Posts tagged ‘simple lifestyle’

Finding Peace in Who I Am

Peace – The absence of war or other hostilities. An agreement or treaty to end hostilities. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Peace. We like the word. We hope for peace on earth. We dream of peace. We pray for peace. However, we see peace as something outside ourselves. Something that happens in the outside. Seldom do we relate to peace within, or when we do, we attach it to spirituality.

According to the above definition of peace, the absence of war and hostilities is necessary to achieve peace. There must be an agreement, a treaty, for peace to be possible. To achieve peace within, the same agreement with oneself must happen, not out of spirituality, religious beliefs, or a third-party (although those could be a door/a catalyst for some people) but out of acceptance and understanding. How can I find peace in who I am? And without involving third parties?

It is a question I’ve asked myself many times. It is an evolving question. As individuals, we grow and evolve. We fight outside wars and inner battles. We deal with feelings, emotions, and facts. We dream, we imagine, we hope, we love, we hate … . We embrace complexity, many times in the quest for simplicity, in the search for truth. I’ve come to the realization that for truth to be found there must be inner peace, and for inner peace to be present, there must be acceptance and understanding of my self, of the one who I am, the one who grows and evolves.

How do I find peace in who I am? By not fighting the process. By not being at war or resisting the inevitability of evolution. By agreeing to take every step in the journey in acceptance and understanding. Whether the battle originates internally, or is a result of focusing on the fire being directed from outside sources, the only way to achieve peace is by looking at my truth objectively, and understand, accept, that I am in the moment. The past I am is no more, and the future I am is an illusion. I am now, and as long as I understand and accept that, then I am at peace.

Thoreauvian Living – Is it for you? On less is more.

Henry David Thoreau – His philosophy is best described as a praise to simplicity, nature, and in more common terms, “less is more.” To live in truth and authenticity.

It is in our nature to search for truth, our truth, and it varies from person to person. When we find it (or think we do) we hold on to it despite social trends or what people may think. I see a movement of many souls wanting to return to simplicity and to nature. Whether they go back to farming, move to the country, embrace tiny-house living, or sell everything and make RV traveling/living their new surroundings and lifestyle, they are all yearning for the same – the sweetness of a simple life.

Many times, a catalyst in people’s lives causes the longing, followed by action and change. The person who has not gone through this process might not comprehend, or think of it as crazy, but only one who knows finds meaning in his/her new truth. It takes simplicity of heart and freedom of mind to embrace your truth, whether you find it in a cabin in the woods or in a penthouse on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.

To each its own, and to all, truth in being.

Crescent Moon, Rising Sun – On little by little, one step at a time.

This post is a reflection on my experience. At one point, I had become fully engaged in multiple goals, personal and professional – maybe too many. I had always been a dreamer, and the type of person who felt guilty if there was a slot of time not filled with something productive. Multitasking sounded more than acceptable, and I engaged in it as well. It was right of my alley. I put a lot of pressure on myself over the past 10 years to accomplish everything that I thought “was due.” Some things I did not accomplish, some I started and decided to stop because the time was not right for them to be fruitful, and others, I decided to put aside for good. At times, it felt as if I was swimming at high-speed not to miss the boat that was already gone, or so I thought. I tried to catch up with my dreams and with time. It was a matter of time before the crash.

I had to learn to slow down and live one day at a time. I discarded the word multitasking and adopted a new philosophy of living – one thing at a time, one day at a time. I stopped blaming “others and the situation” and accepted the truth – that I am the only one in control, and the one who sets the pace. I had to go back and retrain myself in various areas. I also learned to depend more on God and less on my vision of things, although I don’t consider myself a religious person in the popular meaning of the word. This process strengthened my faith and patience. I saw that I could express more little by little, step by step. I enjoy the task at hand more, and am able to widen my vision; I see more now. I trust God’s process more.

I was a heavy planner and I thrived on multiple lists both short-term and long-term, many times as far as a 10-year plan. I am not suggesting that planning is bad, on the contrary, it is healthy; obsessive or too much structured planning is not the best choice. I had to understand that life’s plans can change in a split of a second – it is called life. Life doesn’t get in the way, it just is. It is called living. I plan now for living, not for the sake of achieving. Some of you might argue that part of living is achieving, and I agree. I say that achieving without living is pointless.

