More than a decade ago, we decided to start a family. It was a big decision. My honey and I were used to living on two incomes, coming and going as we pleased, and enjoying the luxuries our careers afforded with few compromises. We realized that our values were different from our culture’s values–We didn’t want to juggle careers and child-rearing like so many others do.
The Challenge to Modern Living
We wanted to spend as much of the 18 years or so we’d have with our wee one With him, not dropping him off at daycare and schools for others to enjoy while we raced off to careers that, in all honesty, wouldn’t feed our hearts and souls in the way time with him could. Most of our peers laughed at us. The choice we wanted to make was one of poverty, completely against the grain of our culture. We’d have to live on half the income to which we’d been used to, and neither of our incomes was likely to ever be all that high. We were a pair of artistic types – liberal arts majors who’d found ways to become what was needed to earn a decent living in the corporate world but who didn’t necessarily get to live our bliss for enough money to pay the rent. Worse, we both liked our luxuries.
We needed to find a way to live on one income so at least one of us could be home to care for the family…and we needed to find a way to feel that as a luxurius lifestyle choice rather than an impoverished one.
A Simple Solution: Live Naturally
Herbalism and Natural Living turned out to be a key to creating the lifestyle we wanted while embracing our values and raising our wee one right. As we shifted away from the mainstream, corporate lifestyle into one more attuned to the rhythms of nature, we found a new depth to life we hadn’t expected. In part, that was because the shift offered us the opportunity to become more mindful in our daily lives.
When you choose to live a more natural lifestyle, whether you’re jumping in whole-hog or just making one simple change at a time, you often have to slow down. Even a simple cup of herbal tea requires time and opens the door to the potential for a mini-meditation.
You put on the kettle and think about which herbs you want to use, why you’re using them (even if they’re part of a bagged blend you purchased already made), and how much or little you’ll need that day.
In the five or ten minutes it takes for your kettle to boil, you can choose to clear your mind, focus on the act of making your tea, and let the rest of life go.
As you pour the water, you become absorbed for just a few seconds in the act, ensuring that all the leaves are properly wetted and the cup doesn’t run over. You cover the cup so the essential oils will drop back into the brew as it steeps. It can feel like many minutes from first pour to covering, if you let it.
Then, you wait 10 minutes or more for your tea to fully infuse. Nothing will reduce the infusion time.
Ten minutes. Nature’s pace.
That truly is luxury in today’s fast-paced, information age, computerized world.
Luxury is a Choice…One You Can Make!
Natural Living practices lend themselves to luxury, when you shift how you think about the world. In my corporate experience, life was about production; we strove to create that which could be reproduced and manufactured, repeated ad nausem, for the greatest financial profit possible. Our luxuries were those anyone could buy if they had the funds. We longed for the one-of-a-kind sorts only the uber wealthy could afford–Art originals, Expensive Wines, Vacations to exotic places, and more–but those were beyond our income level. What Mother Nature has taught me is that luxury is all about that which can never be again. It’s exclusive and fleeting, like the flavor of a peach right off the tree and perfectly balanced in that moment between unripe and too ripe. You don’t need tons of cash to find the luxury in those simple experiences. You only need to slow down and choose to experience them fully.
For me, Herbal and Natural Living skills have opened the door to luxuries I didn’t know existed back when I was living the corporate dream. They’ve taught me to slow down and experience each moment of my life in a whole new light, as a gift. I am blessed with the opportunity daily to help other folks discover the luxury and joy of creating their own style of Wholistic Living using the tools and skills Herbalism provides. For the first few years, I admit that living on one income and taking care of hearth and home was a hard row to hoe, but I would never in a million years want to go back and choose a different path. Herbal and Natural Living has rewarded me with countless opportunities and blessings no amount of money could buy, ones I am grateful to share with you as you create your own Wholistic, Natural Lifestyle.
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