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Summer Series 4 – Blogs to inspire

August 24, 2015

 

2015-summerblogtour

We’ve reached our 4th and final part of our mini summer series. Our previous 3 weeks have focused on experiences, books and things to listen to/watch.

Here are 3 blogs that are inspiring and practical – Helping us to live more simply with less stuff and more life.

1. Jenny from the Block
Jenny writes brilliantly blending hope, honesty, humour and integrity. This is a great blog to read and follow. One of her latest blogs is very akin to the values and ethos of Breathe.  Ten positive lifestyle choices we don’t make (yet)

Jenny says “I’m a big fan of honest journeys, and being able to come clean about our limitations and failures. So here is my list of really worthwhile lifestyle changes to which I aspire (in relation to simplicity and green living) that we just don’t do right now.” As you will read, Jenny has and does do a lot and we love the openness in which she shares what she has done and also what she still hopes to be and do.

2. Simply being Mum 

A great blog by Joanne Wright who explores ‘Doing Family life well and doing it simply’. Sounds good. This is a blog for Mum’s , Dad’s and all of us really.  There’s lot’s of talk about food and reducing food waste.  But it’s also a blog about a journey toward a simpler family life. Joanne did this great interview with the Guardian. We like this blog post she wrote on thinking through decisions about spending/buying consciously

3. The Rubbish Diet

Set up by the inspirational Karen Cannard this initiative is fun, inspiring and filled with hope

Take the Rubbish Diet and slim your bin. Do your bit and save some cash at the same time!

Over three weeks, The Rubbish Diet will help you recycle more, shop better and make the most of what you have in your cupboards. We send you emails packed with top tips and advice to get you started. We’re here to answer your questions, share your successes and help you solve those annoying waste problems.

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We hope you have had a good summer and hope that our summer series of blogs have been inspiring and helpful.

 

Farming with nature

August 24, 2015
Featured Image -- 1963

Originally posted on Make Wealth History:

A few years ago the BBC showed a fascinating little documentary called A Farm for the Future. It argued that farming had got it wrong for thousands of years when it came to managing the soil, and that there were better techniques that used less energy and didn’t disturb the ground. It was a beautiful demonstration of farming that works with nature, and a neat introduction to agroforestry and permaculture.

A Farm for the Future was presented by Rebecca Hosking, and it was good to hear from her again in this short film from Permaculture Magazine. She explains how sheep are raised on her farm in ways that regenerate the earth and protect other species. It’s a great example of regenerative agriculture, an approach that restores and improves the earth rather than wearing it out and creating a dependency on energy and chemical inputs.

This film is part of…

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Summertime Series 3 – Listening

August 17, 2015

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So far in our summertime series we have had recommendations for ‘experiences’ and also ‘reading’. This week its all about the listening and some top tips for playing a part in your soundtrack for the summer.

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Nomad Podcast – An Interview with Alastair McIntosh 

It’s quite popular these days to refer to yourself as an activist. But Alastair McIntosh is the real thing. Not only is he a respected academic and writer, but he’s taken on major corporations, and won! Why? Because he believes that much of the modern world is threatening our sense of place, which is so vital for human flourishing. This is a real gem of an interview and highlights the profound importance of living with integrity, humility, passion and compassion. There is also a nice musical link at Radiohead’s Thom Yorke also features (ok by name only) in the interview.

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Greenbelt Festival  

I’m really looking forward to some of the music at this year’s Greenbelt festival. There are lots of really good artists on the bill and I am especially looking forward to – Duke Special, This is the Kit, The Unthanks (although 2 nights off the ‘late slot’  from the Tearfund stand might be pushing my luck) just 3 of many highlights. Are you going to the festival or any others for that matter? What are going to be your highlights of the summer musically? 

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Benjamin Blower – Kingdom vs Empire

Kingdom vs. Empire is fuelled by the guttural force of Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie, the tried-and-trusted troubadour’s guitar framed by clattering percussion and clamouring voices.  ‘Take Back the Space’ and ‘Trouble in the Empire’ are clanging calls to radical action and ‘Asleep for a Long, Long Time’ is a ballad to the discontent of 2011. Finally ‘Wake Up Dry Bones’ and ‘Repentance is the Revolution’ are rooted firmly in that forbidden power that emerges when everyday people engage in radical faith.

The accompanying book is an apocalyptic vision, boiled down to its purest form; a social critique of life and faith in 21st Century Britain. Reminiscent of Allen Ginsberg, Andrea Dworkin, The Situationists and the Old Testament Prophets, it is an unapologetic pummelling in the face that will be loved or hated.

A great album from this Birmingham based musician.

“This is a stunning looking and rich piece of work – thoughtful and thought-provoking, a real work of art in the broadest and best sense.” -Kester Brewin, Author of ‘The Complex Christ’

****** BONUS FEEL GOOD MOMENT AND SONG for the summer ********

The film says it all. What a song, what a great idea, check this out for a feel good summer song and initiative! A group of 1000 passionate and determined  Italians ask The Foo Fighters to come and play in their country/local area!

The Simple Guide To Conscious Spending Revisited

August 14, 2015

Originally posted on Simply Being Mum:

As we in the UK march toward the Diamond Jubilee (I have red, white and blue cakes planned!) it reminded me of a post I wrote over a year ago now.

Why I am a bit like the Queen

The above post links to a Guest Post I wrote for So Much More Life. It has never been posted here, so I thought it might be nice to revisit it. Enjoy!

The Simple Guide To Conscious Spending – Originally published March 2011.