Now, I look at a crescent moon slowly gaining its fullness. I look at the rising sun after the darkness, and I know that all happens one day at a time. All.

 

The Perpetual Planner

Although this year I’m living it at 000, each day anew, I understand the importance of healthy planning. We are starting a new year, so I want this post to be about planning in 2014. Are you a perpetual planner? Do you love goal-lists, to-do lists, and planning? I know I do; however, I have to keep myself in check (pun intended) otherwise, I may become a perpetual planner, a living-breathing human calendar, and we all know that is not good. Why? Because you run a thin line between perpetual planning and procrastination by it. Too many To-do lists and planning may keep you from doing. Whether we use planning as a good tool to advance us or as a safe heaven to keep us from jumping into the next step is up to us. Here are a few tips.

  • Research the goals you have in mind. You need to have as much information to clarify your goals. Warning – don’t run into perpetual research mode.
  • Clarify your goals (know what you want and why).
  • Think of a time-frame to achieve the goal (when).
  • Think of a way to do it (or ways). This is the How.
  • Once that is clear in your mind, it is time to put it in paper, bits at a time, following your calendar schedule for the year. Time to be specific.
  • Avoid the double plan. This is not about plan 2; it is about over-planning or making lists on top of lists that end up confusing or derailing you (believe me, I know). Stick to a clear black and white plan stated in simple terms. Gray areas might open doors to exploration, which may lead to over-planning or derailment. This is why you make a clear plan and stick with it. Don’t get me wrong, exploration and spontaneity are good, as long as they don’t open the door that will take you away from your main focus.
  • Always have a plan 2. If plan 1 (yes, I’m tired of the phrase plan A or plan B) doesn’t seem to be working modify it without changing your main goals, that is unless you find out that it is not a goal for you anymore, and in that case, this is why research helps in the beginning. But we are human, and we change, so if by the first quarter of 2014, you find that you are not sure you want to do what you set out to do, don’t drop it yet; do a little more research, and then, decide (exploration and spontaneity may help here). Sometimes, a bit more clarification is what you need to put you on track.
  • Acknowledge your efforts, and celebrate each milestone during the year. This is very important. I used to ignore this step, and because of it, my sense of progress was clouded, opening a door for frustration. When you go back and see how far you’ve come (quarterly is a good way to do it), then, it is as a fresh breath of air that propels you to the next stage (even when you might be your own cheerleader). This is necessary but human nature will tell you to skip it and propel ahead – don’t.
  • Evaluate your steps every quarter (or whatever works for you) and readjust your plan as needed, but not by over-planning.
  • Whether you achieve your goal or are almost there, realize that you are closer to it thanks to your healthy planning, and congratulate yourself. If you hit your goal, celebrate! Understand that you are human, and you might have it all down on paper, but life gets in the way sometimes, and after all, living life is what you do best, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Be grateful every step of the way.

Best Wishes for this year, and may you carry out your 2014 dreams.

 

Slow Down

Self made rainbow, made in home garden.

Image via Wikipedia

Many times I find myself rushing thru the day, even when there is plenty of time.  I have found myself writing a mile a minute when I could simply slow down the keyboard speed and let my thoughts flow.  Why is this?  I used to be a “take my time, smell the roses” person.  Somehow, I ended up in a frantic speed that certainly does not make sense.  When I look at people around me as I run errands, I see myself, rushing, running – when there is plenty of time.  The other day, I slowed down a bit, I realized that I had missed a lot of colorful roses along the way, because I went by too fast to notice them.  One thing is for sure, as I slowed down, spirit started talking, inspiration began to flow, and life’s colors started to paint a beautiful picture. 

Slowing down might be one of the best things we do to tap into our inspiring source.  It makes you stop and look at things in a different speed, the eye shutter lets light in and suddenly colors appear fresh.  Today, I invite all you to slow down a bit, and take in the air, the picture, the beauty of life around you.   No matter what your circumstances might be, when you slow down, you are forced to see, to listen, to taste, to smell, and to use whatever senses you have.