Thursday, September 5, 2013

Embracing simplicity, moving the soul into presence

In the early 1990’s there was a wonderful movement inspired by a book written by Duane Elgin called Voluntary Simplicity.  His book focused on rebirthing the concept of simplicity much honored by Henry David Thoreau and his experiences living on Walden Pond almost a hundred and fifty years earlier.   Both Thoreau and Elgin valued the ability to step away from the distractions of the busy life, create quiet space, and focus on what really matters.  Both men wrote about how lifestyle changes on the outside create a path to consciousness and awareness.

I embraced the Voluntary Simplicity movement in 1995 and spent years with many passionate writers and leaders teaching classes, presenting at conferences, writing and co-hosting a radio show on creating simple practices of identifying a path of conscious consumption, evaluating how to physically downsize in ways that could lead to spiritual connection and relationship deepening.  It was a wonderful time and yet, it was not the right time.  How could it be?  We were trying to tap our audiences on the shoulder and ask them to downsize in a decade of supersizing!  During the ‘90’s our western culture was more interested in supersized meals, buying homes with low mortgage rates, using tax discounts for mega ton vehicles, and encouraging us to spend, desire more things, and focus on what we could build and accumulate.  After years of trying to create changes, the Voluntary Simplicity movement moved to the back burner.

Now, as we navigate our path forward through 2013 after the Shift, and we are all learning how to adjust out of a dependence on doing, into the divine feminine energy of being, it feels like it is time to embrace the beauty of simplicity.  It is time to re-evaluate how we can create a conscious way of living. It is time to look at how life can happen more organically, from within…from our consciousness.

If you are aware of the predominance of doing in your life and you are yearning for access to your deeper being, to your soul, here are a couple of ideas on how to discover a quieter, simpler way of being.

  1. Take a few moments to assess your participation in the outer doings of the world.  Do you have long work hours?  Do you feel exhausted?  Do you have too many responsibilities?  When you are not at work, what does your time off work feel like?  Is it jammed packed with social engagements, chores, tasks and activities?  Is your home filled with the TV, computer, music, and the incessant input of distractions?   Is there time in all of this for you to access some quiet time to getting to know the inner you?

  1. Carve out time for quiet and inner stillness, start small and slowly build some time to invite your calm presence to emerge for the inner and outer noise.  One suggestion is to take a walk before you start your day, or after a full day, without headphones, without your cell phone, without someone to talk to, with only yourself.   Another idea is to spend some time outside.  When you get home, slip off your shoes and head outside to slowly water the plants after a long day at work.  When you are outside, pay attention to your senses.  Let nature reacquaint you with yourself. Use your senses to become completely present.  What does the grass feel like under your feet?  Can you hear the buzz of the bees, or the call of a bird?  Can you smell the flowers, the trees?  Is there a breeze? What color is the sky? Can you touch the petal of a plant, or the bark of a tree?

  1. As you are walking or hanging outside, feel yourself expand, stay with the quiet, stay in that stillness and pay attention.  Lean in and become curious to what is there.  Ask it questions and notice what comes up for you.  Pay attention to what opens you up and what distances you from your inner being.  Follow the lead from within.  The bottom line is that your inner presence is there, with a soft voice, and this is your opportunity to create the space and time for you to get to know this voice, to feel this voice.  

  1. As you carve out the essential time for yourself and the joy and comfort levels increase with your relationship with your soul, pay attention to how you automatically make choices to create a quieter place at home, in your car, in your office.  Expand this happiness into how you take yourself out in the world.  It is my experience that when I am in sync with my soul, my outer needs fall into step with my inner needs.  Busyness seems less appealing than stepping outside and observing the full moon.  Cleaning and managing all my things becomes tedious, and I wonder what I am doing with all this stuff?  I have found myself seeking to create deeper relationships with others who want to include both me and my soul presence.  
Being in partnership with our soul, feeling the love possible, being in the moment and enjoying life, this is why we are here.  It is this inner peace and soul presence that guides us forward.  Taking the time to nurture this beautiful relationship is a gift we give ourselves and it is a gift we give the world.  When we are in sync with our soul, we chisel open opportunities, we let go of what shades or blocks our ability to shine, we connect with the greater collective, and we line up with our greater purpose.  Life becomes more effortless, and joy resides within us.  In this place we know the simple beauty of living in a world that moves in tandem with us.  We experience how others step into tandem with us and we shift how we live, how we consume, how we love, how we work, and how we envision a future.  We create what blooms within and around us.

This is how I see a simplicity movement.  Starting from within and moving forward in partnership with our true self…Moving the soul forward.  Forward into a new vision on how we live on this Earth.

Living simply, everyday, by choice.


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