You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level. ―Eckhart Tolle
Who are you, really?
If you remove all that is unnecessary, frivolous, or egoic, what is left?
I think of trading indulgences for simplicity; trading confinement for freedom and peace.
The price of any trade varies—but what is worth more, your time or your money?
Your time is certainly worth more. Money can always be replaced. Your time in this body is limited.
Confinement is a choice.
Knowing this truth can have value, even if it’s only to a small extent.
If you decide to find comfort in confinement, you may end up losing more than you bargained for.
What if you knew that your current way of life would lead you on a path of dissatisfaction, pain, and chronic disease?
Being sedentary and sitting most of the day takes a serious toll on your physical health.
Being confined indoors under over-illuminated, non-natural lighting isn’t ideal. If you combine that with keeping your same schedule through the long winter months, the season change will negatively impact your wellness.
You wake up for work when it’s completely dark outside. The sun sets so early that you barely have time for anything else besides eating dinner and going to bed.
What if you knew how fantastic it felt to flow with the sunrises and sunsets, day in and day out? Instead of the start time your employer prescribes, decide for yourself. Try flowing with the sunrise and sunset as much as possible, and you will experience immense joy.
What if you lived this way of life where this felt completely natural and real—not something that you just dreamed up, but actually how your life is day in and day out?
Choosing to hold hands with uncertainty. Deciding to trust your intuition and take chances instead of following what everyone is telling you that you should do.
Jimmy Eat World’s song “The World You Love” says that, “we’re only just as happy as everyone else seems to think we are.”
But I don’t agree with that. When you get down to it, what other people think about our lives is not what it’s all about. It’s about experiencing real love, appreciation, joy, and gratitude with people that you care for and trust.
It’s not about the amount of friends, followers, likes, or shares on social media. Not at all.
It’s about experiencing a fulfilling connection with other humans (and animals, too!)
It’s about being outside and getting in touch with nature more frequently than you sit indoors.
It’s about choosing to actively participate in your own experiences. That means less time on phones, more time actually listening to each other.
It’s about being content in the present moment and finding peace in your daily life.
Living is about so much more than striving for attention and validation from your peers.
You can’t thrive on friendships solely experienced through social media. If all your friendships only exist through social media, you may find yourself striving, struggling, and failing to experience real friendship, even though you feel like you’re “doing everything you’re supposed to be doing.”
Connection is an essential ingredient for a life well-lived. How you use your body and mind is equally as important.
What’s the true price of your health and longevity?
Would you rather make an extra effort now, or later—knowing that if you do it now, it will make things slightly better later?
Deep down, I know I would rather change my lifestyle now. The idea of later is just a distant dream. The truth is that if I stick to this sedentary lifestyle, the idea of longevity will drift away.
I want to be absolved of these incessant obligations. I feel stuck on the path I’ve chosen through my education, career, and life. There are ideas about what I should do according to my parents and society. Most people would call me crazy if they knew I regularly think about “retiring” from a traditional job—choosing to give up job security in favor of forging my own path.
I continuously prepare myself mentally for this change that will inevitably happen someday. Every so often I’ll take a whole day to myself where I pretend that walking my own path is my job. Those days tend to be enjoyable and productive.
But still, I cling to the remains.
I cling to the remains of a life I actually no longer want to live. A house in the crowded suburbs with a mini yard. We’re crushed by the weight of expectations to spray our yard with chemicals to make it look green and spotless. We’re stifled by expectations to always keep our dogs quiet.
I can let this go.
But this has to be somewhat of an exaggeration, isn’t it? There were so many good moments in this house—I feel that I’m just being sentimental. I’m clinging to what I can see: the layout, wall colors, lighting fixtures, decorations—just the physical aesthetics of the place.
It’s possible to let it all go. Really, let it go.
At the same time, I still cling.
I cling to these moments with Joel, Mochi, and Waffles. I’m sure we would have our moments in a new house, but still. It’s just the fear of massive change. Uprooting your life and all your possessions is a big deal, especially for someone with too many things. That’s why I’ve been working towards releasing more and more of my possessions.
And so, this becomes a journey of learning how to let go.
It’s about asking the hard questions. Like, “do I really need this?”
If I can let sugar and gluten go, then there’s just a lot of possibility to what else I can let go, too.
It’s asking, “How can I travel more sustainably?”
Or rather, “How can I create a lifestyle that is satisfying without the need for continuous travel?”
These are hard questions.
When simplicity and sustainability are the goals, you will be faced with the hard questions. It’s worth getting a little uncomfortable to really think about these questions in order to potentially change your life.
That’s what this is all about. Following your intuition. Daring to deviate from the prescribed path of life.
There’s more to life than what exists within the suburbs. I’ve seen it, felt it, tasted it. But it’s not the life I have right now. Spending a few days in the country every week is not enough. By the time the weekend is over, I’m just getting warmed up to the farm lifestyle.
Learning how to garden and take care of things on the farm really excites me, but I haven’t done it yet. Instead of doing that one weekend, we went back to our home in the suburbs, back to our daily lives. We had to prepare ourselves to get through the week. That was my excuse, anyway…
I don’t know how many more days, weeks, or months we’ll live in the suburbs. The change will happen when it’s the right time, I’m sure.
You see, I’m content with the uncertainty of it all now. There’s something powerful in being content with what you have now rather than constantly looking forward.
If you’re always looking forward in time, you’re not looking at what’s going on right now in time. You’ll never have this present moment again. It slips away faster than you’d imagine. Always savor the precious moments that occur before your eyes.
So, here we are. Living in the suburbs by weekday, and enjoying the country by weekend.
Finding a balance between the two is a struggle. When I’m in the suburbs, I find myself craving the country setting. And when I’m in the country, I find myself craving a more permanent home situation there.
It’s a challenge, but it’s a possibility. I’m striving to stay present and grounded, no matter where I am physically.
Identifying who you are at the deepest level can help grow a sense of contentedness and purpose, regardless of where you live. It can help reveal your true inner-self.
Who am I at the deepest level? My answer:
I am a healer. A mama bear to my pups. An outdoors-woman. A daughter of the moon and the ocean.
I’m deeply in tune and in love with the earth, nature, and all its processes.
I’m fascinated with energy, the mind, consciousness, and the unknown mysteries of the universe.
I’m gentle, open, and giving—yet sensitive to a fragile extent sometimes.
I’m clumsy and I lack a sense of time—but I’m aware and precise.
I’m dedicated to this journey of mindfulness and healing—to sharing these words, stories, and experiences in hopes it will help other people on a similar journey.
That’s the beauty of words. We all have the ability to write our own stories.
So, who are you at the deepest level?