“Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Wisdom of Confucius
I like to be barefoot, I like to take it slow. I enjoy riding a bike, and I enjoy being near the water. I like finding beauty in my life where I hadn’t noticed it before. I like to have time to think before I speak and I like to feel connected to the ones I love. I like to spend time with horses and I like to walk my dog. I like to live simply.
I’m moving more toward a simpler life as I continue on this journey. I have been moved to clean out my entire house this summer and shed myself of anything that has no purpose or meaning. I’ve shed the clutter in my house as I’ve tried to clear out the negative thoughts that clutter my head. With less “stuff” to worry about, I find it easier to live mindfully in the moment and create space to really connect with my friends and family.
I want to feel light, I want to feel fresh. I want to hear wind chimes and birds singing when I step outside into the cool morning air. I want to feel unencumbered by technology and start my day with my own thoughts. I like the smell of hot coffee and the feel of warm morning sun as I start my day. I want to live simply, but I also want to think gently.
This pull toward a simpler existence has spun my mind in directions it’s not used to. With a life cluttered with tasks and too much “stuff”, I found my mind was constantly on high volume and there were several thoughts competing for my attention at once. Living simply is not just about my surroundings and my belongings, it’s about living with more ease on the inside as well. Being kind and gentle with myself involves an effort in my body, mind and spirit. Quieting the alarms that have been pre-set for ages has not been easy. Slowing down and trying to think one thought at a time has been a way to start. Deep breath, look at the sky, close your eyes. Exhale. Move on.
I do love the hardly bearable feeling of craving something that I want so badly that I can barely stand still, but I enjoy the calming, soothing feeling of swinging on a hammock in the afternoon more. I appreciate the feeling of yugen which is to awaken an array of inner thoughts through mere suggestion. It is an intense, breathless feeling of inspiration and beauty. But, a feeling such as yugen is meant to be enjoyed in small doses. You can’t live in a state that takes your breath away, but you can revel in it for a moment, appreciate it, and find joy. Thinking gently is about finding a state of mind that you can enjoy and still be a productive, functioning member of your life.
Find balance, seek peace, crave joy.
When you learn to think gently, the volume is lowered and the level of intensity becomes manageable. If you are kind to yourself and treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love, you may begin to notice more calm feelings and find more space for relaxing in your life. Gone are the days of feeling guilty for taking a moment to myself. I’ve reached the age of permission and I’ve earned my right to feel happy just by being born.
We deserve to be happy. So I’m choosing to live simply and think gently.
photos from morguefile.com