Many of us live complicated lives as it has become unavoidable given the demands of the modern living. Living with simplicity carries different meanings to different people. Generally it would be interpreted as doing the essentials, having a comfortable living space, time and money for doing what is really important and what you enjoy. This is more evident in the elderly when they naturally start to have different priorities, having had the experience and understanding of a considerable length of time. For them, creating time for things they love to do and spending time with people they love becomes a bigger priority.
Speaking of lifestyle choices, it amazes me how supermarkets are shelved with huge number of products, which we don’t really need. One can spend ages choosing between one brand and another. Would simplicity not be buying what has the least ingredients, or more raw fruit & vegetables for our daily meals? Knowing and enjoying what you are cooking and eating has its own thrill. Do you really need that hair product? Or would it not be better to embrace your natural hair as long as it is clean and healthy?
Be aware of the impact of what you buy and do has on the environment and people around you. It’s shocking and worries me how many clothes are thrown away everyday and how people buy so may of them. Clothing items have become disposables like plastic bottles. It’s better to buy something that is long lasting that you really like and value, to get the most out of it. Recycling clothes among friends or family is a good idea or go ahead and be creative - make that shirt into a new top! By only using what I really need of the earth’s resources by maintaining a balance simple, comfortable living brings joy.
Another good way to describe a 'simple' lifestyle is one that doesn't burn us out too much. We may feel like there is a lot to do and we try to get things done efficiently by doing multiple things at the same time. However when doing this, full attention and energy is not being put into the task at hand as our attention is divided. Hence we may not be putting our best efforts into something. Furthermore, we are not completely present in and aware of what we are doing, unable to enjoy the moments of our life fully each time.
It’s good idea to listen to what’s around us, to be more aware and present of our surroundings. When was the last time you listened to a warm chatter of many people in a coffee shop? Heard the birds sing, wind blow, people laugh? Music is all around as, we just need to listen harder or ditch our earphones for a moment.
A good way to start living a simple life is to clear up some clutter - as the saying goes, a tidy house, a tidy mind. We can be more open to intuitive ideas and inspirations when we have a clearer mind. A clear mind will go a long way when we are faced with difficult situations in life. Simplifying our lives will give us more time and space for more important things like peace and love.
- Saraswati Patel
Saraswati is a student and an active member of CIS, who enjoys the nature, photography and meditation.
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