Friday, 11 June 2010 23:09

The Bare Necessities: Keep it Simple Stupid

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Sorry - didn't mean to call you stupid. Just needed to get your attention.

In my opinion, simplicity is the key to healing our bodies, minds, and planet. Yet, for some reason, simplicity is often associated with lack of excitement, especially when in reference to lifestyle (Americans especially often feel the need to have more-more-more, not less-less-less). Surprisingly, among the many definitions of the word simple is, "not limited or restricted" (merriam-webster). In fact, since I've simplified my life (quit my full-time job, changed my diet, started making my own meals/beauty products, reduced the amount of products I buy, etc.), I feel bigger and unrestricted. I discovered that taking unnecessary things out allowed space for more important things to come in.

To me, living simply means living with the bare necessities. Remember that song from Disney's The Jungle Book? Here are some lyrics to refresh your memory:

  • Look for the bare necessities 
  • The simple bare necessities
  • Forget about your worries and your strife 
  • I mean the bare necessities 
  • Old Mother Nature's recipes 
  • That brings the bare necessities of life...
  • ...And don't spend your time lookin' around 
  • For something you want that can't be found 
  • When you find out you can live without it 
  • And go along not thinkin' about it

These lyrics fall right in line with my current philosophy - who knew words from a "simple" children's movie could be so profound. Perhaps Disney had some hidden agenda...

The world seems so complicated these days - no wonder many of us are too overwhelmed to make new changes. After working 40 hour plus work weeks, running errands, doing personal projects, and spending time with family/friends/pets, the first thing on most of our minds is relaxation and fun; who has energy leftover for self-improvement or a desire to make a difference in the world?

Perhaps the main issue is that too much time is spent on things that aren't that important. For example, do you really need to work 40 hours? Is the money worth all the time and energy? Do you really need all that money? Some of us do, while others just think they do. I quit my full-time job 5 months ago and am astonished that I've managed to maintain the same lifestyle with a smaller income from freelance work. Granted, my savings is gone, but the flexibility and freedom I've gained has been worth every penny. After simplifying my diet, I've saved a lot of money by cooking for myself and buying bulk items, and I have a lot more energy to spend on my eco-vegan mission. Simplicity is contagious too - it's spread to other parts of my life and my friends are inspired. I love living with the bare necessities!

There's no need to be afraid of the bare necessities, especially if living simply can result in happiness, peace, and health. Here's how I summed up some of these ideas on video:

What is your perspective? Could your life be simpler? Are you working towards it? How would your health and the planet improve if you lived with just the bare necessities?

If you have the urge to listen to/watch The Bare Necessities now, here it is. It made me feel really happy. : )

Read 12365 times Last modified on Monday, 14 May 2012 06:12