Gross National HappinessDo you remember Cecile Andrews from Smart and Simple Matters episode 052?

Probably not … but that's not her fault. She was only speaking for about a minute during our simple living roundtable chat due to some technical issues.

But now? Now you're going to hear a ton of great stuff from Cecile. She's back with me for a one-on-one conversation about where we harness happiness, how simplicity study circles work, and a whole lotta laughter.

She's a joyful person building joyful communities for a joyful world. In other words, Cecile – a community leader who has been featured on CBS, NPR, and PBS and has some acclaimed slow/simple living books – is a real joy to listen to.

Here's what I mean:

If we get people to work toward a joyful community, they don't want to go shopping anymore. They're not concerned with getting to the top. – Cecile Andrews

And here's another bite of wisdom:

When people experience being cared for, they are able to care [too]. And if they can care for their own species, maybe they will care for the rest of the species. – Cecile Andrews

Give this episode a listen and you'll understand why people have been seeking Cecile's simple insight for decades.

You're about to Learn …

  • How the 4 “C”s of happiness can change everything for you.
  • Why study circles are a barn raising (and not a battle).
  • What Cecile has in common with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
  • The tragic event that caused Cecile to take life seriously.
  • Why the simple life is an examined life.
  • The one book that changed it all for Cecile.
  • How she got labeled a “hedonist” of the simplicity movement.
  • Why Cecile knows that any topic brings you back to simplicity.
  • How GNH (gross national happiness) could replace GDP someday.
  • Why I'm standing in the longest grocery store line from now on.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode:


  • [05:05] Cecile's seeds of awesomeness
  • [09:19] Why Cecile enjoys life and became a “hedonist” of simplicity
  • [12:40] Why simple living has nothing to do with self-deprivation
  • [16:56] Study circles and how they work
  • [29:25] The different forms of simple living and happiness
  • [34:06] Cecile's involvement and support of Transition Towns
  • [39:31] What it means to live slow
  • [48:54] How you can connect with Cecile

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