Cultivating Peace (& other New Year’s resolutions)


* This article contains an affiliate link. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a renewed chance to create the life you want. For me, 2018 is all about slowing down, self-care and cultivating peace in all areas of life.I have a love-hate relationship with the month of January. On one hand I love that life slows down and settles back into a predictable routine. On the other hand I don’t always love how work speeds up and how there is a long stretch of winter doldrums before there are any other holidays to look forward to. 

I love how the new year brings with it a clean slate and a fresh opportunity to start over, do better, reach our goals and be the best versions of ourselves! Then again, I hate that the hangover from Christmas can make the everyday obligations of real life seem more like drudgery than at any other time of year.

I do love the calm, peacefulness of winter in January, and although I equally love the festive nature of the holiday season, by the new year I am ready to be still, quiet, reflective. I’m ready to focus on cultivating nourishing, nurturing habits that will help me be a better version of myself with each passing year.

Last year was a big year for my husband Ryan and I in terms of resolutions. First off, both he and I resolved once and for all to quit smoking. Yes, I, Mrs. natural health and wholesome foods advocate and frugal homesteader… I used to spend between $5 and $10 a day on killing myself slowly with toxic chemicals. I smoked for 15 years (Ryan for 20) and finally, after many attempts at quitting, we had enough. 

 

All you need to get motivated is the right motivation…

Our daughter was our biggest motivation, but aside from the other obvious health and money reasons, it just didn’t jive with our lifestyle or our homestead dreams and goals. When we think of who we want to be, “smokers” doesn’t make the list. So we quit! Once and for all. And we’ve never looked back. 

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a renewed chance to create the life you want. For me, 2018 is all about slowing down, self-care and cultivating peace in all areas of life.

Our daughter Evelyn has been our biggest motivation to quit smoking and stay quit. She has given me the strength to do things I never thought I could do.

It’s been almost a year now since I put out my last cigarette, and when that one-year mark hits next week, it will be one of the proudest moments of my life. 

For anyone reading this who is also a smoker wanting to quit, I can’t recommend the book Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking highly enough. It really helped me in my journey and was pretty much the driving force behind Ryan actually quitting for good. To this day he maintains that the book changed his life and he has never wanted to smoke again since reading it.

I also love the Smoke Free app for my smart phone (not an affiliate… I just genuinely love this app). It keeps track of the time since my last cigarette, how much money I’ve saved, how my health has improved and even how much money I will save each year I don’t smoke (the savings are jaw-dropping). Plus, it’s free!

Anyway, I won’t go on about this anymore, but I truly am living proof that quitting isn’t as hard as we make it out to be in our minds. I literally woke up one morning last January and decided I was done and I never picked up a cigarette again. Miracles do happen. Just sayin’ 😉

 

Cultivating the seeds of peace

This year I also have a different type of resolution. This resolution isn’t about pushing harder, doing more, losing weight, running a successful business, quitting bad habits or getting out of debt. While those are all noble goals (and are all also on my list of resolutions in one capacity or another), my overarching resolution this year is to cultivate peace in all that I do.

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a renewed chance to create the life you want. For me, 2018 is all about slowing down, self-care and cultivating peace in all areas of life.

I tend to be a bit of an anxious mess from time to time. In fact, this could be the understatement of the year so far. I’m much better now than I used to be because I’ve worked really hard on learning to manage my anxiety and emotions, but it’s still something that’s ever-present in my life that I continue to learn to work past. 

This year, the big “theme” is to make myself a priority and do what’s in the best interests of my personal health and well-being. Like many mothers, I devoted my life to my child the day she was born. But I also know that it’s in her, and my, and our family’s best interest if I take care of myself too and follow my heart and my passions along the way. 

Part of this is to really start practicing self care, and for me (a natural introvert who prefers peaceful silence over raucous festivities any day) self care entails finding peace and calm in the every day, and cultivating it among the chaos.

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a renewed chance to create the life you want. For me, 2018 is all about slowing down, self-care and cultivating peace in all areas of life.

I want to take time to focus on my breath; meditate and connect to the higher vibrations of the universe; be mindful as I’m cooking or doing dishes or gardening; go inward and find a quiet place even when the world outside of me is loud and overwhelming; make exercising my body a priority, not for aesthetics, but to feel good and to keep the vessel in good condition; let go of things that do not serve me; take time to just be without doing, producing and accomplishing all the time.

 

Slowing down for self-care (and to savour the moment)

We, as a culture, place such little value on self-care; on slowing down; on doing less. Every day is about how much you can get done in a 24-hour period. Can you speed up productivity? Knock off your entire to-do list every day? Time-block every last minute of the day to accomplish more? Multitask? Skip breakfast? Stop sleeping?

If we want to be healthy, happy, strong and self-sufficient individuals, the answer to all of the above is a resounding “No!”

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a renewed chance to create the life you want. For me, 2018 is all about slowing down, self-care and cultivating peace in all areas of life.

I think it’s a sign, don’t you?

Not to say there isn’t a time to speed up. Especially as a homesteader in the making, there is always work to be done. In fact, the work is pretty much never-ending. But the lifestyle allows us to escape the rat race a bit. That’s a huge reason why we’ve followed (and are continuing to follow) our homestead dreams.

Indeed there is always work to be done, but we must make time to do nothing as well. Time to be quiet and still and gaze out the window on a snowy morning while mindfully sipping on a cup of coffee (do you know I haven’t finished a cup of hot coffee since I became a mother? It’s insanity!).

