The Elegance of Simple Living
Our Greatest Gift to Self: Peace & Present Mind
The modern world offers endless distractions: products, services, advertisements, TV shows, social media, fashion, news, politics. Endless demands for your attention deprive you of clarity. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed. The sense that there’s always more to do creates anxiety. There’s a luxury in stripping down to the essentials.
For the next week, take pleasure in experimenting with these three habits to your routine.
A quiet mind forms the foundation of a peaceful life. Meditation brings you inner calm, achieved through simplicity.
When you wake up this week, don’t reach for your phone or check the news. Instead, find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes, and spend 10-20 minutes focusing on your breath. Inhale for three seconds, exhale for six seconds, and start again.
Your mind will try to distract you from your breath with thoughts, fears, anxieties, desires, regrets. Watch them pass without engaging them. When you get caught in a thought, notice it without judgment, then let it go and return to your breath.
Practice meditating daily. Over time, your mind will quiet. You’ll begin to act from a place of calm, taking life as it comes with luxurious ease.
COMMUNE WITH NATURE
One of the miracles of Nature is how it can bring subtle calm to our lives. There are over 485 published studies linking time spent in nature to better health. Time in nature calms the mind, boosts the immune system, improves mood, and reduces cortisol, blood pressure and inflammation.
Find a nearby park, hiking trail, or beach and lose yourself in the calm and simplicity of a gentle stroll. Notice the colors, take in the flicker of light, hear the waves, and the aromatics of the green life that is all around. Feel the soft wind on your face, and the intention of being one. Enjoy the moment to be grateful for the bounty that is nature.
Preparing food is a tantalizing journey through the senses - the vibrancy of fresh herbs, the smell of mingling spices. The sizzle of oil hitting a hot pan. The luscious mouthfeel of a well-made sauce.
Explore how easy it is to turn simple ingredients into decadent food that nourishes your body and soul. Take your time peeling, slicing, caramelizing, and searing. Plate your food with elegance. Savor every bite. See if you can notice the flavor and texture of each ingredient, as well as how they play off each other. Take a few minutes to sit in silence after your meal, reflecting on the plenty you just enjoyed.
Cooking offers a rich tapestry of experience that is all too easy to miss, and eating simple food you’ve made with care is one of the great pleasures in life. Each night this week, set aside an hour to cook. Put away distractions and lose yourself in the simplicity of a good meal.