I was focused on work 7 days a week; connected to email, a cell phone, so many devices….always connected. With a mind constantly on stand-by, ready to reply to the demands of a frantic daily life. Does this sound familiar?
It’s coming up on 3 years since I decided to break the routine in my life. It all started with a simple action. I said yes instead of no to a choice.
I broke out of the day in, day out cycle that society had convinced me was the only reality worth living. It can feel like there isn’t a choice…but there is. I made the choice ~ that YES, I must break free to find a better way.
I said yes to a move and found myself across the country to start fresh, and it was surprisingly easy. Although this may be a bigger and bolder change than you might want or need, for me when I made the shift, it allowed me to have the confidence to make more choices every day for the better. It allowed me to say yes to decreasing my footprint — Yes to simplifying.
We sold our big fancy truck for smaller cars, our motorhome for backpacks, our dirt bikes for mountain bikes.
We sold all of our excess stuff…because who needs nicknacks anyway?
We cancelled cable TV – why waste money on being indoors?
I sold or donated half of my clothes. Who truly needs 8 pairs of pants?
Once you have made basic choices one at a time to simplify your life, you can look at your work and where you live. You can start thinking about how you can ‘rewild your life’.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Can I live closer to work? Maybe I won’t need that car after all.
Can I live in a walkable community? Can I bike or walk every day for my basic needs?
All these choices start adding up to a very different life, just by saying YES to simplicity one choice at a time.
And the result of this “yes to simplicity”?
You have less stuff weighing you down and taxing your income. You own an affordable car that you barely drive because you live close to work and to the grocery store. You are working less because you don’t need to pay for the fancy car, the McMansion and the mindless stuff that filled it up.
Where has all this led you? You have arrived at a point where you can see through the false images of a life in modern society. Your spare time evolves to being drawn to go for more walks, which gradually turn to walks in the nearby forest. The bike commute has you so fit that you yearn to stretch those legs on trails in the local hills.
You are spending more and more time in the wild now. A walk becomes a hike and then evolves to overnight treks. Your idea of relaxing is walking down to the local water hole and watching the sun glimmer on the water lapping against the shore.
By stripping away the mask of a money driven society and making choice after choice to step away from a life focused on getting more, you have allowed wildness to fill the void.
Without these distractions, the nature of a human being is to connect and feel at home in the outdoors. And to start, all it takes is one simple choice.
What are you waiting for?
Will you say YES?
Photos by Chris Istace