For me conscious spending is knowing where every penny goes, or at least every pound. It’s about value for money, spending on what matters to my family and me and not frittering away cash. It’s not about being frugal, it’s about eliminating waste – I don’t mind spending money but I hate wasting money.

Due to living our family life this way it has meant that much…

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Summer Series 2 – Reading

August 10, 2015

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In our 2nd post as part of our summer series we turn to reading and books that might inspire us to live more simply, to Breathe more and pursue less ‘stuff’ and less drivenness and to ‘Breathe’ and seek out more ‘life’ in all its fullness. Here are 3 great books that will help us to ‘Breathe’ this summer.

Less is More by Brian Draper 

“The world of More, Bigger, Faster calls to us, and we respond by living in a way that’s burning us out, exhausting the planet, and creating an economy of greed. And yet, deeper within all of us, another voice whispers: there is more to life than this; there is a another way to go.” Brian Draper

This is a great book (and one we have reviewed before) that we keep coming back to at Breathe. The ‘Less is More Manifesto’ that accompanies the book is fantastic and is really akin to the Breathe Promise of Life.  Brian has also written some other great books and as mentioned last week, also leads some great seasonal retreats and on line seasonal journeys.

 

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The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown 

Brene Brown is well known and much respected for her research into Vulnerability and shame and her TED Talks.

“Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, “What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?” In her 10 guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough,” and to go to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

Brene Brown Gift

 

Free by Mark and Lisa Scandrette

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Why does chasing the good life make us feel so bad? We dream big and spend our money and time chasing our dreams—only to find ourselves exhausted, deeply in debt and spiritually empty. Mark and Lisa Scandrette realized at the beginning of their lives together that what they want, what they need and what they were being told to want didn’t sync up. In Free Mark (with a little help from Lisa) shares the secrets of how they bought a home and raised a family debt-free in the most expensive city in the United States—and how they’ve enjoyed good relationships, good adventures and good food along the way. Packed with helpful exercises for getting a handle on your money story, and designed for healing and generative money conversations with friends, Free gives you a path to financial freedom and spiritual flourishing that awakens your heart and energizes your soul.

There is a great link online to dig more into the book

We hope you are inspired by whatever you choose to read this summer. If one of these books makes it to your reading pile/list (and into your luggage) then do feel free to let us know what you think.

Happy Reading. Next week for part 3 we will be turning to listening (recommending a few podcasts and soulful tunes for your soundtrack to the summer)

Summertime Series 1 – Experiences

August 3, 2015

experience

We kick off our 4 week summer special this week by encouraging us all to take some time to experience something that will refresh us, inspire us afresh and give us life. Creating space for us to ‘Breathe’ and find more life.

1) Rest and Retreat

Last week I had the opportunity to take some time out and explore and think about Rest. There was a focus on 4 themes. All connected to rest. Our desire to be Active is great. But sometimes we need to stop, retreat and seek the benefits of rest.

Rest and Reflection:  (Read Philippians 4: 4-9)

Rest and Humility (Psalm 139: 1-12)

Rest and Trust  (Psalm 23)

Rest and Renewal (Isaiah 40: 26-31, Psalm 51: 7-12)

We live in a society where productivity and activity are increasingly valued at the expense of rest. Whether its sleep, (read this amazing report, its well worth resting and taking 30 mins out to do this) switching off (from work and from our gadgets) and simply being, we are in all honestly likely to not be getting enough rest.

Getting away and experiencing a change of scene is so often very life giving. I can highly recommend a lead retreat. Brian Draper  leads some excellent one’s. Do also check out this helpful guide.

2) Eat out with a Difference and/or Bless someone with a Random Act of Kindness

Inspired by our Food blog from a couple of weeks ago could you eat out with a difference this summer and get along to a Pay as you feel (PAYF) Cafe for a meal? If not, how about savouring a good local restaurant that is much more likely to cook food that’s Local, Organic, Animal Friendly and Fair Trade.  (LOAF)

If you are not near a PAYF Cafe then how about this… Could you buy some a suspended coffeeA suspended coffee is the advance purchase of a cup of coffee for someone who needs it, no matter why. But it really is about so much more than the coffee. It can provide physical comfort, conversation, a smile or even a laugh, and a sense of belonging. A suspended coffee can change lives, sometimes even save them. Check out this map to find a cafe local to you! 

3) Have a Free Day Out 

This depends on where you live of course, but its amazing how possible it is to have a day out for free. Walking to a local park and meeting up with friends/family for a picnic. Going for a long (or short) Bike Ride or Walk, Finding out about Free local events and fun days, there are lots of options and lots of fun to be had.

Do feel free to share any ideas, resources and share an of your experiences

Hope you have a good time doing 1 or more of these things over the summer. Next week we share 3 recommended reads for the summer for when camping, staying with family/friends or lounging about at home.

Summer Time: New Mini Series for August

July 27, 2015

summer-time

Summer is here (or has it been and gone already?) and for many this means the opportunity to take a break, have a change of scene, maybe a change of pace and taking time to rest and relax. Maybe you are going to a festival or going camping/hiring a place to take a well earned rest. Wherever you go and whatever you do we hope you have a great break and get the chance to ‘Breathe’ and ‘be’ this Summer.

To hopefully fuel and inspire you this summer we are going to do a 4 week mini series in August. Each Tuesday (4, 11, 18 and 25) we will post a short reflection and a link to 3 resources/ideas/people/stories that have inspired us and we hope inspire you.

We will begin next Tuesday 4 August with 3 experiences that we hope might inspire you to ‘Breathe’ this summer.

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