After hearing that my mum and her partner, Laurie, had become involved in a Simplicity Circle, I got curious as to what they did. It turns out that a group of people regularly get together and discuss the ideas inspired through chapters in a book. That book is called Less is More- a series of essays looking at different aspects of simplicity and edited by Andrews and Urbanska.
Okay, I thought, let's just get a group together...which of course turned out to be the hardest thing to organise. Who should come? Where? When? As usual, it's the logistics that make things complicated! These formed a barrier that lasted more than a year.
In the end, we had an informal meeting at our house, inviting a few people we thought might be interested by email and dropping the odd note in letter boxes. My mum and Laurie were visiting and talked to the group about their experiences. The enthusiasm and interest of the initial group has been really encouraging, with everyone really keen on sharing ideas, skills and who knows what else? There's already been a few emails flying around. My (not so hidden) agenda is to really focus on the doing side of things. I want to learn how to preserve, conserve, brew, and grow. Someone has already volunteered to show us how to make sour dough bread. Awesome! At the very least, the circle is a space to share, eat, laugh and to build community.
The group did decide to use the book as a guideline, but to also have a 'show and tell' section, and a 'commitments' section (where we choose to commit to a course of action and use the group to reflect on how it went). The topic of the next meeting is Simplicity Defined in honour of the realisation that people can hold quite different definitions of what simplicity means. For me, it is an attempt to clear the white noise in my head; noise created by busyness, sure, but also by interruptions, clutter, even guilt or negative emotions. Michael, my husband, thinks my idea of simplicity is complicated...
What do you think? What's your idea of simplicity?