For the past two years, everything I owned, fit into two backpacks. That’s all I had. One big travel bag and one small daypack filled with: a pair of jeans, a rain jacket, 2 bikinis, a few old t-shirts and shorts, a sweatshirt, a pair of sandals, a toothbrush, some half-used sunscreen, and not much else. Life was simple. Material things only weighed me down. And I wanted none of it.
The freedom I felt was incredible. Being able to pack up and move from place to place, in under 15 minutes. Simplicity. I had all that I needed and nothing more.
Nowadays, it’s a little different and I find myself really struggling with this. What ‘stuff’ is necessary for the baby? What do they actually need? Of course I do not want my child to go without, but I do think people tend to go a bit overboard. (I swear some people buy a different diaper cream for every day of the week. It’s madness!)
I still want the simple life. I still do not want to collect THINGS, nor do I want my child to grow up thinking that these material things make you happy. Life is about experiences and without the weight of extra stuff, it opens up space for truly living.
I started to think about this as I was looking at purchasing a body pillow, to help me sleep with my new, evolving body. Tom pointed out how crazy it was buying such a ‘luxury item’ when only a few months earlier, we were sleeping on a thin mattress on the floor, with pillows that felt like they were filled with crumpled up plastic bags. Oh how it can all change so quickly.
In times when we had the least, we were the happiest. Without a TV, we read books and laid in hammocks. Without the internet, we played cards and listened to old music. Without social media, we would talk. Without chairs and tables, we made picnics on the floor. Without phones, we would surf or I would try to make jewelry. When the power went out, (which happened almost daily in Utila, Honduras), we would go for walks or do yoga outside. On rainy days, we would attempt to learn Spanish, or try to play the ukulele.
The less we had, the more we did. The more we did, the more we realized that this was living. So often our minds are on auto pilot. We wake up and stare at our phones, we go to work and stare at a computer, we come home and stare at the tv, and then we do it all over again.
UNPLUG. Take a break. Learn something new. Change up the routine. Take a walk. Watch the sunrise. Read a book. Sit under a tree. Submerge yourself in nature. Have a picnic.
Take time to simply be.
BE ALIVE. BE HAPPY. BE FREE. BE YOU.