“It is exhilarating to be reminded here that the real meaning of simplicity is singling out what is worth living for, and then shaping our lives around what matters and letting go of everything else.” Eknath Easwaran
When I first started thinking of resolutions for the new year, habits that I wanted to instill, routines I wanted to make a part of my life, one of the first things that popped into my head was that I really want to live as much of a natural and organic lifestyle as possible. However, I didn’t really have a game plan to take on this challenge. I told myself I’d eat healthier and use reusable shopping bags as much as possible. Little did I know that living a natural life encompassed a lot more than just using reusable shopping bags.
Luckily as the year went on, I’ve had many an opportunity to learn more about living a natural life. I’ve met some pretty awesome people, and had conversations about living a simpler life, a no-impact life, a raw life, etc. The more I heard these words come up, the more I started to do research and reconfigure my idea of a “natural and organic life”.
I don’t think my answer was completely finished until I read the book Discovering Your Hidden Spiritual Resources by Eknath Easwaran. He has an entire chapter on living a simple life. I finally got it.
Living simply is more than just an external way of life; it starts with an internal attitude and a fresh perspective. I realized that I’m going to have to do a whole lot more than just eat organic and use reusable shopping bags. A simple life to me is about not being attached to all the things we surround ourselves with. Absolutely use all of the technological devices you have sitting around your house, but realize that at the end of the day that those things don’t define your status, they don’t define your well-being, and most importantly they don’t define you. Living simply is about having a positive outlook on life. There’s no point in wasting your time focusing in on the bad stuff that’s going around. In a simple life, the goal is to let go of our own egos, and begin to act and think from a place of pure love and compassion. Pay attention to the creations of this Earth. Eat healthy, use reusable shopping bags, love your friends and family, walk instead of drive—all of this is living simply.
Here are 5 easy ways to start living a simpler life:
- Eat dinner at home. Make dinner at home and turn it into a family production. This way, you’re spending good, quality time with your loved ones, you are cooking yourself so you know exactly what’s going into your food (made at home meals tend to be a lot healthier than meals we eat at restaurants), and you’re not using your car.
- Go for a walk. Spend time with Mother Nature, and take in the beauty this world has to offer. If you can, try to walk or use your bike instead of driving your car. This way, you’re getting exercise, and you start to appreciate the little beauties.
- Volunteer. Giving back to the community that we live in is such a simple and easy way to show our gratefulness. It is also a great reminder to count our own blessings.
- Recycle! Have you ever wondered what the Earth is going to look like in 20, 50, 100 years? Sometimes I’m scared to think about it. We have become so harsh to the planet that provides so much to us. Let’s start living a gentler life, and help Mother Earth as much as possible. Just think, our great, great, great, great grandchildren should be able to reap the benefits of this home as much as we do!
- Meditate, Introspect, Journal. Okay, this is technically a 3-in-1, but they all do similar things, and that’s helping us get in touch with our true selves. When we spend a little time with ourselves, without distraction, we begin to dig deeper. We start to realize who we really are and what makes us, us. Give yourself a little self-love every now and then. We are all beautiful beings.