The (not so simple) act of simplifying our lives is more important than ever. Technology has sped up our brains and our fingers, our eyes and our ears to the point that I am not sure we are listening to what goes on around us. We are not seeing clearly what is right in front of our eyes.
Let me introduce to you 9 reasons that this simple revolution is necessary. Not starting tomorrow or the day after, but right now!
no. 1 – The food most of us are eating isn’t really food. It looks similar to the fruits and vegetables that we remember as children, yet the modern diet is full of agricultural chemicals and artificial fertilizers and devoid of nutrients necessary for human health. Vitamin supplements should not replace what you should be receiving from your breakfast, lunch and dinner. We must start eating real food, organic (yes, uncertified too!) whenever possible! Start with a small container garden, a few tomatoes and peppers, move onto potatoes – or grow some wheat germ on your windowsill. It takes one small step to start making a big change in the way you eat and relate to food – a little switch in your thinking.
no. 2 – Health. Health? Are we really healthy or are we just pretending to be, while believing that pharmaceuticals have all the answers? When you have a headache do you pop an aspirin or do you reach for your feet? For some good old reflexology that is…acupressure works well too. Neither of these require anything more than your hands. While we are here, when was the last time you had an herbal tea? Nettle, raspberry leaf, alfalfa, linden, anise, fennel, yarrow or the like. When you begin to simplify your health through herbs and diet your body (and mind) will benefit by a boosted immune system and in return, self confidence.
no. 3 Water conservation is often pushed to the side and down the drain. Watering lawns to keep them green is not going to save the planet and to add insult to the matter – quite often the soil is acting like a sponge for fertilizers and weed killers. Clean drinking water is scarce in many countries, while at the same time others are drinking chlorinated tap water. We all know that water is essential to life, let’s keep our waters clean!
no. 4 The packaging and consumer waste issue is getting out of hand. Here is something simple that you can do – carry a handbag to the grocery store (natural materials only please!), buy in bulk when and where you can – these little acts of conscience do matter and it does not take more than a moment’s thought to do the right thing.
no. 5 Exercise. Not in the conventional sense that you drive to the gym and hop on a treadmill or any sort of machine that helps you lift weights – what I am talking about is moving your body and getting something done. Perhaps riding your bicycle to the local farmer’s market or grocery store, bending and stretching in the garden while you plant seeds or reach for some weeds to add to your salad.
no. 6 Start cutting out television and you will find that there are many hours in the day for family activities. Take your child into nature and study the behavior of insects, trace leaves and go for a swim in natural waters. Kids will appreciate the time away from the computer and the nonsense commercials full of color and motion.
no. 7 When was the last time you saw a chicken? other than in a book?? or a cow for that matter, that grazes in green grass rather than being contained behind bars and fed GMO corn??? Have you ever seen a free range pig? Your heart will rejoice when you see animals being treated fairly. Take the meat from the supermarket for granted and you are turning a blind eye to what is going on behind the scenes. Raise responsibly, eat responsibly, live responsibly. It is good for your soul.
no. 8 What happens to all of the clothes at Wal-Mart that never get sold, or Banana Republic for that matter, or when the last Louis Vuitton handbag goes “out of season” – what happens to the remnants? Perhaps we can avoid stuffing the shelves if more artisans were in business and items were made to order. If only we knew how much was enough?! The short answer is: that the answer is different for everybody – yet if we look within ourselves the conclusion is not so deep, we all have the ability to moderate how much we eat, how much we buy and how much we consume.
no. 9 Live simply – so that future generations may enjoy all that this Earth has to offer. It is not too late to begin minimizing our impact on the environment. The moment that you think that it is, then we, as a species, have failed. We are not giving up so easily, a bright future with rotating wind turbines and a backdrop of wildflowers is on the horizon…dream it, carry it out and the past will become only a memory. Now is the time to do something right.
Commerce has inundated our senses with gadgets, commercials, slogans, eye-catching colors…the list can go on and on. But you – the consumer – can turn your head, wear earplugs, shut your eyes or simply choose to think for yourself.
Let’s get back to basics and learn to enjoy a simple life for all it is worth. And that, for me, is a lot.