As mentioned in my recent post, at heart I'm a minimalist, and love the idea of freeing my life by simplifying and letting go of what's not needed. Not an easy task for someone as un-simple as me.
This spring, with more time on my hands (what with cancelled yoga and mindfulness classes and no trips to visit my grandchildren while staying home during COVID19), I'm capturing what I can of the beauty around me as I watch how nature comes and goes. It gives pause to consider that all of us, regardless of privilege or social standing, are born and will die. Life is what happens between. And when we stop to see how vulnerable and beautiful it all is, we feel connected deeply to the earth, the sun, and each other and hope it will last. But of course, it won't– the nature of nature is to grow and change and become and let go.
All living beings in nature except us humans (and our furry domesticated friends) live simply, building natural shelters, without a need for special bric-a-brac or knick knacks for their nests and caves, and wearing their native skins. Sure, some are gatherers and stash nuts, and others are hibernators to preserve their energy during the winter; but all plants and many animals often just eat as they come to their food. And so must many people who are underprivileged, or homeless, or sick, or unemployed.
When we simplify, we can make space in our homes and free our hearts and minds to focus on what matters. We can simplify by giving things away, and also by watching our thoughts and feelings and letting go of worry and fear- fear of losing our loved ones; fear of not having enough; fear of being without; fear of not keeping up with others; fear of not being good enough; or even the fear of feeling our anger, sadness, discomfort, and fear. With less cluttered homes and clear hearts and minds, we can use our resources, time, and energy to do what's most important. We can focus on being healthy, active, creative. We can be kind, helpful, connected, open. Knowing there's enough for all and sharing, we can better enjoy our short stay here by being fully alive, with courage no matter what we may be facing.
As Janis Joplin so perfectly sang, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose" (Me and Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson). What if we could all free ourselves from fear itself? What could you lose today that may free you from anxiety, and what might you gain? You can start by noticing and letting go of anxious thoughts, and simply enjoy being alive now, being you, being satisfied wherever you are, and giving a hand up to others as you can.