Authors Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander authors of Living Lightly were nice enough to take some time out to virtually answer these interview questions so grab a cup of espresso and enjoy!
The Smart Cookie: Hello to both of you and thank you for sharing such a lovely book with the world. How do you define living lightly?
Dale C &Kimberly A:
The title is, in and of itself, a bit of a paradox. The more I look for light, the more I must work with everything that is in the way of that, being revealed. The more I let go, the more tightly I cling to what remains, it’s importance is revealed to me. The beautiful cover design is an indicator of what Living Lightly feels like, on the inside. Our outer landscape is as individual of an experience as each reader. We encourage readers to take in a ‘simple, not easy’ philosophy to cultivating the relationship with your self and with life. Living Lightly is who we are when we are at our simplest, most content relationship with ourselves.
The Smart Cookie: In your book, you mention how you now live on a farm full-time. How has living on a farm helped teach you about life in regards to the journey and our relationship with self and others?
Dale C and Kimberly A:
Our move from the city to a historic farm is a dream come true for us both. Before we met we were both looking to move into nature. While farm life isn’t everyone’s dream come true, we highly recommend the pursuit of a bucket-list dream! It is absolutely magical to be in the flow of making a dream come true, no matter how long it takes; the synchronicity, the learning, the people, all make a process we would describe as living lightly. Being on a farm, living in a rural community, and in nature, offers a slowing down that makes it easier to see my behaviours, patterns and habits. It has been quite a revelation, and much of it we share in the book! I start to notice how I am with people, I hear the voice in my head more loudly, I become aware of my breathing. Living in rhythm with nature; sleeping when it’s dark, slowing down in winter, being higher energy in the longer light of summer. Life and death are regular experiences with farm animals, and this is strengthening our capacity to love and blurring the lines of life and death. So there are opportunities for connection every day for all of us, and living on the farm makes it easier I think to grasp them.
The Smart Cookie: Nature does have a lot to teach us if we keep our eyes, heart and minds open to it. What drew you to writing a book?
Dale C and Kimberly A:
Well, we tried writing a timeless Christmas song but that is a lot harder than it seems.
The Smart Cookie: Haha song writing sure is a whole different beast for sure. What is the hardest part of being a therapist? What is the most rewarding part of being a therapist?
Dale C and Kimberly A:
We both were introduced to therapy as clients first, experiencing the life-saving benefits firsthand. It is heartbreaking to witness another’s pain, yet that sacred space between client and therapist is one of the most beautiful, intimate experiences we can have. Hearing a client speak their truth for the first time or reach a new awareness, is incredibly humbling. Our spirit can crumble limiting beliefs, old pain and blocks and it can happen in an instant, never to be unseen again. We write often about the value of listening and witnessing in our book, and our work is dedicated to a vision that one day we will hold this intimate, healing space for each other in daily living.
The Smart Cookie: Listening and witnessing pain and trauma first hand does create a very clear intimate space. This global health crisis is effecting everyone worldwide, and creating a sense of isolation that we have not seen in such a very obvious way. What is your advice to the people of the world dealing with the COV-19 crisis?
Dale C & Kimberly A:
We would not prescribe nor advise, rather we encourage people as we do in Living Lightly; to pursue our own truths and to be kind and empathetic towards others. History and this current situation show us that the basic elements of human connection are what have us come through our greatest challenges. Kindness and caring, empathy and resilience are innate and it is only our ego that betrays us in our true time of need. If we focus on what makes us human and humane exclusively, as if it is all we have, we will be rewarded by a rich and meaningful experience of ourself and of life, beyond our imagination.
Thank you for enlightening us and sharing your insights. May we all seek to Live Lightly every single day, especially now in this time of global health crisis and social distancing epidemic.
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Life is far from easy. Most of the time in life, we come to hurdles along our path that teach us something about ourselves or a higher truth about life. What exactly does it mean to “live lightly?”
When I was asked to read Living Lightly for an honest review, I was transitioning from a heavy period of my life: yet another hurdle I could either get stuck behind out of fear, shame, and regret or one I could let open my eyes to a truth regarding learning to love myself and part of that process involved coming to the realization that in the process of letting what happened in the past go, I must forgive myself.
The first day I sat down to read Living Lightly I read the entry for that date and it was surprisingly exactly what I needed to read regarding my situation:
Living Lightly is the perfect read for five to ten minutes a day. Each entry contains an anecdote with a reflective or emotive question or a poem.
If you’ve been down, torn up, heavy-laden, Living Lightly will provide an escape and a bigger picture truth to remind us that life isn’t meant to be carried, like baggage on our shoulders but meant to be enjoyed and even more so, meant to be lived fully and completely.
Coming soon: An interview with the authors Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander