One girl's journey to simplify her life

The Biome Blog Program invites you to share your healthy harmonious lifestyle choices with the wider Biome community. Your stories inspire us all to move forward on our sustainability journey. To share your stories with us, head to the Green Living Guide and contact Tracey for more information. Our regular blogger, Jennifer Donovan, is a freelance writer and mother of two. With a day job in family literacy, Jennifer lives her "back to basics" dream and works and is a living inspiration for us all to live the healthiest and happiest life possible. Read on to hear Jen's latest story...

Simply your life – An insight into one girl's journey to slow down

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius Two years ago, something happened. I felt suffocated, like I couldn't breathe. I wanted more space, land, I wanted to simplify my life and get back to basics. I felt like I wasn't living my own personal truth, and I decided that at 35, it was about time I started living it! I've always been interested in living a simple, natural and self-sustainable life. Growing my own vegetables, making things from scratch, solar panels, recycled water tanks and grey water systems, hydroponics, the modern hippie girl's dream. And so, my husband and I decided the first big step to make this happen was to move to a larger piece of land. Living in the Perth hills we are blessed to be spoilt for choice with so many affordable options relatively near the city, and so it didn't take us long to find a space to suit our needs in beautiful Hidden Valley, approximately 40kms from Perth city. It needed a lot of work, but as our forever home, we were happy to pay a bit less, and saw this as an opportunity to make it our home. The children were instantly impressed by the sandpit and the size of the house. They could have running races inside this place, not to mention the space outside. Five acres in total, and bush galore, beautiful gum trees, grass trees and incredible wildlife too in the form of kangaroos for neighbours, and an abundant array of bird life. Moving to our five acre block, the enormity of completing our visions for a retreat style getaway were at first a bit daunting. However, almost because of the enormity of the task we just let go and decided to do what we could do, when we could do it. If this meant just planting some seedlings out the back of the house until the veggie patch has been officially created, then why not? Everything doesn't always have to be organized and perfect, sometimes letting go of expectations can be a good thing. In this way we've had a regular harvest of rocket, cos lettuce, Chinese vegetables and pumpkin to list a few. Instead of racing around on weekends to sport and other extra curricular activities, we spend time together as a family on our property. The children help with planting and harvesting the vegetables, and doing bon fires. There is lots of time and space for free play, and wonderful grassy space to play soccer, football and other activities. We sometimes just send our children running laps around the property. Although, since my son learnt to ride his bike with no training wheels that's now his preferred mode of transport. In this way we have simplified our lives. We find there is less rushing around and driving, and more time spent living life together, in nature and as a family. If you're new to the journey of simplifying your life, there's a great book called ‘Simplify your life – 100 Ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter' by Elaine St James. This book is organised into manageable sections to make this journey easier for you. Another inspiring resource you might like to check out is the Becoming Minimalist website where Joshua Becker shares his journey for becoming minimalist. What one thing can you do today, right this minute, to simplify your life? We'd love to read your comments. By Jennifer Donovan  

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