Henry David Thoreau once said,
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
I have learned through experience that simplicity is often the last place we look and the first thing we need. Having grown up in a family in which nothing was simple (or thrown away), I learned that the clutter of life, both physical and mental, can be a heavy burden to bear. When I finally ventured forth into my own life journey; I realized that the simple life was really all I ever wanted. I know what you’re thinking, “simple sounds gray and boring!” Trust me….it’s not! It gives you the opportunity to rethink, rewrite, and let go.
Physically speaking, how many of your possessions do you actually need? How many are you keeping just to make others happy? How many are for memory sake? (Because your late grandmother remarked on one occasion that she thought it was pretty) How much stuff is due to the age-old thought process of “I might need this someday?”
Well before you get up in a tizzy, track me down to hit me with your purse, and tell me how much you loved your grandmother, let me explain….. Everything in moderation…… This phrase is key here! I’m not telling you to throw out memories, or necessities. For the beginners out there, do it in baby steps. All I’m giving you are pieces of thought to consider. Sit down, look around, and consider how much do I actually NEED to keep around? And how much do I WANT to keep around? For some people this is a quick process, and for others the concept of letting go of physical things is really difficult and takes time. I know for me that it took me a good many years to really consider what I did and didn’t need. I am by no means a pro at this yet, but I hope to pass on the knowledge so that others out there can reap the stress-relieving benefits that I have.
On a mental note, you have to learn to “go with the flow.” My friend’s mother is a brilliant and wonderful woman, but she stresses herself out to the point of exhaustion and illness because of her inability to let go. Mind you, when I say “go with the flow” I mean your own personal, life flow. Don’t mistake this concept as complacency. In doing this you are being true to yourself; even if this means ruffling some feathers. Too many people out there choose to go with the flow of the world rather than their own personal current. For some people it comes easy, and for others, like my friend’s mother, it takes time. Many things can hold you back, but more often than not it’s FEAR. Fear of not having control, fear of the unknown, fear of change….
“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
The lifestyle of simplicity can go so much more beyond the basic ideas of physical and mental. For my fiancee’ and I, we have adapted a lifestyle of physical, mental, spiritual, and bodily simplicity. Throughout this blog we hope to cover all of these topics, and give tips, pointers, how-to’s, and recipes on how you can follow along! My fiancee’ and I started the Old Earth Project together with the hopes of sharing the knowledge and the benefits of living simply. We hope you enjoy the things we put together, and we welcome comments of all kinds!! 🙂