Living Simply and in Harmony

In recent years I’ve been observing a miraculous trend occurring! In many countries there has been a gradual shift towards growing vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs in home gardens. This trend is a reversal from the big agri-business mono-culture cropping, which was once touted as the solution to feeding the world’s masses.

That huge experiment, as we are all rapidly becoming aware, has been a total failure and disaster. Mono-cropping and bio-engineering of seeds and plants has resulted in the denuding of essential minerals and trace elements from soils;  the continual erosion of Earth’s top crust (topsoil) and the incredible depletion of prosperity in the farming community.

There are declining harvests in those fields that are being mono-cropped. We are now experiencing a critical lack of diverse food crops available for general consumption. ‘The Good Food Revolution – Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities’ by Will Allen is a great read for understanding the history of our farming industry.

Like many individuals in recent years I’ve yearned to live a more sustainable life. No matter where I’ve lived I’ve been fortunate to have a small garden in which to grow vegetables and herbs. In addition, access to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and local farmers’ markets has ensured that to some degree I’ve enjoyed high quality organic produce. This is a brief video clip that shows just how a family has been able to create a more natural and sustainable way of life —

 When I encounter individuals who are living off the grid (without public utilities), who have sufficient acreage to plant a vast array of foods and who are truly living the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ principles the desire to do more surfaces.

On a deeper level the desire to return to a simpler and healthier lifestyle is emerging – as I believe is occurring for many other individuals. In recent years, while living in New York I encountered countless people who expressed a desire to return to living off the land, not necessarily to establish a farm, but instead to become more self-reliant and more closely connected to the cycles of nature. Here in Australia I also observe the desire for community, co-operation, collaboration and sharing of resources.

Living in Bondage

Yet, in the midst of this reverting to a simpler life we are still in bondage to systems that demand we live a certain lifestyle. Here I refer to the endless feeling of being stuck in a rut, working for The Man, needing to pay for basic living costs, having limited choice options, being reliant on choices that are pre-determined by corporations, having a mortgage and generally not seeing a way out of the co-created reality that is primarily dependent upon a crumbling financial system.

And, let’s be totally honest, our financial system isn’t working. The high level of debt experienced by the average person attests to this. We are gearing our lives to a system that enslaves and keeps us in bondage – and all the time we hope (and pray) that the financial situation improves. 

While we continue subscribing to dated and failing systems (and beliefs) we continue creating more of the same. Winning the lottery isn’t likely to happen for the majority of people so what can we do to begin feeling more empowered and in charge of our life?

De-cluttering is Essentail

The first thing I often recommend is letting go of clutter. This may relate to physical clutter that is over-crowding your living space. It may be emotional and mental clutter. It may possibly even be the clutter of a life that is overly filled with activities and people, which keeps you from finding the space and time in which to reflect and clarify your priorities.

Just clearing the physical clutter leaves space for new energy to flow into your life. While it may be difficult to let go of books, music, clothing and personal stuff it is surprisingly restorative and energizing to do so.

Undertaking practices such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and living in the moment supports the de-cluttering of both emotions and mental processing. De-cluttering these is critical to the process of gaining clarity and stepping into a new phase of empowerment. It is only by letting go of extraneous stuff that clarity and insightfulness can occur.

Differentiate Wants and Needs

The second suggestion is to become clearer in relation to ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. Our society has adopted consumerism as a major lifestyle priority. Yet, I doubt this provides lasting satisfaction. In most instances the high that is evoked when a new product is purchased quickly diminishes. This means that additional consumerism is needed to maintain that artificial high. Instead, I recommend asking a couple of simple questions when contemplating yet another act of consumerism: “Do I need this?” and “Do I want this?” Once there is a clear and obvious response it becomes easier to say ‘no’ to the wants and to focus on needs only, thereby leaving energy and time to be gainfully employed in other satisfying and fulfilling activities.

Find Your Passion

Another suggestion for creating a state of self-empowerment and simplicity is to engage in activities that excite and generate a feeling of passion. Finding just what your passion is can be challenging as societally we’ve been conditioned to doing specific things because they’re expected of us. How often are we given the option to explore and experience our true passion? Connecting with what excites you, brings you joy and for which you feel a huge commitment is vitally important to wellbeing and physical health.

Beginning the process of living simply, and possibly even alternatively, requires knowing oneself well. This can only be attained through a process of cleansing and removing the impediments or blockages that keep you trapped in the predominant paradigm of conformity and playing by the rules that have been set arbitrarily by tradition and dated belief systems.

It’s time to make changes that benefit you, society and the world at large! This is not a time for dithering thinking that possibly next month or next year is the time to begin. We are living in a time of major change on all levels. Consciously making changes on the personal level supports changes on globally.