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Simple Abundance – Simple Living

So much of this website and our transition is about physical changes. Selling this, recycling that, buying a greener version of this, using the not so green version less or getting rid of it……A huge part of our path is also the inner journey towards a different way of thinking and feeling about how we live, what’s important, how we spend our time, who we are with, where we are and slowing down to a more simple way of living. Simple living is a mind set for us as much as a change in how we actually live.
Being abundant for us is a state of mind that is easily achieved when slowing down and taking a moment to be grateful for what you have.Gratitude: For us this word starts with acknowledging that we already have everything we need and intuitively being thankful everyday.  The desire to own things, make as much money as possible and always look good has been in the way of our ability to truly be grateful for what we have in this life.  It’s not that by living the life of excess we are UNABLE to be grateful but more like the more stuff you have the harder it is to see your life without it or even clearly because you are having to sift through all the “stuff” to see what’s right in front of you.  Stripping away excess and unnecessary things allows us to see what we truly have – each other, health, friends, nature, family, pets, spirit, etc and act from this feeling daily.

Simplicity: We want to take the easiest path, slow down the pace of life – not only what we do but what’s expected of us. This is different than tuning out and not being accountable or responsible for our life.  We want to be super accountable, slow down, not do as much, but be completely aware and conscious of every aspect of it.

Example – We owned 2 cars.  One was a Toyota Prius that got good gas mileage that we drove to work or trips without the dog.  The other was the Honda Element that we used for taking Faith (our dog) to the park, for camping trips, to haul items, etc.  The point is we had 2 cars and we owed over $10,000 on each. Once we moved to Alameda we weren’t using either one very much and they were sitting in the driveway. We decided to take public transportation to work, especially since traffic in the Bay was crazy. We also knew we wanted to start living into our dream to own an Airstream and hit the road.  We needed a truck for that.  Did we really want 3 vehicles? No, we really only want one and that is only because we have to have a truck for towing the trailer.  So we decided to simplify our life and save money in the process. Selling the Prius and Element not only lowered our carbon footprint it also fattened our wallets because now we are paying less every month. The truck is used only when necessary and we walk or bike to most local places. We spent time thinking about the impact of owning several cars we don’t use and it didn’t make much sense to keep them, even though they are all convenient in their own way. Learn more about our truck that runs on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO).

Abundance: By living in a more simple but also frugal way we are more abundant now than ever before. We always think before we buy something, we look to reuse or recycle everything around us. We didn’t always do that before. Being stewards of the environment is quite an intoxicating feeling and once again it gives you the power to see your actions as powerful statements that impact the world… at least this is how we feel. We feel abundant when we can choose to use less and know we are more conscious of just our immediate needs.

Food for thought.

5 Comments

  1. Hello,
    We have lived in an rv we had built for going on 7 years now. I truly can’t imagine ever living in a traditional house again. I love the simplicity is brings to our life, no choice but to continually edit when you live in 8×30.
    We are looking at completely going solar any thoughts?
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Sandy and Bob

  2. Thanks for the support and for finding us. 7 years, huh? We are very
    impressed with that statistic.

    As far as solar here are a few ideas and things we found helpful:

    The battery bank is directly correlated to how much energy you would like
    to save and in turn how much you use. We actually replaced our existing 2
    standard batteries with 4 AGM (abrorbed glass mat) at about 70 pounds each and saved some weight by using 2 flexible solar panels and 1 large rigid panel. 2 batteries went in the original battery box outside and 2 went
    under the fold down couch. With the energy we collect we can run
    everything but the AC (air conditioner), and we removed the microwave, but
    still could have used it with our existing setup. We have 500 watts of
    solar, 4 AGM batteries and a 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter/charger –
    we find this is currently sufficient for our needs. We could add a
    portable panel that we would set up as needed and strategically place in
    direct sun as our panels are fixed to the roof, (the rigid panel does
    tilt). I think if we did anything differently we would add a portable
    panel that we could place on the ground at an angle when we park. The AC is just a big energy hog and really isn’t feasible to run off of solar, we
    just try to chase 70 degrees and avoid using it all together unless we
    plug in at a park – we also love the fantastic fans and use 2. We do work
    while on the road so it is important for us to be in the sun every few
    days to charge to enable us to maintain the energy we need. Otherwise we
    would have to plug into shore power.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Thanks for the excellent tips on making my RV greener! One thing I did that made a difference in my energy usage that I would suggest getting is solar panels on top of the RV. They may be a bit expensive, but my savings in gas have exceeded the cost. Last year when I went on a trip with a few Dish co-workers, I ran my Tailgater and HDTV for many hours just watching sports on ESPN. It was nice knowing that I was watching all of my channels in HD using just the sun.

  4. I’ve been following the simple life for 2 years now too. In fact, I own fewer than 100 possessions and have never enjoyed myself more. I would not give up this lifestyle for anything, it’s great for me and it’s great for the environment!

    Eric

    • Hey Eric! Thanks for sharing your story. We will check out your site too 🙂

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