In 2004 I made a decision that would transform my life forever. It had a ripple effect that pervaded every part of my existence. It changed the way I viewed myself, life and the world. I made the choice to embrace the Simple Life.
The term Simple Life holds diverse meaning and interpretation to different people. It calls to mind various images and feelings. It may be viewed by some as unadventurous and boring, devoid of challenge and excitement, while others may be of the opinion that it is the only way to go. It all depends on how the term is personally defined.
To me, the simple life means a way of living devoid from a constant search for more possessions, money, status, power, and recognition or striving for success as defined by others. It signifies a lifestyle of gratitude that flows from an awareness of the grace of God; as well as contentment with what I have in a given situation and season. I know what it means to have and I also know what means not to have and I have grown to be content in both.
The beginning of my journey away from a traditional westernized lifestyle towards a more authentic and down to earth way of living was by questioning my cultural conditioning and orientation, as well as the spirit of the age. I had to determine and define for myself how I wanted to spend my days on this planet.
I chose to move away from the traditional fixed income existence to a low expense, occasional income and partially self-sustained lifestyle.
Life is only as complicated as we choose to make it and I opted for a way of being devoid of unnecessary complication or clutter. I adopted an attitude of no regrets and thus no bitterness or resentment about what could have been in contrast to what is. Daily I seek to live fully present in the moment with no anxiety or fear about tomorrow and no grievance about yesterday. I have dealt with yesterday; I am looking forward to tomorrow, while I am fully experiencing the present.
I have learned to travel light, leaving unnecessary baggage behind. I have let go of rejection, heartache and sorrow in order to embrace all of the goodness that life has in store for me.
I have come to know that life is not only about joy, happiness and pleasure, but also about suffering, hardship and pain, and the willingness to suffer and be pruned in order to be able to grow and flourish.
To me, this uncomplicated way of living is about personal growth in contrast to gaining, obtaining and acquiring possessions, money or status. It is about the things that money cannot buy like love, friendship, caring, wisdom, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, happiness and joy. All of these are the end result of a growth process and cannot be acquired in any other way.
A lifestyle of acquiring and accumulating entangles the person seeking in rules, structures and systems which becomes complicated and exhausting. The simple life seeks to strip the individual from all of these encumbrances in order to be free to grow where planted and to eradicate all that hinders growth.
To embrace this alternative lifestyle is to cultivate a mind-set that encourages and promotes personal growth and knowledge of own personal worth to the greater good; humbleness and humility, accepting that you are enough.
May you travel light, unencumbered of envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.