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Living The Good Life November 4, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Less IS More, Mindfulness.
67 comments

Life is not one-size-fits-all.  What makes me happy may not make you happy. 

Nevertheless, the components of a “good life” overlap.  We need something to do, something to think about, and someone to love ~ a balance of mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional.

Some time ago, I read a book about a couple who left New York City to live more sustainably on the soil and found just that balance ~ first in Vermont and later in Maine.

The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living recounts their experiences in vivid detail . . . from building their farmhouse out of stone harvested from the fields to tilling the soil to consuming sustainably grown foods to cutting trees and chopping firewood to stay warm during the long New England winters.

Most days, the couple labored outdoors in the mornings and pursued intellectual interests (reading, writing, and music) inside in the afternoons.   

They raised money in Vermont by tapping the maple trees for sap and boiling it down to maple syrup

In Maine, blueberries became their cash crop.

They enjoyed a very simple vegetarian diet featuring raw salads, fruit, and bread for lunch and hearty soup and stews with bread and fruit for dinner.

Their rigid and rigorous lifestyle included a balance of work and play that suited their intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.  

Scott lived to be 100 (or so) after starting this rural living adventure in his 50’s.

Their choices worked for them.

If we want to live the good life, we need not follow their lead by homesteading in the wilds of New England.  Instead, we can look to our inner compass to discern how to satisfy our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs with something to do, something to think about, and someone to love. 

Aah . . . that’s better!

What about you? 

Would you be happier homesteading in Maine like the Nearings?  Or living on Walden Pond, like Thoreau?  Does an Ashram in India appeal to your inner ascetic?  Or does your life suit you, as is?  

Quote:  Why do we put off living the way we want to live, as if we have all the time in the world?  ~ Barbara de Angelis

Related posts:  Living From The SourceGrow in the Direction of Happiness * 10 Happiness Boosters * Let Billow Your Sails * On With The Dance * I Know What YOU Should Do