Brooke McAlary of Slow Your Home is a simple living advocate, wife and mom to two little darlings. She started making her way towards a simpler life in 2011, you can read her story here. Brooke writes regularly about simple living and has also published a book, as well as Simple Living Handbooks to help others in their journey to a more mindful life.
Describe your journey to a simpler or more minimal lifestyle-
A few years ago, when my children were very young, I was diagnosed with severe post-natal depression. Leading up to this point though I had been burning the candle at both ends and the middle by running a family home, a full-time business and a renovation project, and things just collapsed around me. I couldn’t possibly continue operating at the manic level I had created for myself. So after stumbling upon Zen Habits one long and anxious night, I decided to start decluttering my life. The business was the first thing to go, and working through our home and our stuff swiftly followed. The rest, as they say, is history!
What is your favorite quote?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi
Do you have a personal motto or creed that you live by?
Currently I’m being guided by three words I nominated at the beginning of the year: Family, Creativity, Adventure. I let them act as my rudder when faced with decisions that might otherwise be difficult to make. It’s not perfect, but it’s helping.
From whom or what do you find inspiration?
People living their lives with courage. Courage to check out of the status quo. Courage to stand up for what they believe in. Courage to build something they think the world needs – even if they’re not sure anyone else wants it. I find those people incredibly inspirational, particularly when they are honest about the struggles it takes to get there. They don’t sugar coat the difficulties, and yet they are living extraordinary lives despite those struggles.
What is the first thing you do when starting your day?
It’s more something I don’t do. When my alarm goes off at 4am I try very hard (and usually succeed) in not getting online at all. I get up, shower, get dressed, do some yoga, brew my tea and sit down at my desk to write without even glancing at Facebook, email or Twitter. It sets my day up to be productive and not reactive. Usually.
What is your favorite book?
50 Shades of Grey…
Just kidding! I’ve read Dirt Music by Tim Winton about 10 times so that must be up there, but I find it really hard to choose one book. I read constantly so there’s always new favourites coming in. But ones I will always return to are On Writing, by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. In terms of fiction I love To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harry Potter series and The Name of the Wind series by Patrick Rothfuss.