Simple living…not having to think about it

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves”
Buddha



To me simple living is not having to think.

You disengage the conscious mind when you design low cost of living, healthy routines and then let the autopilot take care of business. Drop all the complexity and unnecessary steps. Bore down on the essence of things.

This frees one’s mind for the bits of life that really matter.

Forget planning dinner right after lunch. Mentally auditing your recipe ingredients. Planning a trip to the grocery store to pick up all the bits that are missing. Spending 2 hours cooking and an hour cleaning up after.

Instead, begin the process at dinner. Pick what is fresh from your garden. Cook it simply. Steamed or oven baked. Eat it and move on with your evening.

Instead of constantly tiding, organize. Organize and abandon. Keep only items you use or those that give you joy. If the only time you touch it is to dust it…dust bin it.

Your house is a home. Not a warehouse.

Empty rooms. Consolidate your material needs.

Eventually if you end up with empty rooms you outta question if you need a house with 3 empty rooms. The more rooms, the more heating, the more home maintenance, the more cleaning (perhaps 🙂), the more worry, the more of your living wealth tided up in a liability.

Take away choice by creating a routine. Routines become habits and habits good and bad are hard to break.

Wake up in the morning and meditate, write, or run or whatever fulfils you. Instead of lying in bed at night wondering if you will run, or debating with yourself about whether the weather is running weather just relax. In the morning you will run because that is what you do and running is who you are.

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The idle antidote to a miserable existence in corporate hell

“It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man”

Benjamin Franklin

 

“Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler”
Samuel Johnson



Think of a number.

The number is the exact amount of money you need to escape the trudge to work with all the other drones.

Got it?

Right then, what are you going to do with yourself now?

Most likely you’re going to act like you’re on holiday for a while, but after whatever period you are going to fill your life up with activity to the point you might find yourself busier and more stressed than when you worked at a corporate everyday.

Can I suggest an alternative lifestyle? It’s a lifestyle choice you could implement immediately if you want.

Be idle. Stay in holiday mode.

Stop thinking of yourself in robotic or mechanistic ways. You are not a tool for economic productivity. Your wellbeing will not increase one jot by ticking off another to do. If you must have a list make it a ta-da list instead.

You are a being and you must learn to be. Be idle.

To become more fulfilled find how to be. Take life as it is. Don’t feel the need to claw one small stitch from an inconsequential corner of the fabric of life. We push and shove and dig and build only to make monuments to our ego. Our achievements are largely our futile attempt at impermanence. A legacy that we hope will outlive this spacesuit built with a slow leak.

Forget that vanilla fear-based consumer thinking. Reject it outright. Consider your death. Get cool with it.

Between that point and this…

Spend time. Stroll. Be present. Enjoy the small things. Connect with loved ones. Give away all material pleasures for the fulfilment and enjoyment that only an idler has time to savour.

Sure we idlers are poor, but you are unlikely to find a happier bunch.

Idle
adjective
1. not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idle workers.
2. not spent or filled with activity: idle hours.
3. not in use or operation; not kept busy: idle machinery.
4. habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.
5. of no real worth, importance, or significance: idle talk.
6. having no basis or reason; baseless; groundless: idle fears.
7. frivolous; vain: idle pleasures.
8. meaningless; senseless: idle threats.
9. futile; unavailing: idle rage.

verb (used without object)
10. to pass time doing nothing.
11. to move, loiter, or saunter aimlessly:
12. to idle along the avenue.
13. (of a machine, engine, or mechanism) to operate at a low speed, disengaged from the load.

verb (used with object)
14. to pass (time) doing nothing (often followed by away):
15. to idle away the afternoon.
16. to cause (a person) to be idle:
17. the strike idled many workers.
18. to cause (a machine, engine, or mechanism) to idle: I waited in the car while idling the engine.

noun
19. the state or quality of being idle.
20. the state of a machine, engine, or mechanism that is idling: a cold engine that stalls at idle.

Cutting expenses to your bones

“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship”

Benjamin Franklin



A while back I wrote about getting your food bill under control to the tune of around US$3 per person/per day. Depending on your start point (and where in the world you live) that might sound unbelievably good or unbelievably bad or unbelievably unachievable.

I thought I’d do one better because you can easily halve your food costs per month and take many weeks to zero. This is of course the case if you grow 100% of the food you eat or if 100% comes from the food people waste.

If neither of those solutions appeal and $3 pp/pd is too rich for your blood then why not consider fasting? Fasting is very good for you and it is the ultimate in free living. A fast can be day on day off, meal on meal off or a fast could last several days in a row.

Fasting is essential if you are a spiritual seeker, but it’s not so good if you are not eating for emotional reasons or if the fasting extends to the point that there is more fasting than eating.

For me the choice of going to work to earn money for food or fasting and growing food from my garden makes fasting a logical part of my lifestyle.  Still it’s not for everyone. Some people just love their night-time dumpster dive delights too much to take fasting seriously.

Me? Just following the herd…

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
Albert Einstein

Life is a bit weird.

It’s weird to me that people spend the lion share of their life doing tasks so stupid and pointless that nobody would do them if they weren’t paid. The rest of their life is spent staring at a screen or buzzed out on prescription meds, drugs or alcohol.

We work for tokens that allow us to live.

 

The materials in these tokens are worth less in real terms than a metal bottle cap, but I’m supposed to want them so much I’d kill you for them. The more of your life, values, spirit and individuality you are willing to forfeit the more tokens you collect.

Well done Mario. Next level achieved. Just watch out for turtles!

The benefits of this system are that the planet is being destroyed and families just like yours (in another neighbourhood) are being killed and discarded like human waste. The police are militarized because the rich are afraid, but I don’t think they have anything to fear. We tweet when we should talk. People have 1000 facebook friends but nobody to spend their birthday with. Social connects are broken down everyday. Their is no heart in communities anymore.
Life is to thrive, not just to survive, but witnessing the madness of daily life one can’t wonder where it all went wrong for the human race? Likely a few influential families had all too much to do with it, but what perplexes me is how many people just wander with the herd doing exactly what they are told. Still doing what they are told when they lose their house in a default mortgage to a corrupt banking system. Still doing what they are told when they are made redundant from the job they’ve worked hard at for 30 years. Still doing what they are told when their social relationships wither after decades of neglect in the face of overworking and programmed disestablishment of community by government and corporations. Still doing what they are told while dying from a disease acquired from poisonous corporate food. Still following the lead of corrupt politicians and corporate megalomaniacs.
When will this thing turn around? When will the masses wake from the dream and demand a better, fairer, cleaner world? We have all the technology, cleverness and innovative ability and the man (sic) power on our side. We the people have the power to change anything we like whenever change is needed. We need to turn things around before the owners of this planet turn up the noise and give us an even worse version of what they’ve been giving us up till now. How much worse does it need to get before we collectively demand a paradigm shift in global human behaviour?