Back to Basics II
In a world where consumerism is getting increasingly crazy — the word ‘unsustainable’ was surpassed a long time ago — is it such a bad thing to consider getting ‘back to basics’. Most youngsters have grown up in a disposable culture – a world where things don’t wear out, they just get dumped to be replaced with the newest and latest. They probably have never heard of the term darning a sock or fixing a kite; they just get replaced with new ones. In the ‘old days’ it used to be fun saving up for something. There was a greater satisfaction of having ‘earned’ the object of our desire.
Audio – Back to Basics (Music by Deuter-Earth Blue-Distant Dreams)
Weren’t our camping experiences the best – living with the bare essentials, sleeping under the starry sky with Mother Earth as our bed? Learning to live with little is not just a luxury but also a necessity. Planet earth is being depleted of its resources – let us do what we can to help. For example utilize less tissues, napkins and toilet rolls! Reduce, re-use, re-cycle, re-turn, repair and so on, wherever possible.
In order to prepare to embrace the forecasts of the future, we need to simplify our lives. As we reduce the clutter in our mind, we will automatically reduce the clutter in the attic, basement and garage! Curtailing our desires is the first step towards living simply.
Declutter your wardrobe. Whatever clothes you have not worn in the last year or more need to be given away. Storing old clothes and shoes is like old energy, it does not give room to the new to live and breathe.
Cut back on greasy and fast foods before poor health forces you to. Eating oily and sugary and over processed foods may seem tasty now but will leave you feeling bitter when you have to take the pills to solve the ills. Eating wholesome, nutritious — mostly raw — food is part of good health, but so is eating less; we need less food than we actually think we do. Most of the time we eat to feed the emotion rather than the appetite. Eating right will create a healthy happy mood.
Relationships also, are all too disposable in today’s world – or so it seems. This may sound strange, but what about getting back to basics in the area of our relationships? Do we hold on to certain relationships for the wrong reasons? Back to basics means examining what relationships are for… trust, love, and honesty… going beyond the superficial, the pretty packaging and the bows and ribbons in our relationships and getting REAL.
Don’t hold on to people out of obligation or compulsion. Trust and engage, but do so with love. If there is a relationship that seems to be sapping your energy or weakening your spirit, then think twice about how much time you are giving to that relationship. As a meditator we will eventually be able to get on with everyone, but only after we have built immunity.
All our Cyber relationships on Facebook and Chat programs are built upon electricity and once that ‘plug’ is pulled we will be left feeling isolated and lonely. It is better to build an inner resolve and begin building a relationship with the self.
Simplify your vision. Getting back to basics in our outlook means not to see others with a heavy set of expectations. When we have expectations of others we actually complicate our lives further. Unfulfilled expectations lead to resentment in relationships. If we simply accepted each soul with love and compassion, then they would more likely live up to our expectations (if we had any!).
When you next go shopping, simplify your list by asking this question: “What do I need and what do I want?” And further question the ‘I need’ list and you should be able to reduce it by half. In the process of trying to simplify our life, we accumulate gadgets and appliances that we don’t really know how to use or take care of, and so at the end of the day we have collected a heap of plastic.
Sometimes, we hoard stuff out of fear – it makes us feel secure. But then we create a false reality for ourselves. There is no protection within these walls or applications, only in virtue. I need to live by a set of values that are freeing and uplifting. Real security comes from knowing who I am – without any external dependencies.
Let me also simplify my conversations. A lot of people have the habit of repeating what they have already just shared, or talk aloud their thoughts to get clarity. Wouldn’t it be better to get it clear in our own heads first, instead of filling other people’s heads with our garbage. Getting back to basics in our conversations is allowing the silence to be the backdrop. Silence speaks volumes – if we care to listen.
Perhaps the most life-changing aspect of back to basics is when I understand and realise who I am spiritually. I am not just a human body, my body is an instrument, a costume, a vehicle of expression. But it is not ‘I’. I am a soul, energy, a spark, an eternal, indestructible being. I am just a tiny dot of light!
It’s time… to get back to basics and get to the heart of what really matters. Why hoard things for a rainy day when someone else can be making use of them today. Try to live without your mobile phone for a day or abstain from looking at the computer and your emails and see if you can manage, without feeling a vacuum. Look around your house and see what you can reduce and recycle. Declutter your spaces – make room for newness. Take moments of quiet and silence and get in touch with nature, the inner and the outer – you will be more at peace knowing, you have done all you could to cooperate with Mother Earth.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK