Over the years, I’ve ‘experimented into’ many of the things I write about, or that seem possibly worthwhile for shifting away from toxic-culture norms and back into a healthier way of living.
Some of these experiments worked well. Some of them didn’t work so well (and for a few, “didn’t work so well” is an understatement!). But I learned something valuable from each of them.
In recent years, I’ve experimented with variations in radically simplified living.
My lifestyle was never over-the-top McMansion-esque, mind you, but there was a lot of room to simplify, and I was nudged along by challenges casually passed along by one of my most respected elder-mentors, and a few more ‘encouragements’ from Life herself.
My most recent pseudo monk-in-the-world Hermitage experiment showed several of the real benefits of much-simplified living and ‘overhead’, as well as some of the drawbacks — at least for this particular experiment with it.
And I’m about to move along to the next variation of my simplified, values-aligned experiment, weaving in the lessons from this one to create a more fine-tuned experience … still small-scale, still simplified, but a bit more refined (I swung the ‘radically simplified’ pendulum a bit too far for my tastes!).
So I really enjoy reading about how others undertake these truly creative and courageous experiments with low-eco-footprint lifestyle changes, simplified living, and stepping away from consumption-addictions.
These are people who are really living it, not just dabbling with a backyard hut because it’s a cool trend, and I have a lot of respect for that.
In Managing Miniaturization (Tiny House Blog), we see one experiment into the micro- or simplified-scale living that disentangles from over-the-top consumption (which, let’s remember, used to be the nickname of a disease).
In this Tiny House Blog feature, architect Matthew Hofmann shares his choice of salvaging and restoring an Airstream caravan for his commitment to a “what’s essential, what’s enough” lifestyle, living and working well in a rather lovely 160 square foot space.
Yes, that’d be tiny compared to the ever-larger average-sized American home (though in other places, small and tiny are still ‘normal’).
Here are just a couple of the gems that Matthew shares in the article (follow the link below for more, and to see photos from his Airstream home):
“My father says, “You’ll never beat the herd by following the herd.” Small spaces are good for my mindset of being who I am – me. Small spaces allow me to maintain a good center of emotional balance. Cavernous office complexes with row after row of desks, chairs and monitors can’t be good for thoughtful expression.”
“Living and working in a tiny space is unabashedly taking the minimalist route. It says, “This is enough for me. I don’t need more, so I won’t take more.” It’s respectful of resources. The way we view space reveals our priorities. What are yours?” ~ Matthew Hofmann, Tiny House Blog.
What are some of your experiments — tiny, small, or large; dreamed-of or already underway — to align your life more fully with what you value and ‘stand for’ most?