Voluntary simplicity is about freedom. It’s about owning your own life.  It is being aware of the life you want, what you really need and what it costs.  It is about understanding that the American Dream asks that you trade your time (i.e. your life) for money so that you can buy more stuff, that in turn requires that you trade more of your time (life) to buy a larger home or more storage for the old stuff or stuff to manage the stuff, but that ultimately there is no limit to the stuff, no enough, and it ends up owning you. Voluntary simplicity is knowing what you want from your life beyond stuff, what you can justify spending or trading for it, and being happy with that.  At its heart, it shares many of the values of Buddhism—learning to be happy with less, letting go of unhealthy attachments, and understanding the value of contemplation, awareness and living in the moment. 

© Salahub 2003