Happy New Year and start of a new decade, friends! I write this from Toronto where I have been for the holidays, visiting family and friends. Within a few days I will be returning to my new home of Victoria, BC.
I know I have not written a post in a long time but I felt inspired to write one at the start of this new decade. I feel inspired to write on simplicity, something I have been contemplating and working on for a while.
Simplicity is what mindful living truly means to me – that is, returning to the simple little things. As well as the act of simplifying (rather than complicating).
We really do not need much to be happy. Overconsumption is a plague of today’s day and age. We are able to have what we want, when we want, as we want it – there is no shortage of choice. Unless of course, one has no choice.
I remember reading some time ago that simpler living requires “living counter-intuitively.” And therefore, we have to nurture it.
So what does it take to return to simpler living? And why commit to this?
I believe it takes discipline and a “modus operandi” – as well as the willingness to listen deeply. To the land/earth, the ocean, the trees, the mountains, the birds, to nature in all its presence.
Whenever I tune into the elements of nature, and practice – for example, practicing walking meditation outdoors – I am reminded that this (whatever is, right now) is enough. That I do not need to always give in to desires, cravings, wantings, and the need to perfect (or seeking of “perfection” of circumstances).
Returning one’s focus to the feeling of the gentle air and sun on the skin, listening to the waves beating against the pebbles, sensing the caressing ground underneath me, smelling the greens-infused fresh air – all beckon to become alive and present outdoors, and to listen deeply.
Surrounding oneself with like-minded kindred spirits and appreciating the blessings of a land that supports the act of simplifying is quite special, and sacred.
Simplifying gives me space for the things that matter – such as my relationships, far and near, health, my body, and my dreams and goals.
Simplifying is not easy – it takes a sincere commitment and returning again and again to one’s intention. But whenever we feel lost, we can simply stop, and listen for a while – to the earth, or the ocean, or the breeze, or the birds, or the vast old trees. They always have a way of reminding us that it is worth it, and it is what matters in the end.