Everyone talks about simplifying their lives, but almost no one knows how to get started on the road to simplicity. Wanda Urbanska’s newest book, The Heart of Simple Living, is the roadmap that shows the way to scale down our busy lives and cluttered homes in just a few steps.
You may recognize the author from her PBS series, Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska, but I’ll bet you didn’t know her inspiration for creating a sane and sensible life came from Scott and Helen Nearing. Many of us have read about those two and wished we had the guts to emulate them, but Urbanska took their example and turned it into a lifestyle that is more comfortable while embracing the core concept established by the Nearings.
In The Heart of Simple Living she breaks it down for us:
Urbanska provides guidance through her own and others’ experiences. For the most part, it seems, we complicate our lives through habit and failure to recognize the difference between need and want. The Heart of Simple Living makes us aware, page after page, that we have the power to build the simple and soulful lives that would make us far happier if only we stop long enough to think about what we’re doing.
- Simplify the money
- Simplify the work
- Simplify the housing
- Simplify the décor
- Simplify the food
- Simplify the yard
- Simplify the rituals
Readers will be particularly happy, no doubt, to learn that Urbanska – the Queen of Simple—has gotten tangled in desires herself. She freely admits that she currently lives in a house that is more than she needed, and that she wound up there by letting desire beat necessity. She isn’t punishing herself for this decision, and she isn’t going to punish us for sometimes giving in to a purely decadent purchase, either.
The Heart of Simple Living is more about teaching us to recognize the difference than about berating us for overconsumption. It’s also full of tips that can make the simplest of lives more enjoyable. For example, Urbanska’s chapter about rituals suggests replacing those onerous New Year’s resolutions with positive themes for the year or even a month. She lists tips for making holidays more fun and less fuss, and even offers advice for the ritual we all fear the most: funerals.
The Heart of Simple Living makes lifestyle change easy by breaking it down into categories, offering tips, advising small steps toward the larger goal. With Urbanska’s friendly and encouraging words and her sensible approach, this could be the book that finally breaks down your resistance and gets you started on your journey. At the very least, it could simplify your holiday shopping, since everyone you know would probably love to receive a copy.