003. Our Family

Our family has five members; Me, Chris, Immy (7),  Aubrey (4) and Houdini, an adopted cat. We live in Australia pursuing the following ideals…

Co-operative, Consensual Parenting
Our children are not our possessions. They are also not an extension of us. Our children’s autonomy and opinion are respected, they have a voice in family decisions that will impact them. We are also very deliberate in making space for them to contribute, this is not forced but invited. The difference is very important to us, we want their motivation to be internally cultivated rather than externally driven.

Unschooling
Our children’s educational path is determined personally by their own desires and needs with support and guidance from us in a mutually beneficial, fluid arrangement. There is no separation between life and learning, no segregation between subjects or ranking of worth of pursuits and absolutely no need for testing to validate ones own learning. It goes beyond removing the physical embodiment of school from ones life but also the conditioning it reinforces and creates.

Minimalism & Simplicity
Over the last year we downsized from a four bedroom, two car garage plus shed, large home to a two bedroom apartment. We let go of (donating and selling) possessions that no longer served us and then we went further because we realised that although our hearts could expand to include a love for many, many things, our time and ability could not; we needed to prioritise. And this extended beyond our possessions to the choices we made regarding our time and energy.

Zero Waste
Reducing our possessions and commitments saw us questioning also our impact on the ecosystem that sustains and nurtures us. We began buying loose bulk goods in our own jars, cooking from scratch and minimizing our own cleaning and personal care items so we could buy them free from packaging or make them ourselves amongst other changes. It is a constant work in progress but we now have a much more comfortable relationship between our actions and their consequences.

Quiet Living
We’ve been contemplating lately the concept of leading a more quiet life. I feel this ties into other things we have done; zero waste has reduced the informational noise of packaging, minimalism has reduced the responsibility noise of clutter and space but I feel drawn to go further. I want to nurture my own ability to be without the constant distraction of multiple stimulus; cleaning with music, walking with podcasts, conversing over the sound of television. As a first step we have removed our television for now to see how it feels. We have also been meditating as a family each day, finding the calmest place within ourselves and sitting with that for a minute or two. Beyond this I also want to explore the way I seek validation; it is now commonplace to broadcast ourselves loudly for constant assessment on social media and I want to be more mindful about the role that plays in my life (community and inspiration but not intrusion). I do not know where these thoughts will end up yet…

I look forward to sharing with you about these and more here.

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8 Comments

  1. I really love your zero waste story. I am determined to pursue that too quite soon, or at least try it.
    We minimalize too and got rid of many many things in the past few years. Though it needs more to go still.
    Can’t wait for more on all the topics above!

    1. I’m excited to share! I think with zero waste even a few small changes are worthwhile and impactful, we are definitely not zero but we are also so far from where we once were and I think that’s all it is, constantly improving and assessing what is necessary and what is just convenience and avoidable with some planning!

  2. I appreciate this post very much. Whilst I’m much older, I’m grateful to be on the same journey. Better late than never.

  3. Loving these posts! Like tuning in for the latest chapter in your autobiography. Your thoughts inspire and challenge me to think about the path our own life is taking! 🙂

  4. I just stumbled on your blog from a random FB post. Can’t wait to read more. I have to say I just LOVE that quilt. I noticed it first in your house tour pictures, folded on top of the lego basket. Very pretty.

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