Cecile Andrews - From Simplicity Circles to Community Building

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August 28, 2010. My first impression upon entering Cecile Andrews' cheery house is that simplicity doesn't mean deprivation. The author of Circle of Simplicity, Less is More and Slow is Beautiful, Cecile lives in a spacious Seattle house brightened with colorful dishes and artwork, beaming cut sunflowers, and inviting book-filled walls.

Instead, Cecile said in our conversation, simplicity for her meant having time and freedom to slow down and savor life. For decades her simplicity circles have empowered people to discover and do what really matters to them. She asserts that we need supportive circles when we step outside cultural norms, so we don't feel all alone.

Cecile is building community wherever she goes. Renters live in the upstairs and downstairs of her house. She's active in neighborhood groups, where people are encouraged to "stop and chat" with their neighbors rather than avoiding one another. She's part of SCALLOPS (Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound) and now Transition Seattle.

Cecile notes that good social ties make us feel more secure and happier — in contrast to working harder for more money beyond a level sufficient to meet our needs. Those social connections evoke our caring — for one another and for the whole planet. Celebrating community in ever-widening circles. (www.cecileandrews.com)

 

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