This column is about our story and how to live a simple life.
The word simple should not be heard as basic, restrictive or boring. Simple living doesn’t mean you have to give up your smart phone, dress in rags and become macrobiotic.It doesn’t mean either ‘doing everything yourself’ from soap to bread. None of that.
Simple living is about living smart. It is about bringing joy, connections and meaning to our lives. Simple living takes us to (re)connect with what originally makes us humans, and that is:
- be with members of our tribe, (not ‘be’ on the internet or SMS, but a real ‘be’, one with mind & body connections)
- feel and display emotions, (not just the ‘like’ on social media or a 🙂 on messenger, but a real connected face-to-face “I like what you say”, or “I don’t agree with you, can we debate this in a gentle and caring way?”)
- continuously improve our skills or build new tools, (and learn again how to use a paper map instead of solely relying on Sat Nav!)
As the systems around our lives get seemingly more and more complicated, and our life skills get systematically outsourced to internet-base knowledge banks, we take refuge in our own homes, in front of the computer, the tablet or the box.
We visually disconnect ourselves to the very people in front of us, on train platforms, at the shop register, with our children at their swimming class…
We scream for more time yet we lose precious hours trying to get the printer to print that new picture of bubba so we can keep it in the small transparent window of our wallet, while the very person on the picture is calling for attention next to us.
Isn’t that crazy? We do things like that all the time, don’t we!
Don’t get me wrong, our nerdiness is good, useful and made us move forward as a civilization, but it is now taking us backwards on this wonderful evolutionary ascent as a homo sapiens race. Sapiens is ‘wise’ in Latin.
I feel we are loosing our ‘sapiens’ quality and that it is a pressing issue to bring some down-to-earth simplicity to our human pursuits, to use our brains again, to connect and just ‘be’…
Since mindfully embarking myself and my family to living more simply, I started to smile to people, all the time, wherever I went. Smiling to them meant connecting with them, at least visually.
“Them”. There is such a strong sense of disconnect when we say “them”. I admit I know nothing of these people around me, yet, I smile to them, to make them feel less “them” and more “me”, more “we’re two homo sapiens shopping at our local supermarket at the same time”!
Some people glanced back thinking ‘why is this weirdo smiling at me?’ but most smiled back. And just then, when their smile opened up their heart, it felt all fuzzy inside my own heart.
For us, this is how simple living begins – finding our space in our own tribe.
See you at one of our courses to learn more about permaculture and simple living.
- Part-time Permaculture Course held on our farm in Jilliby (NSW Central Coast) – 8 August to 12 November 2016
- Residential Permaculture Course held with John Champagne and Megan Cooke at Garden to Table in Pacific Palms, NSW – 19 November to 1 December 2016