Moving into the season of gratitude reminds me of the many blessings I have received over the years of living and flourishing here at Twisted Oak, our self-sustaining home. This home works with nature to keep us warm during the frigid November nights, collects our water, and generates all our power. Living this way has created a rich and abundant life beyond measure.
Recently, we spent several weeks traveling, and after nights spent in hotel rooms, I was grateful to return home. Our first night we lay in bed and sighed. It was delightful to once again sleep within thick, sturdy walls in a quiet and peaceful space. No forced-air fan was blowing. No mechanical systems were coming on in the middle of the night, disrupting our sleep. The house was still and silent. As we lay quietly in our bedroom listening to the silence, I heard my fiancé whisper into the night, "I love this house." We are grateful to live in a peaceful and tranquil place every day.
In our culture, homes typically consume our paychecks, contribute to the destruction of our planet, and don't always enhance the quality of our lives. It is possible to live in affordable spaces that support our well being, our budget, and the earth.
I have met people who interpret sustainable living as living without. But, frugality and lack are not part of my message or my lifestyle. My mission is to demonstrate the glorious abundance of living with a conscious awareness of what truly brings value and joy into my home.
My days begin in gratitude for the time I have with my kids, my fiancé, and my pets. I have the luxury of spending time outdoors. Commute and corporate job are not part of my daily vocabulary. After years of living more simply, flowers blooming in my indoor garden, feeling the sun on my face, and gazing at the stars bring me far more joy than expensive consumer gadgets. I have had the freedom to write and publish a book. I have the resources to build a business that I hope will help others to define, design and develop their sustainable homes and lives - on or off the grid.
Now, it's your turn. Can you imagine your life without paying a mortgage and utility bills? What would you do with your time and your money? Would you choose more activities with your family and friends? Would you pursue more meaningful work? Would you learn a new language or learn to play an instrument? Would you play more music or spend more time in nature? Would you ride your bike or hike or ski during the week while the trails are less crowded? Would you read those books piling up on your self? What would you do with less financial burdens and more freedom?