Simplicity is such a beautiful word isn’t it. It’s an appealing concept that seems uppermost in so many people’s minds these days. Including my own!

In fact, it was the theme my husband and I chose for our first issue as the new publishers of NOVA way back in July 2001. It was a much more innocent world then of course just prior to 9/11 and the churning whirlpool of tensions that event unleashed around the world.

Some of you may remember the cover illustration of a stunning lotus unfurling its petals as it reaches out toward the light - a wonderful photo taken by a friend and such a powerful symbol of the search for enlightenment.

While the world seems to have become a vastly more complicated place since then, I think in our hearts we are still searching for many of the same things – enduring love, real friendships, a sense of peace in our home and our life, natural beauty that we can soak in and feel healed, hope for a long, happy, healthy life for ourselves and our children. Money, on the other hand, can so often get in the way of happiness - at least when it becomes our overriding goal. You may have heard the wonderful story told by Deepak Chopra who recalled his mother’s advice to him as a five year old child to always follow the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, rather then be lured by the beautiful Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance. The reason? Lakshmi would become so envious she would chase him all the more. So much truth for a little boy to ponder!

My mind has turned to simplicity (does that mean I’ve become simple minded?) with some of our stories this month. In “Outer calm, inner peace”, two Perth friends describe their philosophy that clearing out the clutter can be very uplifting, not least because we’re discarding negative emotions at the same time and making room for positive new energies. I was intrigued to read that Leonardo da Vinci regarded “simplicity as the ultimate sophistication” - no clutter then in his studio!

It just so happens that National Recycling Week occurs this month from November 7-13, so maybe you can combine the two activities and give some of your unwanted treasures the chance of a second life. You’ll find all the details about this great annual initiative organised by Planet Ark in “New Ideas for Recycling”.

Peter Dingle too has caught the simplicity bug this month as he explores the many virtues of plain old fashioned vinegar in “A Daily Dose of Vinegar”. He finds that it doesn’t really matter which variety you favour - apple cider, balsamic, red or white wine vinegar - they’re all amazingly good for you. I perked up when I saw there’s also champagne vinegar.

He suggests that doctors may soon be prescribing a daily dose of organic apple cider vinegar to ward off modern lifestyle diseases. Not to mention it’s great as a cleaning agent too so we can throw out all those harmful chemical ones.

And finally, our spirituality features, as ever, recognise that true happiness dwells within each of us and we risk losing it in our restless search for external gratification. You’ll find plenty to think deeply about this month in “Being Enough” and “Spiritual Wellbeing”.

Enjoy it all while you declutter!

Margaret Evans

Margaret Evans has a background in teaching, journalism and publishing. She is the editor of NOVA Holistic Journal.