Most of us have wished for a simpler life at some stage or other. No surprise really, given how hectic our tech-fueled, multi-tasking lives can be and the speed at which everything seems to happen these days.
During one summer of university I had just gone through a bad breakup, watched Eat, Pray, Love one too many times, and was really itching to do something drastic. I started researching ashrams (if Julia Roberts could do it, then why not?)
One ashram I looked at took simplicity to a whole new level. It was entirely dedicated to the practice of meditation. There was little or no reading and no discussion of any philosophy or psychology—it was all about the practice itself, sitting with the mind without distraction. There was no TV, no internet, no games, no phones and no visitors. The only thing on the agenda was meditation, 24/7, 365 days a year. To some that will sound like heaven; to others, perhaps more like a terrifying nightmare.
But there is no question that once we strip away all of the noise and activity of everyday life, the mind appears in a whole new way. As a direct consequence, our perspective shifts and our experience of life appears in a whole new way. In some respects, it doesn’t matter whether we meditate for 10 minutes or one hour, for one week or one year—the principle is the same: to put down the baggage from our past, to let go of our anxieties and fear of the future, and instead to be present with the extraordinary beauty and simplicity of the present moment. It doesn’t require a change of life, just a change of mind.
We’re wrapping up July (WHAT.) and I for one have found these weekly check-ins so helpful during one of the most active months of the entire year — I truly hope they have been for you as well. This month we’ve been focusing on simplifying and if not your schedules, then perhaps simplifying your space, mind and relationships have given you a better hold on things.
Each year, your life is becoming a little more complex. New products, problems, and thoughts are entering life almost daily.
And it’s easy to believe we need to change and improve to keep up with all those challenges. Yet, the truth is, you don’t need to do any of that. You can choose simplicity and a peaceful mind.
Living a simple life will help you have space for the activities and people you truly appreciate in life. But it’ll also allow you to get way more done because you’ll have the mental capacity to solve complex problems with ease.
Giving your best to achieve your goals is cool. Working yourself to death isn’t.
You can achieve great things and have a peaceful mind. In fact, you deserve to have both, and there’s no need to feel stressed all the time. You deserve rest. And we’re here, as a community championing you on, always.