I've never liked the word content because I feel like it sits in the same realm as 'settle'. But I'm starting to realise that being content is so much more than that. It's pairing back layers of yourself, going deep and accepting yourself. It's not wanting more. It's making a conscious decision to live simply and then....being content to soak up the sweet sounds around you, sit happily among children laughing and sip wine in the moonlight. Sophie Renzen emanates feelings of happiness and comfortable contentedness. She's made a conscious decision to live simply and enjoy slow days by the beach with her young family and she is her own inspiration. I think she might be yours too.
Your words completely capture us and resonate with us as women and young mums. Tell us what writing means to you?
Writing, writing was a saviour for me at a time when what was inside of me, my thoughts and my feelings, were a complex web, and I couldn’t navigate them properly. Writing was my way of drawing them out of me, onto the page, so I could better understand myself, and better communicate myself. Nowadays writing has changed for me, I’m more resolved internally, and when insights come to me, or I feel things deeply, have personal epiphanies, or just feel like expressing myself, sharing sometimes, I turn to the page, I write, I pour my heart out.
What is conscious or slow living to you?
Conscious is awareness, it’s being aware, of yourself, of others, of what’s around you, of the earth, of nature. It’s not turning away from that which you’re apart of, that which is you, all of it, it is being actively involved, in the essence of ‘all’.
Slow living is a process, a process of slowing down to find clarity, to work out who you are and what your place on the earth is, slow living, to me, is basically not rushing, unconsciously through your life. It’s living, one step at a time, carefully, with big love, while you pay great attention to all of it.
Describe your perfect beach day.....
The beach is always magic, so I guess just being there; alone or with family, friends, on a stormy night or at sunrise, around a hot fire. Or midsummer, bathing in warm rock pools for hours with my babies, I love rock pools, they’re like nature’s spa baths, so a day in one of those would be pretty perfect.
Your family moved to Wooli in 2017....what was your motivation to move and how has life been since?
We just weren’t living the way we wanted to be living and we got sick of dreaming. So we came down here, we camped, we found a block of land on the beach, we bought it, we packed up our life and we moved to this natural haven to get out of the race and stop working as slaves to money, trying to gain more rather than give more, be more.
We wanted our kids to grow up surrounded by a part of the earth that’s untouched, and we wanted the same, we love the natural beauty of the earth and wanted to spend our lives surrounded by it, rather than moving from one concrete building to the next and stuck in traffic for a great portion of our days. We have kangaroos that hop around our house, we walk to the beach every day, it’s a stones throw away, we kayak up the river and go on coastal walks, we explore so often and it’s so easy because we’re surrounded by national park, there’s so much to see and do, it’s beautiful.
What’s your favourite thing to do for you?
That’s a hard question. I do like my early mornings, my meditation, my yoga, my reading and journaling. But I love gardening as well, and cooking. If I only had a short window of time though and I could do anything, I would probably go swim in the ocean, then come out and lay on the sand, just me, until my time was up.
You grow your own vegetables and fruit in the garden....what’s the best thing about growing your own food?
Your food is alive, and is still so high in all its nutrients right when you pick it. You’re also doing a great service to the earth by being a grower, so that’s a good thing.
And of course what’s your favourite thing to eat straight out of the garden?
Herbs, herbs make everything taste better, and they are medicine.
Describe each of your children in just one word....
Who inspires you to live simply?
I do, I inspire myself to live simply, I find if my deep truths come from me, I see the whole picture and not just a snippet. Not just a few words someone said, or a quote I read, or even a book that’s someone else’s idea; I’m not saying these don’t all hold great truth, they just aren’t mine. So I like to listen to myself and when I do, my inner knowing always tells me I need less, to feel more, experience more, be more. I’ve been reducing for a long time, and it will only continue.
Who inspires you in motherhood?
They do, my children, they tell me, through their words, their actions, their laughs, their cries, their pleas, their energies, who they are, where they are at now, and what they need from me. They inspire me not only to mother them with the widest heart, but to be totally open, and better myself continuously, for me, for them, and for the world.