Less is More. The Power of Simple Living
One of the most significant actions we can take for ourselves, our family and for the well-being of the world overall is to learn to slow down our lives and live a simpler lifestyle. We spend so much of our time working for things, working to survive and striving to get ahead. We feel a need to be successful in the modern economic and social world. This puts immense pressure on all of us and the effects of this stress is showing. People rush around with busy schedules, overworked, stressed to make it to the next appointment. The good news is this all can be reversed. By taking small steps of change towards slowing down our lives, we can transform ourselves and those around us in a positive way.
Our economic system is based on the outdated model of consumption. The basic assumption is this – the more people buy and the more we consume the better it is for our economy, ourselves and our society. This way of living is not a sustainable model nor is it healthy for those involved. Most of us can see that this is not a long term workable approach. We are now at a new age in which we can change this. There is a path in which we can take that can help change our society and world for the better. It allows the individual and family to step back, live with less stress, save resources, and also save money in the process. It is called “simple living”. I truly believe this is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the planet.
I am not talking about taking a vow of poverty or giving up your possessions. I am referring to the idea of consuming less and slowing down. Taking more time for yourself and family is a good thing. With this fundamental change we then can begin to find other roads to happiness with less stress and more time. We can find activities that take less money and that are gentler on our environment. We can create a lifestyle that is more balanced and harmonious. This benefits everyone. This is a simple step in which people can take without a lot of struggle or hardship. This step actually will free you to become a more conscious and satisfied human being.
Many years ago, after not finding satisfaction in a fast paced world, I decided to step back and try my best to live simply and consciously, choosing to make less money, but having more free time for myself and my family. This one step has changed my life. Granted it has not always been an easy path. Our society bases so much of our success on the status of having money and affluence. Choosing to live a simple lifestyle, even if its done voluntarily, is not very popular and at times I struggled with this. Yet when do we begin to teach people, including our children, that there is a healthier way to live? When is it a good time to alter a destructive pattern and live by example? These are questions that aren’t always easy to answer. It is indeed challenging to pull away from the dominant paradigm and live a different lifestyle. I raised my kids the best I could, gave them lots of love, had extra time for activities and quiet time, made enough income to provide the basic necessities for them, and in the process I feel I taught them some important values and lessons. We also consumed less and made a small statement towards a more sustainable model of living. From what they have told me and how they live their lives now my example has helped them on many levels. They of course will follow their own path, but opportunities to educate others by the way we personally live are I believe the best way to teach.
I do not have the answers on how you should live your life. It is your choice and life to live. I am merely suggesting that there is perhaps a better way to live if you want to find peace within and if you also want to make a personal difference in the world. Taking small conscious steps is the key. It starts with ourselves and reverberates outward. What we buy, what we consume, and the way we live our lives does make a difference. Instead of telling someone how to live, you start by living it yourself. This is how new paradigm leaders will lead, by the example they live. This is how our non-violent evolution takes place. We tell our world, through example, that there is a better way. That there is indeed a more sustainable and joyful way to live our lives. It all starts with ourselves.
Need ways to slow down your life and live simply? Here are some steps you can take
1. Take time to yourself. Schedule fewer activities for yourself and family.
2. Take time for solitude. Get out for a hike in nature. Sit in a quiet place for 30 minutes. Take some quiet reflective time each day.
3. Take at least one day off of activities or work. Make some idle time where you can relax and unwind.
4. Consume less. Find activities and ways to enjoy life without buying more things to make you happy.
5. Cut down on your expenses. Decide to spend less on consumption. Less money stress will make your life more meaningful.
6. Live a simpler lifestyle. Slow down. Live with just what you need for basic necessities. Teach others by example.
Brian M Heater is an author and mindfulness coach & counselor. He offers personal one-on-one coaching and counseling as well as workshops & retreats throughout the year.
For more information on his various services, free articles and other information please visit http://www.transformingourselves.com.