With the New Year comes a fresh start and a renewed chance to create the life you want. For me, 2018 is all about slowing down, self-care and cultivating peace in all areas of life.

And so I am scheduling in time to unschedule this year. I am setting my intention to cultivate peace and calm in all that I do, because just like cultivating a garden, the seeds of peace must also be sewn and nurtured until they grow big and strong.  And I’m starting now, because while there is always a busy season in life, winter is the perfect time to slow down. Now I must rest.

A very happy new year to all of my dear readers. I wish you peace, love and joy in 2018 and beyond.

 

Until next time,

The House & Homestead

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HOMESTEADING
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6 Comments

  1. Mahesha

    You’re so right Anna! Work is never ending! I love the idea to schedule in time to unschedule. Its the best thing we can do for our mental health and peace of mind. ? xo? Mahesha, from Life So Blissful

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to respond! I absolutely love listening to your hypnosis’ and guided meditations. I’d love to share some links to your blog and Youtube channel in some upcoming posts! Blessings Xx

      Reply
  2. Ruthie

    Living the homestead life has definitely helped me appreciate and slow down as the season dictates!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Yes Ruthie! Living closer to the land has helped me get into a rhythm of knowing when to step my game up and knowing when to rest. I still have a ways to go though so I’m trying to be really mindful and pay attention to the cues nature and my body are giving me this year.

      Reply
  3. Lynda Lu Gibb

    Sounds like more time in “our” back yard.(s)!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Lol. Yes, “our backyard.” It’s funny how we live across the yard from one another but the winter has us holed up indoors and we see so much less of each other. Can’t wait until spring to see you guys out in the garden! How are your chickens doing? Producing any eggs? We’ve been getting ours from other local farms but if you have any extras we will gladly start buying from you again!

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

Over the years I’ve followed my passion for writing, editing and creating content, figuring much of it out on my own. From creating my blog to “self-publishing” my own digital/print magazine for the last 4 years, I’ve taught myself most of the practical skills necessary for turning an idea into a publication and getting said publication in the hands and in front of the eyes of many hundreds of readers.

But now that I’ve joined forces with the team at @homesteadlivingmagazine and @freeportpress, we’re all able to level up and reach many THOUSANDS of print and digital readers together.

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Getting to meet and brainstorm with some of the team in person and tour the printing facilities over the last few days has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, not just for me, but for everyone who considers themselves part of the modern homesteading movement. We are growing faster than I could have ever imagined. We’re creating a system outside of the system! We’re charging full steam ahead and we invite you to climb aboard and join us for the ride:)

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27 5

It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)
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I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

(The answer is obviously no one… No one wants that).

Automating our homesteading tasks as much as possible allows us to worry about other things and saves us a ton of time. Plus, it makes sure that things get taken care of, whether we remember or not.

Using an automatic chicken door has been a GAME CHANGER for us. It’s one of those lesser known homestead tools that can make all the difference, and I’m always recommending one to anyone who keeps chickens!

This chicken door from @chickcozy_ is so easy to install and use too, and right now you can get one for a steal during their Black Friday sale!

Save over $40 off an automatic chicken door, plus use my coupon code for an ADDITIONAL DISCOUNT!

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Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for the perfect gift for the chicken lover who has everything (which might also be yourself;) the @chickcozy_ automatic chicken door is one Christmas gift that won’t soon be forgotten!

Comment “Chicken” below for more info and to get my exclusive coupon code! 🐓

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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

Rather than subscribing, you can now purchase an all-access pass for a one-time fee of just $20, which gives you access to our entire digital library of issues.

Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase an all-access pass you’ll also get a gift certificate for a second all-access pass to gift to someone else.

I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

Thanks to everyone who has read the magazine over the past 4 years. I’m humbled and grateful for your support, and can’t wait to share whatever comes next:)

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25 3

It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

But if you work on learning one new skill at a time and gain confidence in it before moving onto the next, one day you’ll be looking back and marvelling at how far you’ve come.

That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

• Grow your own groceries
• Stock your pantry
• Create a natural home
• Get prepared
• Learn other important life skills like time management for homesteaders, goal setting and how to become your own handyman

And more!

If you’ve been feeling called to level up your self-reliance skills (because let’s be honest, we’re in for a wild ride these next few years with everything going on in the world), now is the time to heed that call.

Link in profile to enroll before midnight tonight, or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

#homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homesteadingskills #preparedness
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There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
🍴 Healthier than conventionally grown food
🔑 increases your overall food security
🫙 Gives you an abundance to preserve and share

But perhaps the number one reason is because it just tastes better!

Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#foodsecurity #homegrownfood #homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homegrownfoodjusttastesbetter
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If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn inside the Society:

🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

🌿 Natural Living and Herbal Medicine Mastery: Discover the secrets to creating a low-tox home and and to growing, making and using herbal remedies to support your family’s health, naturally.

🔨 Essential Life Skills: Learn essential life skills like time management, effective goal setting and practical DIY skills to become more self-sufficient.

As a member, you’ll enjoy:

📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

📞 Live Group Coaching Calls: Participate in our monthly live group coaching calls, where we deep dive into a different self-reliance topic every month, and do live demonstrations and Q&A’s.

🏡 Private Community: Join our private community forum where you can ask questions, share your progress, and connect with like-minded individuals.

I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

In today’s world, self-reliance is no longer a luxury, a “cute hobby,” it’s a necessity. Join us inside The Society of Self-Reliance and empower yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the new world!

Link in profile or visit thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#selfreliance #selfreliant #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #sustainableliving #modernhomesteading #homesteadingskills #preparedness
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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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