Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Simplicity in itself

I am often drawn to stories, movies or other forms of entertainment that have a theme running through them of simpler times. For example, I am reading Jean Auel's Earth's Children series at the moment and I love to identify with the main character who is a woman living alone and is self sufficient, living off the land. If you are unfamiliar with her books, the Earth's Children series is set in ancient times (just after the dinosaurs and before Ancient Egypt *smile*) where people lived totally dependant on their skills and the knowledge of the Earth and it's abundance.

I have wondered occasionally why I might be drawn to such stories, even fantasy fiction that depicts a medieval theme. I think it is the concept of simplicity (or seeming simplicity), of concerns and worries centred only on whether enough food can be gathered and stored for the winter, on the best way to preserve and cure things for storage and the like. basically, where the only concerns were one of survival, and if that wasn't an issue, then no concerns!

Don't get me wrong, I am not about to give up running water, my computer, medical professionals or any other modern convenience I use in this modern time in order to go live a subsistence life in the bush as our ancestors did. However, my fascination with these stories has led me to ask whether the busyness we have in our current lives, is really that much beneficial for us? I think sometimes it is almost  a competition of "Who can be the busiest in a week." We try to get together for a coffee and a chat with friends, pull out our diaries and start trying to find a convenient time for everyone, comparing who's lives are busier than others; we update our face book status between commitments letting everyone know how busy we are or have been...I just wonder whether it is all really necessary? Some of my happiest moments are camping with my family and friends, no amenities, definitely no power, mobile phones, Internet etc, just us.

I don't think running away and forsaking all modern appliances is the answer *smile* that would be just a little hypocritical of me as I sit here typing away in order to send this message to the world via the Internet. I do think though, that our lives could be a bit simpler if we choose them to be.

I choose to grow as many fruits and vegetables in my small veggie plot as I can (you would be surprised by how much that is) and we eat to the seasons. I have learnt (via some very cool Internet sources *grin*) how to preserve the excess from the garden for times when not much is growing. I make a lot of our food from scratch avoiding bottled sauces, premade-just add this and serve type meals, I bought a bread maker to make all of our bread products and so on. Yes, all of this is time consuming compared to using convenient, ready to go stuff, but the difference it makes to our well being is extraordinary, not to mention the difference it makes to our budget not having to buy those things.

This is just one way I decided I could go back to a simpler way of being; this works for me and may not for you.

We also have game night and family time where we put aside all modern conveniences in order to just spend time together. When there were no T.V.'s, computers, radios etc, people spent time doing things together! The difference this has made to our children is noticeable, they love this time where more often than not, they are the focus.

There are so many ways I can think of to cut out some of the negative impact all these modern conveniences have on our lives without loosing the benefits! Having done a lot of them, I can proclaim that the small inconvenience that may arise from cooking a meal from scratch, or going without computers etc for a night, is well worth it when you balance it with the overwhelming positive connection to friends and family, the better health we enjoy and the happier "Mum" in this house.

Take a moment to think of a few ways in which you could "simplify" your life and move just a little away from the idea that modern and convenient is better. Turning off the T.V. and computer for a night and talking to your family and friends is a great way to start; the rewards are spectacular!

Simplicity is the key to hearing more clearly, focusing our intentions more directly on outcomes rather than "things", and strongly developing our intuitive senses.

With love and light

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