This quote is one of the many that I favour. It’s by Henry David Thoreau, an American poet, author and transcendentalist who is best know for his book Walden which is the story of his experiment to live off of the grid on Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Thoreau describes his journey towards self-sufficiency and strives to teach why simplicity is better. Walden is not just a story. It is a guide to a different way of life. A life that I am leaning more towards.
No I am not going to go all Thoreau, grow a fine neck beard and live a solitary and contemplative existence. But what I do want is to become more aware. I want to be more self sufficient. I want to bring some simplicity into our lives. I long for a cleaner life and body as well as a clearer mind.
As I have mentioned before, one of my biggest dreams has been to buy a couple of acres and build our forever home. I have been hinging our new way of living on the achievement of that and putting it off until things are perfect. I can see it now. We will be able to eat fresh produce from the gardens. Get fresh eggs from our chickens every day. Have space and serenity around us. I visualize a day in our life every time I close my eyes at night and drift off to sleep.
But I don’t have to wait till then to get the ball rolling. There are changes I am starting to make so I can have that cleaner life, body and mind now.
For starters, I will be the first to admit that our diet is no where near acceptable. Between running a home and family, working part time, starting a business…most days it’s nearly 5pm before I think what am I going to cook for dinner and by then I am worn out and just want something quick and easy. Something Ruby will eat without me asking her a hundred times to “eat your dinner”. I’m really keen to eliminate the processed foods in our diet and eat more whole foods.
I’ve also been having coaching sessions with my good friend Daniel on how to stop the noise inside my head and find some space in my life to meditate as well as stopping to listen to what life is trying to tell me.
There’s some big changes to make but also a lot of quick wins. It’s so great to see we’re moving in the direction I’m building our lives.
I’ll finish with this famous part from Thoreau’s book Walden that continues to teach me what success really means.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”