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Sunday, November 09, 2008

What are the marks of a simple life?


Not too long ago, a few friends from Breathe and I spent a weekend in Oxford (accommodation generously given by my mother-in-law) to reflect on this whole simple living business. With the background of the financial crisis (we've graduated from a credit crunch) it felt incredibly timely, relevant and needed. Here are some of the things we considered, I'd be interested to know your thoughts.

I'll probably try and put flesh on those bones over the coming months (as if I didn't enough material to blog from...)

Attitudes

Humble

  • open

  • not self-important and rushed

  • stillness

  • depending on God

Open-Handed

  • holding lightly

  • trust

  • everything is a gift

  • surrender control

Open Hearted (open home)

Contentment

  • stillness

  • awareness and appreciation

  • resist consumerism

Thankfulness


Relationships

Prayer

  • refocusing / recalibrating

  • incubates open-handedness and radical presence

  • with faith – for needs

  • with compassion – for others

True presence

  • to God

  • to others (radical presence)

  • and true absence (to be alone / to be with God)

Connection to everyone and everything

Feasting and fasting

  • joy and fun / weeping and mourning

  • openness to other’s experiences (vs. the dull consumer middle)

Deep relationships

  • authentic / genuine

  • vulnerable (giving power to the other)

  • hospitality of the self

  • honest (faithful) / vs. shallow and super-fluid

  • more of less / deeper involvement with fewer people

Work & Rest / technology and stillness


Resources

Hospitality

  • the dinner table

  • beyond insular families

  • marriage as a blessing for others

Generosity

  • Less / to choose not to…

  • Enough / frugality with self; extravagance with others

  • Budgeting / live within means

  • Freeing time

  • Joy, blessing and the habit of generosity

Justice

  • Using money as a vote

Community

  • offering ourselves as a gift

  • church

  • work as a gift


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