The truth is, it isn’t really simple or straightforward to start living consciously after a lifetime of unconscious convenience. At that point, convenience is swimming somewhere in your blood.
If you’re trying to buy less unnecessary stuff, you’ll run into questions about retail therapy and image. Why do you hold onto those things, and why do you love shopping so much?
If you’re trying to get away from using disposable products, you’ll likely be facing some old demons. You’ll wonder why you always flicked your cigarette butts anywhich way, without a thought or glance. Why do you always cave to advertising, buying things you don’t really need, or eating food that makes you feel sick? Whatever the reason, it will likely be uncomfortable.
Choosing an alternative path requires confidence and independence. If you don’t already have these in good shape, you might have to take a few extra turns in your journey.
There’s a good deal of emotional sorting out to be done in this work. At the same time, you’re thinking about the big issues: waste, consumerism, climate change, ethical business, love, humanity. You’re also thinking about how you can live the simpler life you want while maintaining your old relationships. Sometimes, there’s a lot of tension. It’s not all warm and fuzzy, let’s just say.
That looks like a lot on one plate to me. Complicated.
Wasn’t this supposed to be simple? You recognize the problems your old habits caused you, so you stop and adopt new habits. Simple, right? But somehow it doesn’t always work out that way. Did you make it complicated? Is it your fault?
No. It isn’t.
You are only human, after all. You strive to be the best you can be, according to what you learned and experienced while growing up. Now that you’ve gained awareness of your personal impact on the earth, you’re striving to be even better. But fighting those demons can be an epic battle.
I’m motivated by the fact that most simplicity stars have found peace and purpose. They’ve shown me what’s possible, and I believe I can create the same. I’ve surfed through many highs and lows so far on my journey towards simplicity and sustainability. