GILBERT ROSS: “7 Secrets Of Simple Living You Have Been Made To Forget”

We are living fragmented lives in an increasingly frenetic world. Overworked and overstressed we spread ourselves thin flipping between several roles in a single day. We can be a parent, spouse, employee, organiser, blogger, expert in a field, coordinator, entertainer or whatever role we have assigned ourself or have identified with.

Society and culture have also put on us pressures and beliefs that have sucked us in all this madness. Clearly, we are living a consumeristic culture in overdrive. The expectations from our peers and the messages from the mass media and cultural icons are all set to trance us into this consumeristic mass hallucination. In moments of clarity, many have stopped to ask themselves “How do I make it stop? Where is the emergency stop button? How can I break free from all this and return to a simpler, authentic and stress-free life?” — I’m sure you have, as have I too.

The good news is that living a simpler, stress-free life is not something that is a world apart. Like anything else it comes from our will and resolution but also from making some simple realisations and keeping them present in mind. I have listed seven key ideas about simple living that our constant doing and rushing has alienated us from.

Life Purpose Is Simplicity Itself:

Knowing your life purpose is the most powerful information you can acquire in a whole lifetime. Knowing your life purpose means knowing who you truly are which in turns means doing only those things which resonate with your authentic talents and motivations. Life becomes effortless. On the other hand not being aligned with your life purpose means creating friction and wasting time and energy doing things which do not flow with you.

In my book The Art of Simple Living, I make this very important point — that knowing your life purpose does not require looking for it in some special place or doing something extraordinary. It comes from simplifying. When you start discarding all those things which do not belong to you and simplify your day to day living, your life purpose comes in sharper focus because you understand better who you are.

Your Wants Are Not Your Needs:

The consumerist culture has sold us wants as needs. As we are constantly bombarded by advertising messages on all media, we are made to believe that we ‘need’ that latest gadget or that cool accessory to be at pace with our times and our peers. The clear boundary between needing and wanting has been blurred. So we end up spending time, money and energy trying to acquire stuff or reaching goals because we believe we actually need them when in fact we only want them. As the latest fad passes away, we are only left with clutter and wasted resources.

Being sober about what are those things you really need and those which you only want can drastically simplify your life. You eliminate those things which are inessential to your core living thus opening up more time and space to fill in with meaningful things that are genuinely part of your life purpose.

Less Is More:

Another thing society has seduced us into is the idea that more is better. We measure our success partly by how much wealth, status and accolades we accumulate in a lifetime. What is not measured is the stress and strain produced as an effect of pursuing these socially transmitted goals. Not to mention how far we deviated from our more authentic goals and happiness while doing this. We have been alienated away from the practical truth that less is decisively more powerful.

When you have less stuff, work and false ‘needs’ cluttering your physical and mental space, your life is more streamlined and frictionless. With less noise, it becomes much easier to bring your true aspirations and motivations in clear focus. This is the real power of less.

It’s Not What You Thought About Thinking:

One of the greatest ways to hack into a simpler life comes from your thinking  or rather lack of it. This is another belief we have been sucked into — that we must think to figure out our way and solve problems. Counter-intuitive as it may sound, thinking is on many occasions, the obstacle to the solution rather than the path to the solution. Not because thinking is bad or futile but because thinking or over-analysing a situation can at times create more noise while blocking our inner intuition.

Masters in the art of simplicity know very well how to make use of their intuition and when to refrain from analysing a given situation. This is because while thinking is energy intensive and can complicate matters rather than simplifying them, intuition gives us instant access to information that may have been overlooked by our conscious rationalisations. It is effortless, fast and simple.

You Don’t Need Approval By Anyone:

Most of the time we are not aware how much our life is complicated by the need to be approved of by others. Some people seek approval constantly and feel the need to have their actions and aspirations confirmed by the stamp of approval of their peers or those in authority. The need for others’ approval, whether explicit or tacit, becomes in some cases a compulsive unconscious behaviour. It limits our possibilities but more importantly, it keeps us from being ourselves and living an authentic life.

