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Live the Simple Life

April 16, 2013

The Simple Life

A winding road leading to Sleep Hollow Farm in Vermont

For most of my adult life, I fought against my natural inclination to live a simple life. Rather than resting in who I really am, the little girl who longed to live on a farm and spend her days walking and dreaming in the woods, I beat myself into climbing ladders that I borrowed from outside of myself. I attempted to force myself emotionally, psychologically, and inadvertently physically, into a version of myself that was not my own, and wondered why I always felt out of step.

In my formative years, I looked around and saw no one quite like me; no one who I could model my life after or who inspired me to grow into myself rather than away from it, and as a result I came to the erroneous conclusion that who I was, was not someone of value. I borrowed my family’s, friends’ and my culture’s version of who I was and incorporated all of their messages into my dialogue with myself. It took control of me and my life as if these messages were my own.

To live “right” I must do this, this and this, whether I liked it or not. Some things worked temporarily, but my true self fought my fabricated self with a vengeance. I tried and failed. I floundered and believed myself flawed. I gained and lost weight a hundred times and relationships came and went with heartbreak in their wake. Some part of me refused to succumb. Some part of me refused to relent. Now, so many years later, I have come home to me and to the simple life, because life indeed is simple and easy when we know the truth about who we are and choose to live it.

Are you somewhere along this path? Do you feel slightly out of kilter with the world you have created? Do you feel like you don’t “measure up” or fail every time you try? Do you feel like who you are doesn’t fit in the world? You’re not alone. External forces are powerful ones and they are tricky. They sometimes feel like our own and they want us to believe that we are wrong, not them.

It is never too late, to begin to walk your own path, to seek the company of others who are able to see the real you and who will affirm and support choices that will work for you. Being known by another who sees the real you only reinforces the simple life.  One by one, you can discard the beliefs that keep you trapped in a life that is not your own. Your true voice, your true self resides within you and is just waiting for you to take the first step, to give it permission to come into being. Prepare to be amazed. You will see how simple life can become.

A few steps to get you started, or move you along your path toward simple living:

  1. Tell the truth, every minute of every day for one week. If you don’t dare speak it out loud, write it down.
  2. Stop doing one thing you don’t want to do. Start doing one thing you really do want to do.
  3. Make a list of the things you believed about yourself or belief or value you held when you were three, four or five. Do you still believe these things now? Are you living as if you believe them?
  4. Get rid of one item in your home that you hate. Add one item that you love; something that makes you smile or feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you see it.

Dorothy Sander ©2013

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink
    April 16, 2013 3:14 pm

    Awesome!

  2. April 16, 2013 3:23 pm

    I’m sharing this with my two twenty-something daughters. I hope they read it carefully; it will give them years of the kind of peace that simplicity brings.

    • April 17, 2013 10:01 am

      Good luck! My sons don’t read anything I write! If only they would listen, right? (I have a feeling my mother felt the same way.)

  3. April 17, 2013 1:09 am

    True! Every word!

  4. April 17, 2013 5:47 pm

    Thank you for this affirmation of my new life: The Life of Me! Almost nine years ago, we moved to a new state and I was determined to discover and live by my own truths. It’s not 100%, but it’s so much better than how I used to live. Good luck to everyone who does this; it’s worth all the effort.

    • April 17, 2013 7:30 pm

      Bravo Caroline! You are an inspiration. I doubt it’s ever 100%…more like an on-going process, at least for me. A little bit at a time, more and more we move toward a better alignment with our own right life. Would love to hear more about your journey.

  5. April 17, 2013 8:26 pm

    AMEN, and thank you for writing this JUST FOR ME!! 😉 Started to get back to “me” 2 years ago. Daughters think I finally went crazy, “grands” don’t understand why my choices are changing; but I am slowly following my inner voice

  6. Debra permalink
    April 17, 2013 10:12 pm

    It took me 58 years to figure this out. But thankfully, I finally got it.

  7. April 28, 2013 1:28 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks for putting this into words.

  8. Lu Ann Leonard permalink
    April 29, 2013 7:56 pm

    You are so wise…I have been putting up a fight for 25 years over my husband wanting to move to a small town in another state. It would be such a big change for me. Recently, I have been thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all, and maybe, just maybe, it would actually make me happy to be away from the hustle and bustle of a big town. Hmmmm….food for thought. Thank you.

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