It’s not new news. I’m always happier when I have less: less stuff and possessions, less responsibilities, decisions and plans, less noise, content and media. I’m lighter and freer, more connected to my life. And I like who I am sooooo much more – kinder, compassionate, more skillful, open and present.
I know this already. Truth be told, I’ve known it for over 20 years – my first big travel adventure with one backpack for a whole year was a great lesson. And YET – I have this weird (and strangely admirable) capacity for forgetting what is most true and essential. Like ALL. THE. TIME! There's these flashes of wisdom and insight, and then Poof. gone. Perimenopausal brain fog has added a humorous extra dollop of forgetfulness into this party mix.
……what was I just talking about? Oh yes,
I forget this truthi-truth so often, probably because I live in a culture that constantly tells me (nay, insists!) I need more. More stuff, more friends, more success and money, more posts and likes, more attention, more dopamine, more responsibilities - oh and bigger! Mmmm yes, bigger please. Bigger job title, bigger house, car, audience, budget, plans and dreams – cripes even bigger boobs and lips (what the actual…?)
Our culture tells me if I have more and bigger, then I’ll be happy and feel ok. So off I trot, chasing my tail like a mad squirrel - all in the pursuit of that elusive feeling of contentment and wholeness. And don’t get me wrong – it may not be big houses or cars these days, but it can sneak under the radar in the guise the wellbeing with the ‘right’ supplements, leggings, busier schedule, more content. Same nonsense – just a different outfit.
And it works….for about 2.5 seconds. Only to then be chased by that restless hunger once again - looking for the next hit. It’s like sugar, with the exciting and jangly short-term, empty ‘high’, followed by a crash and compulsion for the next fix. Sigh. Such is the cycle we all get caught on – maybe you can relate?
That's why I'm hiring for this full-time position. I’m looking for a special someone who’d be kind enough to follow me around and constantly remind me of this piece of wisdom: “do less, own less, consume less – you’ll feel better, I promise. You’re welcome”. Yep, it’s come to this. This is what it may take for me to stay awake!
Any takers? Please note, I can only pay in kind – my hugs are amazing, and I make the best, health-deslish soups. These things can go far in filling us up.
Now, I’m a long way from a minimalist lifestyle (there’s no way you’re prizing my sticky fingers off those books and plants my friend!) but I do aspire to many of the principles.
Even beyond just the material nonsense - how much do I really need to own, have, read, know, say, hear, consume, watch, engage, show up or even be seen?
There is of course a balance, and my body is my greatest trusted ally here; this sweet, warm animal will always tell me the truth. And it’s pretty clear in saying, my life needs space for me to be healthy – my head needs space to think, my body needs space to relax and find ease, my day needs space to mean something, my relationships need space to breathe, change and evolve and my heart needs space to metabolise all of the experiences passing through.
It seems fitting I end this chapter, sitting lakeside in Canada – in the middle of nowhere. My nearest neighbour is 3k away, and I like that just fine. The silence is like a duvet on a sick day, wrapping me up and gently holding me together.
I’ll be heading home in a few weeks, and I know the pull to jump back in to the ‘hustle’ will be strong. But my desire to live fully is stronger. I am the creator of my life (if not me, then who is?), we all are - and we get to choose, moment to moment, how we shape that life. If we created it, we can change it or even dismantle it. It’s scary I know, but heck, life is short dear one – and I don’t want any of us to miss the delicious fullness of our brief time here.
My invitation to you. Look at your plan for the day - pick the thing you least want to do and deduct 10-15mins from the time planned doing it. With that time – leave your phone home, and go outside – no matter how cold!, and walk with no agenda. Just breathe, meander, pay attention, receive and feel how alive it all is out there, how alive you are in there! Or even more radical, do nothing. Yep, you heard me, nada. Go on, I dare you!
Go lightly, and always, ALWAYS with love