I've had a lot of reasons lately to think about how we live. All the interviews I did to promote the book brought up many different questions and the interviewers asked not only how, but why. Our lives have been put under the spotlight and it caused me to examine again, what we're doing here and to see how these changes effect us on a daily basis.
So what are the entry points? I think you should start with what is most important in your own life. If you're struggling with debt, start by getting serious about paying it off while you stop further spending. If you're a young family who are trying to eat well on a low budget, start by changing the way you shop, then stockpile and cook from scratch. If you're a single person, start by making your own laundry liquid. The recipe for it is here. By doing that, not only will you save a lot of money, you'll be cutting down the chemicals you have in your life.
If you're an old chook like me, (or even a young chook), start knitting dishcloths, teach yourself to make soap, cook from scratch - all those soups and stews based on bone broths we used to have in the old days. They're good for you! Get out grandma's cook books again and fire up the stove.
And while you're doing all this, be kind to yourself. Take time out to have a cup of tea during the day, even if you're really busy. It will make a difference. Reconnect with your family. If you've slipped out of the habit of eating at the kitchen table, start doing it again. That 30 minutes can make a family a stronger unit. That is the time when your children will know they have your attention and they can tell you about their day and what will be happening tomorrow. Take every chance you have to listen to your children, if you stop listening, they'll stop telling. Invite the extended family, or if they're too far away, your friends around for family lunches. This is a good way to socialise and develop friendships without it costing too much. Be a role model for your children, be the person you want them to grow into. There is no good in telling them to be kind and generous, to not smoke or to drink in moderation if you're not doing those things. Children learn what they see, not what you tell them.
Now that I can look back over this past decade of a more simple and gentle life, I thank my lucky stars that I changed when I did. Had I not faced the truth of my spending and shopping and made those early difficult changes, I would not be where I am now. I have found that very few good things come easy. That's just life I guess. I hope you have the strength to face your own changes and commit to them, even the difficult ones - especially those. It won't be easy but if you can start repaying debt and cutting back your desires, it will lead you to a better life. And from where I sit now, there is no better way to live.