From an early age, I have always had a yearning for a quiet simple life, with as little stress and complications as possible. And to this day, in my sixties, that’s precisely what I am doing. Living a simple quiet lifestyle. Off the grid. and off the treadmill. And yes. It has been worth it. A journey that started in my 40’s. Yes, it took that long to get off the treadmill of life.
Having worked and lived overseas through my twenties, thirties, and forties, the yearning stayed in me. When I think about it, it makes me think that we were not created to have all the stress that goes with how we live our lives. Neither were our bodies!!! We need to just stop. And rest amidst all that is going on around us. Because it is good and healthy and healing.
I had worked hard in corporate and international community organizations to create a quality life for my daughter and I. Living in large and exciting cities provided great opportunities and entertainment, but what I once found exciting I began to find challenging.
My brain felt increasingly overwhelmed with noise, excess stimulation, distractions, and ever-increasing crowds, all helping to pump up my stress levels. Noise. Noise. Noise. In my head.Around me. In me. Up went my blood pressure, until I consciously decided all ‘this’ wasn’t me.
Much as I tried, I knew it wasn’t working for me, because of all the anxiety I was experiencing. I got tired of having to conform to the world’s standards to be ‘successful’. I wasn’t in tune with a world that demanded that ‘enough’ was always just a little more than I already had, and there wasn’t a lot of room left for the truly great pleasures of life: family, friends, and the time to enjoy them, nature and just being able to be and connect with God.
I wasted many years just hoping life would change and things would calm down until I finally realized life doesn’t change. It has the potential to get even worse. I understood that my only real option was changing my life approach. I had to say no to another day of rushing around and feeling frustrated. I didn’t want any more prescriptions to mask another symptom of the real problem— chronic stress.
It became apparent that I needed to get serious about simplifying my life. As a result, I found myself thinking about a quieter, more simplistic way of life, being closer to nature and in a more peaceful setting, which was more the person I was created to be.
I worked from home surrounded by nature. I was more productive. And got my basic needs met, followed by enjoying what I had in my hands.
And now I can say, by God’s grace, and by decluttering from the world and its demands, I really enjoy living my simple life where I co-exist with nature and live in my Mud Palace.
BENEFITS OF THE SIMPLE LIFE
The following are just some of the benefits of simplifying your life:
- Simplicity teaches self-control, especially in delayed gratification. I don’t have to have everything, and I don’t have to have everything now.
- Simplicity teaches generosity. When I don’t hold tightly to my possessions, I find I don’t need as much and I am more apt to give to others.
- Simplicity teaches contentment. If I train myself to live with less, I am content with what I have and I won’t fret as much about what I don’t have.
- Simplicity teaches gratitude. Owning too much causes us to take what we have for granted. Abundance lessens the value of what we have. We have so much, that we begin to tune it out and even forget where we have certain things we once thought were precious to us. Our focus on stuff can distract us from taking the time to stand in wonder at God’s natural creation.
- Simplicity teaches compassion for those who cannot have much but live in a world that taunts them with all that they could have. My simple lifestyle will make me more approachable to those who don’t have much and will demonstrate that it is possible to live without all the extras the world wants to convince us that we need.
- Simplicity teaches attention to God. Having a lot of stuff means I need to care for that stuff. When I don’t have a lot, I have more time to focus on my worship, relationship, and service to God.
- Opens your eyes to the important things in life
- Brings you a more peace-filled life
- Your finances improve
- You naturally avoid overreacting.
- Living a simple lifestyle allows you to see the reality of the situation more easily. Your mind is less stressed because it has less to worry about. It is easier to make a wise decision when you know your principles in life. You only say yes when you can and firmly say no when you can’t or don’t want to.
- You strengthen your health. By focusing on what’s most important, your stress levels are lowered and your health improves. Ongoing endless stress leads to depression. People who live a simple life focus on their health and watch carefully what they put inside their bodies.
- Your relationships become deeper and more meaningful
You might choose to have fewer friends, but the friends you have will be much closer. It’s easier to focus on the other person when your life is more straightforward. The interaction is also sincere since you’re free of the need to impress them. Choose people in your life whom you can trust.
- · Simplicity and freedom go hand in hand
The more things you own, the more responsibilities you have, the more you need to service your ego, and the less freedom you enjoy. You will find that simple things such as walking, looking at the clouds, and smelling flowers can make you so happy. A simple life gives you freedom from issues in life that should not be of major concern.
- A simple life provides freedom. You learn more about yourself. When you’re not distracting yourself with electrical gadgets and stressed about becoming a CEO before the age of 40, you have the time and mental space to learn more about yourself. You have time to reflect and be grateful for what you already have.
- Your life is less cluttered Fewer possessions and commitments result in less clutter. This means you’ll spend less time cleaning and organizing. Naturally, you’ll have more free time at your disposal. Imagine not having to spend so much time keeping your life organized and dealing with everything you don’t need or want.
- You can be true to yourself and your values Modern society is focused on many things that don’t lead to happiness and fulfillment.
- More free time. How will you spend all the extra time you’ll enjoy as a benefit of living a simple life? This is one of the greatest benefits of simple living.
It can be hard to learn to relax when you’re used to running around trying to get everything done. But free time is a gift that only a few truly appreciate.