Today I have a very special treat for you. When I chose to open the blog up to guest writers I had hoped to have both individuals and bloggers who wanted to share their stories of finding their path whether that would be in simple living or by choosing an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, or something along those lines.
Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Roland, who blogs with his wife at Handcrafted Travellers. If you haven’t visited Roland and Cheryl’s blog before here are just a small sampling of what you have been missing. In You have to start somewhere, Cheryl reminds us we don’t have to know the destination to begin our journey; in Look he’s naked I believe I read this at least 3 times smiling each time that a father took the time from one small comment from his daughter to rethink societies views of what is appropriate for each sex. And if you follow their blog you won’t have forgotten how Roland created his first pair of shoes. What I like the best about Roland and Cheryl’s blog is that they live by example.
Let me introduce you to Roland who has a very special treat for you.
Simplicity in the making
Cheryl, Csermely and Roland, three of us all together, all alone and all happy… A small family nucleus of mother, daughter and father, who have come to great distances from our extended family, just as we assumed a somewhat peripheral, edge position in society, not by any other force than our own inner call. Ironically the internet connection plan through the only provider we are able to use in the countryside of the Hungarian Plains is also called Edge.
As a young and energetic couple in their later twenties, eight years ago, Cheryl and I took a major life-changing step when we decided to leave the confines of any settlement grid and chose a pre-existing farmstead instead on 13 acres of nature, true, altered by conventional (old fashioned) agricultural practices, albeit with great potentials – so we thought. A natural playground, where we can be further inspired and free to fulfill our dream of living a sustainable life in its most genuine sense.
See, sustainability barely made it on the political agenda in Hungary back then and that didn’t constitute to much more than lip service, while on ground level there was even less happening in this regard, take away a handful of EU and state-funded ecological NGOs. What was painfully missing – and still is –, was an honest, passionate discourse preceded and followed by action among everyday people, so grassroots.
As we retreated behind our property’s open gate, shut white noise out for the bird chitter and deer grunts, having the time to observe and think for ourselves, we gradually rediscovered our forgotten intuition we are all born with. It became more and more clear to us that radical change was in order and although commendable, baby steps were no longer enough: time has come to leap.
And so we did, first in a questioning and critical thinking mode, alongside which came volunteer renouncements to conveniences we could no longer accept as a given, as an automatism.
Then, by time, have begun fitting our way of thinking into nature’s patterns instead of blindly following traditions. So we came to favor “patternal” over paternal. As somebody local capriciously remarked: “it doesn’t belong here”, referring to our freshly put in living fence in lieu of picket.
Well, couldn’t it be that what many consider present is in fact archaic and something else they come across might seem out of place, yet are nothing but a glimpse of the future? Cheryl and I certainly think and feel so.
In our decisions and acts as a family and as individuals we are continuously making conscious efforts to assure that those are in tune with natural processes, for only this way can something benefit the future. In turn, what benefits the future benefits more than just the individual (or family) – it benefits the whole of humanity.
That’s how we have come to see things as virtual outsiders, who still kept in touch with the flow of society, but far adrift from the main stream.
Then as we were expecting our child’s arrival, Cheryl and I resolved to continue on the same unbeaten but promising path we have opened for ourselves: in kinship with society but not in subordination to it.
We had a deliberate delivery, an unforgettably wonderful free birth experience, just the three of us, with no one else present.
Our family takes care of the vast majority of its rare illnesses and we do everything in our power to cure our chronic conditions, such as the self-diagnosed gluten-intolerance, starch sensitivity or being vulnerable to A1 type cow milk, all the while Csermely, our never medicated three and a half year old daughter remains the healthiest and most energetic person we have ever encountered. But let me tell you, her parents don’t medicate themselves either.
The wholesome omnivorous diet is our health insurance, lovingly prepared at home from scratch, gluten-free, seasonal, often using ingredients foraged from the wild, and a real food diet that includes more and more fermented foods, like sauerkraut, clabbered milk or kefir.
Ever since our daughter got on her own feet, most time at home we have spent barefoot and experienced the eye-opening benefits of earthing firsthand. For us grounding has been a clear compass in being able to tell apart what is and what is not good for us.
Barefoot walking takes me to another example to the self-reliance we cherish so much: creating our natural wardrobe. Csermely has been privileged to only wear natural clothes handmade by us since she was born and we have progressed toward switching our entire adult wardrobes over to handcrafted, as well.
Most importantly this has taken mental shifts, like learning to part with our past not worthy of the keepsake title. Aiming for ecologically sound solutions we have realized that much of our inheritance did not belong to us anymore. Think about it this way: none of us is enslaved to our past.
Another prerequisite was a continuously growing set of crafting skills, all of them self-taught based on research and lots of hands-on experimentation – don’t regard your mistakes failures, but something that propels you towards success.
What is also quintessential is to stick to your values and never lose integrity.
For ourselves this meant an inseparable marriage with the natural, genuine and simple. In fact our entire life is now governed by the strive to seamlessly integrate into nature’s simple, yet sophisticated character.
If you feel like you have the energy to swerve your life course into similar direction but could use a kick-start, take advantage of either participating in the giveaway associated with this post courtesy to Lois as hostess, by which we are offering a free spot in our month long e-course Natural Simple Living: Crafting Solutions for Your Healthy Life and Home over at Handcraftedtravellers, starting February 3rd.
Another option for you is to partake in Everyday Simplicity, a 21 day long e-nspiration, where for three weeks you receive daily prompts of not more than 300 words as inspirational support to change your life for better and something more: towards simple. This plan is available in February and April at your own level of affordability.
Roland Magyar is a sustainable life designer, a passionate positive poet inspired daily by his daughter and wife. He co-runs handcraftedtravellers, a lifestyle blog dedicated to sustainable simple living.
Thank you, Roland, what a generous offer you have made. To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment below and tell us what simplicity means to you or how it has changed your life. If you are new to living a simpler, lighter life feel free to share why you feel drawn to a simpler lifestyle. I will randomly choose a winner of the giveaway on Tuesday morning (January 14).