From city life to chickens, a garden, pickling, canning, growing micro-greens and home cooking, less is sometimes more.

When I was a single woman living in the city, I didn’t think that I would ever leave. If I did, it would be to another country. After getting into an accident and totaling my car in the Alaskan Way Viaduct, I moved to Seattle and lived without a car for four years. I’d walk to work and traveling on my beach cruiser around the city. Life was serving sushi, practicing yoga and jetsetting when I can. Everything I needed was within a 1-mile radius or a plane ride away. 

During this time, I was able to pour into myself—to cultivate confidence in myself, trust in the process and have faith in the unfolding. I discovered a lot about myself, people and what I really wanted in a partner. While I lived life in a little bubble, I felt like the world was at the palm of my hands. Anything was possible because all I had to do was pick up a few more shifts to save up for what I really wanted. Life was simple. 

Then there comes a moment when we are called to expand—to grow and to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Our current lifestyle no longer suits the life that we are living into, and the money we made isn’t enough to fund the new future. For me, that moment was becoming a mother. 

Becoming a mother made me a wife, a homeowner, a real estate agent and all of the things required to caring for and naturing another human being and providing her what I think is a wonderful life. Becoming a mother has stretched me well beyond what I thought I was capable of in such a short period of time. Life moved very fast. We needed to slow down.

As with all things, including our hearts, life contracts. For us, contraction looks like raising chickens for eggs, growing our own food, eating less meat, cooking more, foraging for mushrooms and last minute camping trips in nature. It means cultivating a home that is our sanctuary—a space for our family to thrive and simply have fun.

I remember growing up that my mom would have us help her in the garden. We’d water the plants, helped her cook and even learned how to sew. But when I was about 10 years old, she started a business and became an entrepreneur. We got a computer, and the rest of my childhood was in front of a screen. My mom did the best she could with what she was given. I turned out okay, but when you know better, you do better.

I know that too much screen time isn’t good for a child’s development. I know that being in nature and spending time with nature is good for us in more ways than one. I know that what we put into our bodies matter, and I know that our food system isn’t working. I know that when I grow my own food I know what is going into my body and my family’s bodies. I know what is in my food when I cook it. I know that it’s more fresh and costs a lot less than eating out. I know that there are better and more sustainable ways to live—and thanks to the internet, I know that I can learn how to do anything. More importantly, I know that Maya is watching and learning from her mama.

In honor of Earth Day, April’s theme is Sustainable Living! We’ve included articles to help our community with ideas on living a little more simple and sustainable. Remember, sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most. 

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