boil, sipping slowly, and appreciating the delicious aromas. Currently, I'm loving Webster's Manuka-infused rooibos tea with its soft, coconut flavour; it's even more lovely with a dash of honey and a splash of oat milk.
Another would be walking. Since moving to the wild seaside town of Piha, I've fallen head over heels with the simple act of walking and head out for an hour or so each day. For me, it has nothing to do with getting my exercise quota in. It's about being mindful and becoming an observer of my own thoughts and surroundings. A chance to welcome curiosity and fresh perspective. I'd go so far as to say that I truly discover who I am and who I wish to be when moving my two legs.
Thanks so much Eleanor!
You can purchase The Art of Simple (and many other wonderful titles) from Eleanor’s website - www.eleanorozich.com