Or “How to Write With Women You Are Secretly Co-opting Into Being Your New Best Friends”
When I was twenty-one, I decided to move to Denver, CO after college to participate in The Urban Servant Corps. For one year I lived in one of two houses that formed an intentional community centered around simplicity. We all worked at local non-profits and lived on $75 a month. One of the many things I learned that year was that living simply meant living counter-culturally. Living simply was going against the grain of society. It shouldn’t be done alone. We scraped the mold off cheese and really pushed the limit of expiration dates on donated food. We searched until we found a happy hour that served Long Islands for $1.50. We traded clothes because we couldn’t afford to buy new things. And we had so much fun doing it all together. Erin was good at making cookies out of anything she could find in the fridge. Carl was good at finding benefactors to donate kegs of beer. Kelly was good at making jewelry from scraps. Mike was good at growing lettuce and questioning the necessity of deodorant. Emily was good at reminding us we won’t go to hell for buying a big gulp size Diet Coke from 7-11 now and again. We pushed each other from our strengths until our collective normal was simple and fun, creative and more sustainable. It was just fantastic.
Fast forward a decade or so. I still like to pursue simplicity and intentionality, but I can’t do it alone, nor do I want to. I’m always looking for people who naturally do simple things that I would never dream of so I can borrow and share and not fall into the doldrum of believing I am a consumer before human being. I was having coffee with one of my simplicity gurus over the summer when she brought up the dream of collecting a group of women to write about these very themes. “We could call it Enough.” Where she is a visionary, I am an implementor. I threw the idea out into the universe and by fall I was sitting around a table with four other women who were invested in the project. And now the project has an unfolding product. Enough.
Enough. An exploration of contentment.
Enough, An exploration of self-compassion.
Enough? An exploration of less is more.
Enough! An exploration of conviction and common sense.
Enough started as five women gathering to talk about how to live with more intention, simplicity and joy. We live in a rich nation run off of safety, abundance and desire. We decided to deepen our practice of enough through collaborative writing, reflecting, wondering and sharing. We are different people turning inward and experimenting, on parallel journeys, grounded, showing up in life from a belief that we are enough.
We invite you to join us.
Similar to my community in Denver, this group of women is energizing to me because we are so different. It has fed me to work with a group that inspires me with their own thoughts and lives.
Susan is a prophetess. She gets upset at all the right things (“Why are there televisions in restaurants now?”), and she uses humor to address the ridiculous in society, calling us back to a place of calm and health and light. She is strikingly wise and equally kind. I admire her ability to question societal norms I don’t even see. She finds lessons in real things like losing keys and chocolate cake.
Amelia is a woman you shimmy up to because you are drawn to her quiet, calm strength. She is an observer with a fierce intellect who walks quietly and offers warmth to those she loves. On the blog she is experimenting with a self-imposed challenge to live a year without leaving her neighborhood. I’d recommend starting her story of living locally at the very beginning and enjoying the adventure.
Heidi is becoming one of my chosen alter egos. She does things with ease that petrify me like move her family away from the bustling city in order to raise her daughter by water and a big garden. She does things like can vegetables and cross country ski and teach her daughter yoga and bread making that are good and noble and right. She has built a life brick by brick that is intentional, beautiful and real. And she only speaks when she has something to say, so when she does I pay attention.
Mary Beth is a seeker. She has a genuine wish that we all live from a sense of enough as she works on living from that place herself. She loves quotes, and is a gifted, positive encourager and community builder. A college swimmer with a boisterous, contagious laugh, I sense Mary Beth is shifting to find a deepening sense of self as an adult and a more accurate view of her own inner strength.
In short, I want to be more like all of these women, and in the very same moment they all encourage me to be more like me. Exploring similar themes on the same blog next to them has been rewarding already. I simply invite you to share in my blogger crushes. I’m looking for the right opening to bring up the idea of matching jackets. I’ll keep you updated.