Linda Breen Pierce is the author of Choosing Simplicity which was based on her three-year study of over 200 people from 40 states and 8 countries. She has designed this book for both the curious and the committed: those who want to learn more about the burgeoning simplicity movement and those who want to become activists.
Chapters cover things you own, making friends with money, home is where the heart lives, time management, working with passion, moving about at home and abroad, awakening the spirit within you, minding your health and well-being, finding joy in friends and family, embracing community, caring for the earth, and next steps. After a general discussion of each theme, she assigns exercises and activities that will help you assess and change the way you are handling each area, along with very useful notes on recommended resources. Supplementary material includes the specifics on starting and maintaining a simplicity study group, sample worksheets and charts, and a comprehensive annotated bibliography.
In her first lesson, Pierce sets the tone and the goal of what is to follow when she delivers a list of common lifestyle patterns in people who live simply:
"1. Limiting material possessions to what is needed and/or cherished.
2. Meaningful work, whether paid or volunteer, ideally spending no more than 30 hours per week (in order to make time for items #3 to 12, below).
3. Quality relationships with friends and family.
4. Joyful and pleasurable leisure activities.
5. A conscious and comfortable relationship with money.
6. Connection to community, but not necessarily in formal organizations.
7. Sustainable consumption practices.
8. Healthy living practices, including exercise, adequate sleep, and nutritious food.
9. Practices that foster personal growth, an inner life, or spirituality such as yoga, meditation, prayer, religious ceremonies, journal writing, and spiritually-related reading.
10. Connection to nature delighting in spending time in nature regularly.
11. Aesthetic beauty in personal environment.
12. Living in harmony with values and integrity."
This is the perfect resource for those who are serious about turning their lives around and living more simply.