Tornado. Whirlwind. Sooo busy. Overwhelmed. Too much going on. Just trying to catch a breath. Clusterfuck.
This is our life we’re talking about?! These phrases I hear a lot, from friends, family, colleagues. I myself utter them from time to time.
Today is National Simplicity Day, celebrating Henry David Thoreau and advocating simple living close to nature. But it has me wondering what simplicity could possibly look like in today’s fast-jet, multi-tasked, overbooked, commodified, insta-world. Is it possible? Desirable? Hmm
Distinguishing the necessary from unnecessary was one of Thoreau’s first counsels. Simplify, simplify, simplify, he continues. Sounds simple and easy enough. But maybe not as straightforward as it would seem.
That new book I bought, that splurge at the Mexican restaurant, is it necessary? Is social media? What (money, energy, time) am I exchanging for what? That week along the River? How many plates/shirts/shoes/books/devices/plastic things do I need?
I don’t know definitive answers, but I think it must start at least with taking A SACRED PAUSE, preferably with wild nature, to slow down enough to ‘take stock’ of what indeed is claiming so much of our time, energy, ‘resources’.
Then Letting what is aligned (with my goals, my authentic self), rise up and vibrate, letting what is not begin to release its claims. It may require ‘sacrifice’—which really just means trading something for something of greater value.
Friends, meaningful and soulful interactions, nature connection? Check. Health, food, fresh air and water, inspiration and creative outlets? Check. Dreams and beauty? A bowl, a spoon, pants? Check. Living Soul purpose? Triple-check.
Beyond that? Not much certainty. Still sifting, shifting, simplifying.
Some reminders from Thoreau:
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
“As for the complex ways of living, I love them not, however much I practice them. In as many places as possible, I will get my feet down to the earth.”—Journal, October 22,1853
“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”—Walden