Learn to Abide by the Rule of Simplicity
A dear friend told me recently that that human beings are hard-wired to share, to distribute their wealth, and to support each other. Apparently, that’s our natural state. However, for generations, perhaps since the affluent 1950s, we’ve gotten so set in our collective conspicuous consumption lifestyles that we’ve forgotten our roots. If my friend is right, then we have everything we need right now, and we can relearn how to live in simple abundance.
If we are, indeed, hardwired to share and to nurture each other, where do we begin? Let me suggest a gratitude journal. Find yourself a gorgeously covered blank-page book, or decorate your own covers. Get a pen you really love—one that feels great and writes sensuously. If you’re an incurable techno geek, I suppose you can do this journal via computer. But tactile is so much more touchable.
For the next thirty days, take out your journal at bedtime. This is when you’re most relaxed, less likely to be interrupted, and more likely to gather your thoughts efficiently. Write for at least five minutes. Ten would be better. Set a timer. Write down every single thing you can think of that you feel grateful for. It can be as simple as appreciating the soft feel of your cat’s fur when you’re frazzled or as complicated as treasuring the complicated bundle of attributes that is your best friend.
Throughout your day, make mental notes when something happens that gives you peace or joy. Include them in your journal. Reread a few pages before you sleep. As you develop a habit of reflecting on your good fortune, you’ll begin to see an incredible truth. You have everything you need.
You have adequate shelter. Your home may or may not be lofty and lush, but it shelters you and protects you. Your table and larder may not contain oysters, caviar, and truffles each day, but you’re fed and hydrated. You have clothes to cover you. You have people around you to nurture, hug, and care.
Chances are you have TVs, a smart phone, a more expensive car than you were able to afforded, and more stuff than you know what to do with. It’s probable that you throw away more food in a given week than some people enjoy at meals during a month. Your gratitude journal will show you where you abundance lies. Experiment with paring down some material possessions, and you’ll find you have more time and energy left for spiritual development.
That, in turn, leads to seeking out your neighbors and fellows, and that may inspire you to share the wealth you are lucky enough to have. That sharing will make you feel stronger, braver, and very lovable. Those feelings will give you something new to write in your journal, which begins the process again.
You may soon find yourself laughing aloud at how delightful the world is and how simple is the abundance that flows around you. Take time to smell the flowers—your higher power and Mother Earth have provided everything you need to grow in spirit and in humanity.