Jared Brock

I had no idea how Christians signed emails until I met my guest.

And you probably didn't know that he flipped the script on books about prayer by making his eclectic, soulful, and hilarious.

This Smart and Simple Matters episode with Jared Brock – co-founder of Hope for the Sold, author of A Year of Living Prayerfully, and frequent forest resident of a 1975 Airstream trailer – switches quickly from inspiring, funny, and practical.

You'll probably pull different gems from our conversation, but I was struck by a couple of Jared's statements in particular. The first was his answer to one of my favorite questions: what does simple living mean to you?

Simple living means cultivating a margin of time and money in order to focus on projects that I feel called to do. [It's] stripping out anything that's non-essential to achieve our goals and dreams. – Jared Brock

The second was telling and insightful as well, especially if you struggle with the fear of rejection (I know I do):

[In life,] you're currently at a baseline of “no.” No, the Pope's not going to meet you. No, they're not going to let you into North Korea … The worst case scenario with an ask is getting a “no.” But you've already got that [by not asking].” – Jared Brock

If you're looking for hearty laughs, deep spirituality, or easy tips to tread lightly through the world, crank this episode up and don't skip a moment.

You're about to Learn …

  • How living at an eco-resort or intentional community can change everything.
  • What happens when a little kid loses a $20 bet (with money he doesn't have).
  • Why you need to do a full life audit to become carbon neutral.
  • Some of the best, easiest ways to stay carbon neutral.
  • Why Pope Francis asked Jared to pray for him.
  • How Jared landed on “pizza buffet duty” during his Costa Rica travels.
  • His girlfriend's one condition before she'd accept his marriage proposal.
  • The beauty of a silent Quaker church service.
  • Why you need a total disregard for rejection.



Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode:


  • [04:45] Jared's seeds of awesomeness
  • [07:36] How to practice Quaker simplicity and silence
  • [09:35] What simple living means to Jared
  • [12:51] The origins of his minimalist lifestyle
  • [15:09] What makes for a good intentional community
  • [17:38] Why Jared is carbon neutral and how he stays on track
  • [22:58] Passover Seder with Hasidic Jews
  • [24:44] Having lunch with Pope Francis at the Vatican
  • [27:26] More places and things Jared did in his year of living prayerfully
  • [31:15] How to have a total disregard for rejection

Extra Gratitude and Special Mentions

Phillipa Jenkins, you're awesome. Thanks for these kind words:

“Joel's podcast is great and I draw a lot of inspiration for simple living from what he talks about. His passion for living a simple, meaningful and connected to community life is off the charts. He is super enthusiastic and comes across as a really authentic and amazing person.”

Felix Häberle, thanks for becoming Smart and Simple Matters newest patron on Patreon!

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