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Voluntary Simplicity

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Cecile savors the slow life

Cecile Andrews has learned a thing or two about the joys of simple life. Years ago, she quit her full-time job to throw herself into the Simplicity Movement, pursuing the work she loves: creating community and sustainability in Seattle’s Phinney EcoVillage, giving workshops, and writing books.

But Cecile lately does all this in a new spirit. Even after simplifying, she found herself rushing around, often frantic and distracted. (“After all, I was trying to save the world!”) But in the process of writing her book Slow is Beautiful, she discovered that rushing is incompatible with both happiness and simplicity.“You can’t be happy when you rush because you are not able to feel or think deeply: You can’t really appreciate others; you can’t really notice what’s going on around you in nature. You stay on the surface and fail to connect with real life.

“And you certainly can’t live more simply: in a time- starved world, you’re more likely to drive rather than take public transportation; more likely to eat prepared and processed food rather than cook for yourself; more likely to pay for entertainment rather than entertain yourself. You consume life rather than experience and enjoy life.

“A slower, more reflective approach to life allows happiness to grow.


Cecile Andrews. Photo by Ron Anton Rocz
Photo by Ron Anton Rocz
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Kevin picks a pillow fight Joe's 82 and still breaking records Happiness class at Harvard Bhutan's king guages bliss Kurt paddles close to home Tina quits her day job
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Mark keeps the Secular Sabbath Ceclie savors the slow life Titus offers a wet-nose touch Ricard's brain lights up Madan laughs out loud A prison meditates

The Happiness-in-Action Heroes are part of Sustainable Happiness, the Winter 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.
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