My transition to the simple life was gradual and mostly came by subconsciously.
It started with me knowing what I did not want in life and seeking an alternative that suited my personality and worldview. Only after the fact and in hindsight my route to this chosen lifestyle becomes apparent for its part in my life’s journey.
I did not want to be part of the rat race. I did not pursue recognition, accolades and rewards. I did not desire my time to be managed and controlled by an invisible system that required blind faith and loyalty from me, which exacted high payment and commitment from me in return for the privilege of being taken care of by this very system. I did not want to be constantly busy DOING things, taking action, fulfilling tasks and functions that were demanded by and to the satisfaction of the system but left me feeling bereft and empty.
I hated doing the whole ‘networking’ thing, constantly building contacts seemingly to the benefit of all the parties, but in reality only for individual gain. I abhorred the superficial friendliness and convivial gatherings where everybody wanted to know about what you were doing and knew nothing of who you were.
I loathed the constant self-promotion and the need to proof your value to others, but even more the constant competition to be better than your peers, colleagues and friends, the pressure to be the best in your field and at what you were doing.
To me, money was not the objective or the goal neither was individual achievements, accomplishments and performance. I did not buy into the lie that money makes the world go around and I definitely was not interested in gathering and hoarding an ever increasing number of possessions.
The western culture and its peculiar mindset and worldview was not a comfortable fit for me and not the setting in which I desired to spend the rest of my remaining life. By the time I actually realized what it was what I wanted from life, I had spent many years trying to extricate myself from this ensnaring system.
I longed for true heartfelt collaboration, for connection to like-minded people whose concern was not for gain but for contribution. I desired to be part of a community where the benefit of the group was valued more than individual concerns.
I yearned for a reconnection to nature, the natural cycles of life and partnership with the natural elements that surrounded me.
I needed to reconnect to my authentic self.
In December 2006 I consciously broke my association with the rat race when I closed down my counseling practice of thirteen years and set out on a journey to find the lifestyle and community that I longed for. Since then, my life has taken numerous interesting turns and I have ventured into areas that I before did not even knew existed. I choose to live from day to day and from moment to moment, electing to remain open to and aware of my own, unique experience of life as it presents itself.
I have found a connection with nature, the natural life cycles and elements around me that I could never have envisage. I have stumbled onto a lifestyle exceeding my highest expectations. I am however, still looking for a community where I can add my value to.
I am no longer living a lifestyle of busyness and constantly DOING, of executing system-demanded actions and activities, but of BEING and MAKING. I have embraced my unique blue-print and am living it. Every action that I take is flowing out of who I am and who and what I choose to be in that moment. I make the time to think about and reflect on the things that are important to me, developing my value and belief system as well as my worldview. I know what I believe and what I stand for. I know what I will go to battle for and so I can be selective in choosing my confrontations and my engagements, giving me the freedom to respond to situations and events and not to be reactive.
I create the space to feel my true emotions and meditate on them, releasing my imagination and growing my creativity. I take the time for contemplation, seeking wisdom and insight to come to me, heightening my ability for empathy, compassion and caring.
I make myself fully available in the moment to observe occurrences, people and places for what they seem to be in the moment, combining my observations to evidence-based fact to ground me in empirical thinking and logic, enabling me to think for myself and make informed decisions.
I have the time to make conversation with others, to make myself fully available to them, to give undivided attention and uninterrupted, leisurely connection. I have the time to give a supportive hand, a comforting embrace or a listening ear. I have the time to encourage, motivate or to just be there.
I have the time to grow our own food and to prepare our meals from scratch. I have the time to patiently wait for seeds to sprout, seedlings to grow to maturity, for vines to bear fruit and for the joyous time of harvest and celebration. I have the time to find creative uses for the produce that the season and nature gives us.
I have the time to make slow, sweet love to my partner, building our deep connection. I have the time for morning cuddles and late night whispered conversations. I have time for silly, playful encounters and long, philosophical conversations. I have the time to be there for and with him. I have the freedom to be me with him. I have the time just to be.
I have time for all the things that I value in life, the things that make my heart sing and my spirit soar, the things that make me flourish in the place where I find myself at the moment. I have time for slow living and to fully enjoy the gifts and privileges of a simple life.
I have time to cultivate creative solutions to problems while working with what I have to my disposal. I have time to be patient and compassionate. I have time to create and tell stories, to write poems which capture and record our history at this time.
I have time to be aware of the radical global changes taking place and the effects and influences thereof on society. I have time to be adaptable and flexible in order to be reshaped for a new season. I have time to wait for my transformation.
I have time. I have life. I am me.
©Micelle Coetsee 2016