Learning to be in the present moment for conscious, whole and simple living.
'To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.' ~ John Burroughs
What does simple living mean? Does it mean that you are a ‘simple’ person? I think the word ‘simple’ has negative connotations. Somehow it infers that you are simple, or that you have a simple mind. It may also mean that you can’t afford to live a ‘better’ lifestyle, so now it is not a choice but a forced way of life. Simple living in this view is simply a material definition. It is not about actually choosing simplicity or choosing a different lifestyle. No one wants to live simply do they?
a better word be ‘wholesome’ living? Somehow, wholesome doesn’t
really stick either because wholesome means without sin, without
mistakes, somehow inferring a religious or more dogmatic way of being.
No alcohol, no drugs, certainly no sex – all pious and clean. All
things forbidden that might be ‘fun.’ No one wants simple living like
However, I do like the word ‘whole.’ Whole implies non-fragmented but integrated living. Maybe society would respond better to integrated living or living whole instead of ‘simple living.’ Yes, I like that. Living whole sounds like you know about integrating your body, mind and soul for health and healing in your life. This website is all about that!
Living whole would have to mean going beyond personal health and healing to become a total way of life – a self-examined way of life – a more conscious way. Living whole means living integrated with your personal values and your personal choices. These values have become integrated as a result of your conscious work on understanding your body, mind and soul.
Living whole is about choosing simplicity to find more room in your life for things that matter. Living whole now implies living life in a more spiritual fashion or if you chose, a more enlightened or conscious fashion.
What if you chose to be simple in all things and chose simple living? Meaning that you chose to make living more holistic or more spiritual or more conscious? What if you chose to tap into resources beyond the obvious, beyond the media, beyond the propaganda? Isn’t it the propaganda that trained our minds to believe what ‘simple’ means in the first place?
Can you truly know who you are as a being if you strip out that which you see everywhere, that which bombards you every day in the media? These images are those that send messages that try and often succeed in forming your image of yourself and the lifestyle you should lead. The commercials in magazines, TV and the Internet are plastered with thin, beautiful people, always in the best of fashion, with the woman (or man) on your arm, the fast car and the $5000 watch and the million dollar home.
It is almost impossible to keep from attaching to such images that shape you and brainwash you to believe that if you look like that and have all that you will find happiness. This is the brainwash that there is always something better out there. It keeps you buying. Then you buy but are not satisfied. Now there is yet something else to grab your attention that you are missing in your undeveloped psyche and your undeveloped life! You believe once again that your life will be better if you had this something else. This continues to support the brainwashing and so it goes on and on. (See Life is a Journey and The Secret to Happiness).
These images work because all of advertising is designed to hit at the very core of our humanness to sell to us that which we crave. The amount of research that goes into marketing is astounding – the key to what sells reveals to us what it is we really want and the ads manipulate us to buy. Ads manipulate us to believe that we can’t live without their product. We want beauty, sex, shiny, expensive objects, eternal youth and athleticism. This is why fashion is always changing, sexy people are always in the forefront, expensive objects are always present and why vitamins, supplements, exercise equipment, diets and plastic surgery will always sell. We crave, we buy, we crave more, and we buy more. We are manipulated to believe that we are ugly, old, fat, worn-out and deprived without their product(s)!
What if simple living meant a return to consciousness? Consciousness has a better connotation, doesn’t it? Being conscious understands that you are what you are and all is well. You are OK with that. Consciousness is becoming aware of the things in life that have true value, meaning beyond beauty, sex, shiny, expensive objects and eternal youth and athleticism.
Conscious, simple living and living whole is a choice. People who chose this lifestyle are ready for the changes that simple living requires that they make. Living whole is a choice to get back that which we know is in our body-mind-soul, what is the real truth but which we choose not to see.
We all know in our heads that love and compassion are better paths than commercialism. We all know where true wealth lies. We all know spending time building relationships with others, ourselves and with God is better. Yet we choose to go the path of the ordinary and get caught up with the wants and desires. It is our human condition. We are our own worst enemy. Choosing simplicity is the much harder path. Simple living is being happy with your current condition, your current moment in time. Being conscious of the moment, instead of living for the goal is very hard to do. It takes work. It takes effort.
We chose the dichotomy. We choose to live un-integrated lives, just like we choose to fragment our body from our minds and see them as separate entities (See the Body Window). We choose the dichotomy because it would take effort to choose simple living and conscious living.
You can have wealth and simple living. It just brings with it much more responsibility. Unfortunately a lot of you have wealth but still don’t believe it. You carry some nebulous goal of a million dollars, or 5 million, or whatever - then you will finally believe you are wealthy. However, if the conscious living does not match the wealth building, all too often the desire for more keeps raising your bar. More and more wealth is required for you to feel wealthy.
The value of wealth is in what it can be used for to help others. If you live a conscious and whole life by living more simply, you can build wealth and use it in a humanitarian way. Then your wealth becomes a tool for what is most important in your life. That which you value the most, that which will also help others the most.
To live a whole and conscious life with wealth can be difficult for those with inherited wealth. It requires an attitude of gratitude to keep it from becoming an attitude of entitlement. This is why so many children of wealthy magnates are spoiled brats, squandering away their entitlement with unconscious living.
Living whole, living consciously and simple living are the keys to keeping off the bandwagon that tries to convince you to believe everything you see and hear. Living whole and choosing to simplify are applying the belief that you are more valuable as you are than whatever society says you should be. Living consciously is applying value only to what has meaning to you personally.
I buy things and eat things and exercise and stay fit. I even try to look good, most of the time! I want comfort and pleasure and enjoyment in my life, like everyone else. With each purchase, however, every exchange of something for money, I am voting on what is important to me. Your money, your vote as the saying goes. This is more than a catchy line.
With each decision to buy something, I consciously make a choice. Do I really need this? Do I really want to create the space in my life for this (See Exercise Stretches - The Metaphor of Creating Space)? Do I really want to maintain this? Will owning this bring value to my life? Will owning this bring me more meaning or self-growth? Will I be able to help others more with this or improve my love and compassion towards others?
When I donate money I ask myself, is this an organization who’s mission I choose to support? Will my money help the most people possible? Will it make a real change or is it only supporting dogma? Donate not because you think you should, but because it will make a difference in lives. Donate your time if you can’t afford to donate money. Time also comes with a price and is as valuable as money.
When I purchase something or do something I try to raise my conscious regarding what impact on the earth it will have. If I buy bulk food items and avoid individual packaging will I save the earth more? If I save water by turning off the faucet when I brush my teeth, will that save a valuable resource? Will I increase the value of the earth if my home makes a smaller footprint? If I carpool or ride bike to work will the earth and my health be better?
You might be surprised that not only will living whole and living consciously (i.e., simple living) be easier on your budget, but it will help to save the planet as well. Kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think?
Remember that with your money that you chose to plunk down, you are making a vote. You are saying that I value this enough for myself and for my consciousness and my wholeness to exchange X amount of my life for this. I do this because I believe that my life will be better as a result of this exchange.
Makes you think twice about buying something, doesn’t it? If you choose conscious, whole and simple living it will affect your body-mind-soul. It will affect your total health and well-being. But you must choose this healing.
It is about choosing to simplify, choosing to live conscious and whole. You must learn to be in the present moment, enjoying that which is best because it is free.