Explore 'Voluntary Simplicity' with Heifer International

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Register for the Arkansas Earth Institute’s “Voluntary Simplicity” discussion course to learn how you can manage the distractions of modern society that keep you from caring for yourself, your relationships and your environment. The seven-week course will be held at Heifer Village, Heifer’s education center in downtown Little Rock.

“Voluntary Simplicity” will help participants understand the meaning of voluntary simplicity by exploring the material and psychological distractions that prevent us from caring for the Earth and acknowledge the connection between our lifestyle choices and the condition of the Earth. Participants will gain insight into the benefits of simple living through readings, discussions, case studies and personal action plans for living simply on Earth. The Simple Living Action Plan includes ways to implement changes in consumerism, time management and living deliberately and the right livelihood.

Topics include:
The Meaning of Simplicity – Participants will explore the history of both inner and outer simplicity and its many misconceptions.
Living More with Less – Accumulating material possessions is part of the American Dream. For some, the dream has become a nightmare. At times, material possessions add meaning to our lives but they also can detract. Participants will explore the struggle to balance needs and desires.
Making a Living – A growing number of people wrestle with the desire to make and spend money and the desire for a simple life. Participants will investigate how our culture makes it so difficult to overcome this inner conflict.
Do You Have the Time? – In modern society, our minds are focused on the "busyness" of the day, our current problems and our future challenges. Alternatives to the fast pace of our mainstream culture will be examined.
Steps to Living Simply and Sustainably – After discussing the benefits of living simple and sustainable lives, participants will look at the steps they can take to move toward a life simple in means and rich in satisfaction.

The seven-week “Voluntary Simplicity” course will be moderated by Shelley Green, executive director of the Arkansas Earth Institute, on Tuesdays, March 2-April 20, 2010 (except March 23) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Heifer Village, 1 World Avenue, in Little Rock, Ark.

Course materials include a study guide developed by the Northwest Earth Institute with articles and book excerpts from leading authors in the field of intentional living. The $40 tuition fee includes course materials and moderated discussions. Register by Tuesday, Feb 16, to receive a $10 discount.

Early enrollment is encouraged as space is limited. To register, e-mail HeiferVillage-Registration@heifer.org or call (501) 907-COWS (2697) for additional information, or visit www.heifer.org/discussions.