Inner Simplicity

Simple living is not only about using less of the world's resources and being 'green' and environmentally responsible. It is also about finding a deeper, more satisfying inner life and finding joy and delight in everyday things. 

We all tend to carry a lot of 'thought baggage' around with us. Worries, preoccupations, plans, reminiscences, rehearsals, puzzles, nostalgia, problematical issues, lists…there is no end to the mental junk that can rattle around in one's head in every waking moment. As I have explained in The Lilypad List, it can be very helpful to put this burden down sometimes, and rest. Because when we do, the world can suddenly become a lot clearer, fresher and brighter and we can discover new forms of delight. Just listening to a bird, walking barefoot on the beach, observing a baby, savouring a cup of coffee, sitting in a sidewalk café watching the passers-by…so many things can fill us with pleasure once our busy, restless minds have slowed down. 

I call this process having a 'time-out experience' (TOE). There are many ways of creating one of these. Here are just a few suggestions:

Go on a one-week media fast

To do this, for seven days watch no TV, read no newspapers, read no magazines. Stay away from online news sources. For one whole week, take absolutely no notice of what is happening out there in the world. 

Take time off work and go on retreat

You can either go to a retreat centre, create a retreat-style holiday or even design your own retreat at home. 
Sylvia Boorstein's book Don't Just Do Something: Sit There would come in useful if you want have a retreat right there in your own home. 

Go on a pilgrimage

You don't have to go all the way to Santiago de Compostela or even to follow one of the traditional pilgrimage routes. Any destination can serve as the focal point of a pilgrimage. Long-distance trails are ideal for this type of TOE and since they are usually described in sections you can pick a section that suits in terms of distance and the amount of time it will take to walk it. Even a short walk can be turned into a pilgrimage. 

Go swimming

Find a swimming pool with lanes marked and swim as many slow, steady laps as your fitness level will allow. As you swim, focus only on the rhythm of your swimming until, after a while, busy thoughts begin to drop away. 

Weed the garden

As you pull out weeds, weed out all the persistent and unnecessary thoughts that are buzzing around in your mind and focus, instead, on the sounds and smells of the garden and the feeling of having your hands in the earth. 

Read my stories about two special moments: 'The Delphi Moment' and 'The Fruit & Veggie Moment' …

 • … and try out The Raisin Meditation. 

Since outer simplicity and inner simplicity are inextricably entwined, you will find a lot more about inner simplicity in the book. I hope you'll read it.

Read about 'The Delphi Moment'

Read about 'The Fruit and Veggie Moment'

Try The Raisin Meditation

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