The effect of all this is that our life becomes complicated and inefficient since we are putting others’ consent, approval or admiration in the equation every time. People who are completely free from what other people think of their life choices, have a much simpler and straightforward line to follow – their heart. Once you ditch the subconscious fear of being disapproved by others around you, you clear up the space to fill in with your own dreams and aspirations rather those of others.

Money Can Wait — Your Dreams Shouldn’t:

How many times have I heard people (and myself in the past) declare: “Once I will settle myself financially, I will be on my way to follow my dreams and aspirations.” The general sense to it is that “right now I am not living my dream — I have put it on the side while I try to make a living doing things I am not passionate about”.

There is a certain rationale that we believe is sane to follow but the truth is that it is partially insane at best. We limit ourselves thinking that we need to get a financial boost to jumpstart our life project. While it is agreed that some form of financial input or funding is needed to create certain projects, it doesn’t mean that you need to shelve it while you are acquiring your funds. What often happens is that you get derailed into other things while you are not actually doing your real stuff and your dream becomes only that — a ‘dream’. Other times, the financial aspect becomes an excuse to procrastinate or else we do not realise that the situation is not as bad as we fear and that for instance quitting your full-time job to get on your project is not half as financially strenuous as you may believe.

The Space Odyssey — Decluttering:

Read any literature about simple living and it is invariably tied to the idea of decluttering. It does a lot of sense of course because living a simpler life means above anything else being free from clutter that makes your life less simple to manage. My idea of decluttering spaces is a bit broader than that. While clearing physical spaces (and maintaining them clutter free) is an absolute necessity for making your practical living hassle free, I also like to emphasise that keeping our inner spaces clutter free is as much, if not more, important.

What do I mean by inner spaces? It is that space through which we listen to our innermost feelings, intuitions and reflections. It is of course not a space in the physical sense although it behaves like one because it can be blocked by clutter — mental chatter, too much information from the media, worries, beliefs, fears, etc. Likewise when it is free from such clutter, it opens up to allow more authentic things to flow into — joy, creativity, solutions, intuitions, etc. Once again, we are limited as too how much of that space we can free up (if at all) by our social demands and expectations.

We are made to follow certain social models and templates — like for instance being the self-motivated manager who is always on the ball and has little or no time for his inner life or introspection. Inner life is seen as belonging to those who are on the ‘wayside’ or have retreated from life rather than those who are on its mainstream. Wrong assumption, of course.

Dedicating no time to declutter your inner spaces through for instance, quiet time alone, meditation, play, art, relaxing, traveling, etc., is what will knock you off from life’s ‘mainstream’. Instead of giving time to listen to your inner authentic aspirations, you would have lived the life of an automaton filling in a role laid down by society.

 

This article was originally published on The Mind Unleashed in 2015.

 

 

~via SoulHiker.com

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GILBERT ROSS: “The 12 Biggest Life Secrets Forgotten By Mankind”

The more I ponder about life, the more I come to one solid realisation:  The biggest curse and predicament of modern Man is forgetfulness.  Like a creeping malaise, forgetfulness has seeped through all of Man’s being and doing.  Individually, collectively, historically or culturally, we are spellbound to forget.

We haven’t only forgotten our past but also our place in the present and our responsibility of the future.  On a personal level, our ego-based state of consciousness is on a mission to keep us in this state of forgetfulness — to break the link to our being as a whole and to the interconnected web of life and universal consciousness.  On a collective level, this forgetfulness is perpetuated and reinforced by social and cultural means — mainly by being tranced into a reality of unconscious consumerism, inauthentic lifestyles and a materialistic mindset.

The brighter side of it is that we all have the chance to re-member and re-connect to ourselves and the universe at large.  The power of remembering is at the centre of the spiritual path to self-discovery and realisation.

Here is a list of what I believe we have forgotten, or more importantly, a list of things to remember:

1. We forgot our place in the natural world:

In the last couple of hundred years we have detached ourselves from nature.  We have exploited, ravaged, consumed and attempted to control nature to appease our greed driven by self-absorbed madness.  We tried to distance ourselves from the natural circle of life.  We forgot how to listen to and understand the natural rhythms and cycles of the earth — its signs and languages.  We forgot to follow nature’s path and live in balance with it.

