Select Page

The one key ingredient for living a simpler life

I’ve been thinking a lot about simple living lately, what it is and what it isn’t. I’ve always stuck by my standby definition, and while I think it’s still true, I wonder if it’s a little too…. complicated.

Funny, eh?

“Living holistically with your life’s purpose” wraps it up nicely, I think. The different parts of your life point in the same direction—so, holistic. And that direction? Is your purpose.

When the parts of your life (your house, your job, your relationships) line up seamlessly with your overall purpose in life—well, that’s about the best kind of simple living there is.

The part that gets complicated is knowing your purpose. That’s a big thing, right? I mean, that’s kind of THE question of life.

That’s the rub with this definition of simple living. (Skip to my good news, if you want.)

And I think that’s the part we make too complicated. We stew, we brainstorm, we journal, we talk it out with out with our significant others, we read books and books on this idea—this knowing what we’re made for. Then it all gets to be too much, so we throw in the towel, binge-watch some Chuck, and sleep it off. We wake up, and we’re nowhere closer to understanding our core selves.

I’ve found that discovering our purpose doesn’t have to be that hard. In fact, it’s usually right in front of us, our everyday lives whispering to us what already fuels us, fires us, gets us excited. (What gets us excited? That’s pretty much a clear sign right there.)

Upstream Field Guide is $29!

What we really want is a map, a thing to help us get from Point A (confused, overwhelmed) to Point B (clear-headed, excited). We need this whole idea of figuring out who we are broken down into easier, doable chunks.

Once we have permission to go slow and deep in making the effort to better know ourselves, our purpose is usually standing right in front of us, waving hello and asking if we’d like to play.

Knowing your purpose? That’s the key ingredient to living a simpler life. Knowing who you are? That’s the key to knowing your purpose.

Upstream Field Guide

My self-paced course, Upstream Field Guide, is permission to go slow and find your true self. It’s that hand-holding, map-pointing guide that gives us the oomph we need to find our purpose.

And right now? Upstream is $29 (it’s normally $59).

Over eight sessions, I walk you through the different things that’ve helped me understand my own purpose much better.

Once you have a better handle on who you are, then you can unearth your life’s purpose. And when you’ve got that nailed down, it’s simply a matter of lining up all the little parts of your life in the same direction. Your house, your money, your relationships, your career—they all point to your purpose.

That’s simple living. It’s not easy. But it’s simple. And it’s oh-so worth it.

For the next 7 days…

The reason Upstream is half-off right now is because it’s part of the current ultimate bundle sale, which means for half its usual price, you get the full course PLUS tons of other stuff. Some of my faves in the bundle this year are:

• Cozy Minimalist Mom, an e-course by Myquillyn Smith of Nesting Place
• 80 Green Thickies Recipes, an e-book by Katherine Kyle
• Jumpstart Your Creativity, an e-course by Jennie Moraitis

….plus tons more. (The bundle’s total value is $1,012.49, with an additional $308.94 in bonuses.)

Y’all, I’m so excited to bring you Upstream Field Guide this way. It’s been a complete joy to watch Upstreamers walk through the eight sessions and discover, sometimes for the first time, who they really, truly are.

Not just who they always thought they were. Not just who they wish they were. But who they really are.


I’d love for you to join them. It comes with access to our private Facebook group, and the conversations there are fascinating! To sign up for Upstream at $29, order it through the ultimate bundle sale.

Exclusive to Art of Simple buyers

A Summer of Stories: 10 Prompts for Writing Great Summertime TalesWhen you buy the bundle through links found here at AoS, on our social media accounts, or in an email from me, you’ll also get a free copy of my e-book A Summer of Stories: 10 Prompts for Writing Great Summertime Tales. Perfect for the upcoming summer, this book explains the basic elements of a good story, tips for encouraging your kiddos to write, and ten story prompts to get their stories written—all fun, no pressure. I love this thing.

To let us know you bought through us, head here and fill out your email (the one you used to order your bundle). We’ll send you your free e-book soon!

Upstream Field Guide on Facebook

Guys, I’d love for you to join us in the Upstream group. Or if you’re already there, I’d love you to gift a membership to someone you love (you can do it with a group of friends!). I don’t think it’ll ever be this cheap again.

Reading Time:

3 minutes





  1. Bethany Turner

    I love that you referenced binge watching Chuck! One of my all time favorite shows!

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      We’re nearing the end of season 4 on Netflix. It can be so ridiculous, but it’s oh-so fun. (Plus, I have a thing for attractive nerds….)

      • Janine

        Oh!!! LOVE Chuck!…. in our house the show should have ended after season 4 though.

  2. Ulla

    Tsh, is the upstream field guide during certain dates only? I’m asking because I won’t have the time to really commit to it until September.
    Love the offer and the whole Ultimate Bundle idea. I purchased 2 in the past and always loved them.

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Once you get it, you’re in for as long as the course exists! So you can totally buy it now and wait till the fall to work through it. 🙂

      • jane

        is there any interaction with you personally with the Upstream course?

        • Tsh Oxenreider

          I’m there when I can! I have live chats set up a couple times a year, and I pop in and provide feedback when I’m able to. Now that FB Live is a thing, I’m hoping to try that out sometime this summer!

          One thing that’s made me super happy is watching fellow Upstreamers interact with each other in the group, answering their questions, providing feedback, etc. It’s become quite the community! Would love to have you there, Jane.

          • jane

            Tsh! You have no idea how awesome it would be to chat with you, on or offline. I feel like i’ve known you since i’ve been listening to your podcasts from the beginning! i was really hoping you’d settle somewhere in the East Coast, between Washington, DC, and New York. 🙂

  3. JANE H

    just registered!

  4. willow

    I am 29, married but no kids. Not sure if I will ever decide to have kids. But I still want a simple life. is this bundle still a good investment for me? Or is it more geared towards moms? I am definitely interested in the upstream filed guide, as I am lacking in direction/purpose, and feeling stuck in life.

    • jane

      i find it very much geared towards moms (specifically at-home moms), but i think it’s STILL worth it just for Tsh’s course.

  5. Mary Grace

    Willow, from my experience with the Upstream Field Guide Course, it is NOT just for moms, but for anyone who wants to live a simple life. Its fun and helpful–especially if you are feeling “stuck.” The Homemaking Bundle definitely has many things that are not just for kids, such as recipe books, wellness courses, adult coloring books, organizational books, etc. BUT, it does have a lot of resources for moms. With that in mind, you probably just need to take a look at it and decide if the price is worth it for you to be able to get just the things that you want out of the bundle. Hope that helps!

  6. Erin L

    Hey Tsh! Bought the bundle last week, but still haven’t received the E-book or entered to win the Kindle! Am I missing something, maybe?

    Looking forward to taking the course. Thanks so much!!!

    • Katie S

      I also have not received anything. Tsh – I checked my spam folder but haven’t seen any further emails after the confirmation email.

Join thousands of readers
& get Tsh’s free weekly email called
5 Quick Things,

where she shares stuff she either created herself or loved from others. (It can be read in under a minute, pinky-swear.)

It's part of Tsh's popular newsletter called Books & Crannies, where she shares thoughts about the intersection of stories & travel, work & play, faith & questions, and more.