Are you tired of feeling like you're living someone else's life?

You've got so much you WANT to do, but you're stuck with everything you NEED to do.

Well, guess what:

You're allowed to ignore all the conventional "shoulds" in life and live the way you were uniquely designed to.

And you'll still be a responsible adult who shows up for work, pays her bills, and feeds her kids.

In fact, you'll do it even better. And you'll do it with joy.

It's called paddling upstream.

It's called paddling upstream.

What exactly is Upstream Field Guide?

It's a self-study class that shows you, step-by-step, how to find your life's core purpose—and then to order your life in a way that’s unmistakably “you.”

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Here's what you'll discover in Upstream Field Guide:

//  Smack-dab, right-in-front-of-you clues to help you uncover who you really are.

// The surprising, unpredictable things that point to your life's core purpose.

// The right questions to ask to nail down your purpose.

// The tool you need so you can say NO with guilt-free abandon.

// How to inventory the 7 types of gear you're already carrying on your trek.

// Your concrete next steps so you can say YES to a live well-lived.

What's Inside?


The Upstream Curriculum

Just a little bit of what you'll find inside the class:

  • 01.

    Why everyone's definition of "simple living" is wrong (and why it even matters).

  • 03.

    The magic that contains 2 weird ingredients: what you find beautiful + what ticks you off.

  • 05.

    How to write your purpose statement with zeroed-in, laser-sharp focus.

  • 07.

    None of us live on an island by ourselves—this is why all the people around us matter.

  • 09.

    Make a list of realistic, reachable goals—and a game plan to reach them in real-world gusto.

  • 02.

    What your fantasy Best Day Ever! tells you about your core values.

  • 04.

    Your childhood dreams? They matter now—and they're trying to talk to you.

  • 06.

    The one proven part of your life that's more important than your health. (It rhymes with 'vacation.')

  • 08.

    You've got 168 hours a week—how on earth will you find time to change your life?

  • 10.

    Get your act together—there are 6 things to do first after you finish Upstream. (One involves a nap.)

Ready to jump in?

The water's fine.

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Hi! I’m Tsh Oxenreider, the founder and main voice at The Art of Simple and the author of several books

I'm also the host of a podcast called The Simple Show, which for 15 minutes one week ranked second under NPR’s This American Life in most listened-to podcasts (Ira Glass and I go out for drinks weekly).

I love helping people find the things that make them them (in fact, part of my core purpose is to inspire artistry in others—but more about that inside Upstream). I have an penchant for both snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef with my kids and puttering around my backyard with a drink in hand, and I think a library card and a passport are some of the greatest parenting tools in the universe.

I created Upstream Field Guide when I was traveling around the world, asking myself questions like, "What am I here for?" and "Is the way I'm living lined up with who I really am?" I worked through the Upstream process for myself, then realized the stuff I unearthed was big—so big, in fact, that it's true for all of us.

If you've asked these same questions while you were waiting in the carpool line, staring at your beige cubicle fabric, or writing a bigger mortgage check than you wish you were, I bet you're meant to be an Upstreamer. 

It’s nice to meet you.

Meet Tsh

Meet Tsh

What Upstreamers are saying:

  • Melissa Camara Wilkins
    Upstream has helped me better understand myself, so that I know what I’m even paddling upstream FOR. I loved the encouragement to think about the bigger picture of my life, and to shift things around to make my days fit me better. Thanks, Tsh!
    Melissa Camara Wilkins
  • Matt K.
    I feel like I've got a whole different outlook on my life, and am actually excited about the future instead of constantly wondering what's next. Grateful for Upstream.
    Matt K.
  • Sarah W.
    I wasn’t sure what to think about Upstream before I enrolled—it sounded sorta dreamy and hippie. I'm happy to say I was wrong—the stuff I’m learning about myself are helping me make big changes to my real, everyday life. And it's actually been fun!
    Sarah W.
  • Vanessa B.
    Upstream helped me get out of debt, deadlift 250 lbs., and move to Paris. Kidding, of course—but it did help me make a plan for HOW to make (and reach) super life-giving goals. I’ve loved the whole process!
    Vanessa B.

100% Risk-Free!

You have instant access to the entire class once you finish your registration. Take a look around, start on the first session, click play on a playlist. If you're not satisfied, write to us within 24 hours of your enrollment. I'll gladly offer you a full and complete refund; no hard feelings. All I ask is that you let me know why you’re not satisfied so that I can continue to improve.


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Lifetime Access

Instant access to the entire class

10 sessions you can revisit over and over—forever

A Field Guide you can print (or order a hard copy)

Downloadable transcripts of all the teaching

Entry to the private Upstream Facebook group

Bonus: An extra lesson + download from Tsh!


  • Do I have to take the class at a certain time?

    Nope! Take it whenever you want; start and stop however it fits in your life.

  • How are the classes taught?

    Tsh teaches with pre-recorded audio, like a podcast—but all the lessons have a downloadable transcript, if you prefer to read them. The Field Guide is a downloadable PDF, but you can also order a hard copy, or even grab a free digital copy to drop into your Google Drive.

  • Can my spouse take the class, too?

    Yep! A one-time registration covers enrollment for one household, so you, your spouse, and even your older kids can go through Upstream together.

  • I have an extra cupcake—would you like one?

    Well, sure; thanks for offering! I'll never turn down a baked good.

  • Neil J.
    Upstream has changed the trajectory of our family’s life. My wife and I took the class together and made some serious changes to our life: I changed jobs and we moved to a smaller house (yay, less cleaning!). We’re now planning a long-term international trip we think we’ll take in a year or two. Before Upstream, that idea would have stayed a dream.
    Neil J.

Giving back—because it matters.

Preemptive Love Coalition

Because I'm a big believer of living simply so others can simply live, a portion of your investment will go to Preemptive Love Coalition, a global movement of peacemakers changing the way we engage the world’s most polarizing conflicts by confronting fear with acts of love.

Through emergency relief for families victimized by ISIS, Preemptive Love provides emergency food, shelter, and supplies to those families on the run and lifesaving support to those still behind enemy lines. Their programs ensure ISIS won’t have the final word.

We'd love to have you...

Join thousands of Upstreamers and start ordering your life in a way that's perfectly you.

Enroll Now!