2. We forgot our connection to life and the cosmos:

By detaching ourselves from nature, we forgot that we are deeply connected to it and to the cycles of the universe.  Some tribes on the outskirts of ‘civilisation’, and who still follow ancestral ways, have preserved this connection with respect and reverence.  We, on the other hand have instilled a sense of separateness which drove us out of balance and in dis-ease.  We forgot how all consciousness is interconnected and weaved into a delicate and beautiful dance.

3. We forgot our ancient wisdom:

We forgot our ancestral wisdom.  In the quest to gain scientific knowledge through the rationalisation of our mind, we forgot the wisdom through the opening of our heart.  We forgot the ancient stories and folk wisdom that was handed down from from seers and wise men of antiquity who lived in harmony with the universe.

4. We forgot our path and our dreams:

By stirring away from our inner path we forgot to dream the dream of life.  More importantly we forgot how to awake in that dream and see our true nature as co-creators of life — as the dreamers.  We forgot that we have the power to weave dreams and use our power of intention to direct those dreams into manifestation.

5. We forgot our purpose:

With too much chatter, noise and distraction in this dense reality we forgot what we came here to do.  We forgot our purpose.  We are caught in the mass trance of fabricated consensual reality.  We lost sight of our authenticity, that inner spark that drives us towards our happiness and self-realisation.  We forgot that we are here to be realised as spiritual beings embodied in a physical form and embedded in a congenial universe.

6. We forgot that everything is Love:

This is perhaps the deepest mystery of all that only some seers came to understand it as an all-embracing truth.  That truth however is hidden somewhere deep inside of us.  We knew it at some point but have lost touch with it.  We forgot that everything is ultimately energy and consciousness and that love is the fundamental fabric of existence that runs through all energy and consciousness.

7. We forgot to Forgive:

By being made to believe that we are separate and disconnected from the others and from everything else, we forgot to forgive.  In its deepest sense forgiveness is the act of reminding ourselves that we are one with everyone and everything and that there is no victim or perpetrator.  It’s just all of us together moving together in a dynamic web we call life.

8. We forgot to be Free:

Remind yourself one thing everyday:  You were made to be free.

We were born and raised in a ‘reality’ where freedom is only a concept.  We were bound to the shackles of fear, misconceptions, false ideologies, material reward and held ransom to rules and laws laid down to safeguard the interest of the few.  We were made to forget that we are free agents of change.  We are free to be who we are without fear or guilt.

9. We forgot our real power:

Living in fear has made us forget how powerful we are.  We forgot the massive power of our will and intention to change our reality.  We have been tranced into sleepwalking and following the ready made signs like automatons.

10. We forgot our lessons from history:

If there is something that history has taught us is how fast we are at forgetting our lessons.  Time and time again we keep on repeating the same mistakes, stuck in the same patterns of greed and self-destruction.  We cannot be blamed individually for the mistakes done by humanity in the past but we are responsible as individuals to to remind ourselves of the past mistakes and pass it on to the collective psyche.

11. We forgot to be simple:

Human life got more complex and complicated.  We are seduced by the glitter of more and not by the power of less.  We forgot to be simple and the meaning of simplicity.  Life is simple really.  Simplicity means discarding all the inessential stuff and ideas that clutter the view to our life purpose and the other truths we have forgotten.

12. We forgot to trust, believe and wonder:

We lost our enchantment with the world.  We forgot to be wondered by the miracle of life.  We do not stand in awe at the majesty of it all anymore.  Our skepticism and cynical view of the world has made us lose trust in ourselves and the magic of the universe.  We forgot how to believe.  This is perhaps the biggest tragedy of all.  It weakened our spirit and impoverished our soul.

The brighter side of it is that we all have the chance to re-member and re-connect to ourselves and the universe at large. The power of remembering is at the centre of the spiritual path to self-discovery and realisation.

~Gilbert Ross

 

 

~via soulhiker.com