Somehow I got a full page photo in a magazine…..
Several years ago, I was interviewed about living simply and new ways of giving. I have always lived rather simply, never really needing a lot and recognizing that “stuff” didn’t make me happy. I left a well paying job to go back to school, and then when graduate school ended, I wandered, recognizing my old way of life didn’t fit, yet unable to land in a new one. I traveled from community to community, often wrestling with anxiety and uncertainty.
Quite honestly, at the time of the interview, I had just left a one year interim position at a college that had been incredibly stressful. While at the college my role required coordinating memorial services for members of the community that had died. In the first two months, I had one service each month for students that had died, either during the summer or after leaving college. Then, two students died during the first semester, and that grief that arose, ebb and flowed throughout the year, finally culminating with an amazingly touching baccalaureate which came during graduation.
I left that summer, took a yoga course, and somehow my soul knew it needed a break. I turned down a job that required me to be on duty. The PTSD that had been somewhat dormant, had been ignited by the past year and while I was able to navigate through the year, I knew I needed to heal.
The next two years required me to navigate a path with limited resources. I landed living opportunities to house sit, and I lived incredibly simply, riding a bike and walking for transport and very rarely going out for food or entertainment. I still managed to arrange artist’s events. I made my living by teaching yoga in a city with few yoga opportunities.
I still managed to give back whether by coordinating artist events or learning to give away what I didn’t need. There is something soul sustaining in being able to still give when you don’t have much yourself.
The article was published this December in Live Happy Magazine and was titled Living on Less to Give More. They even sent an amazing photographer, Andy Snow, up from Dayton to do a photo shoot, of me! Somehow Mayim got the cover!
“When I began to give it all away, however, I found that if I can live on less, I worry about less. I don’t have to worry about getting stuff, and I don’t have to worry about maintaining it. I also found that living on less gave me a sense of security,” he adds. “It’s like backpacking. You know you have everything you really need right on your back.
“I found that I’d rather invest in people than in things I don’t really need,” Steve explains.
By the time the article emerged, I had recreated my life. I had taken a job at a Quaker school while still teaching yoga and deepening my practice. I still create artist opportunities and the experience without, both as a child and recently has reaffirmed what matters, and just where security comes from..not from stuff but from a connection to others and self.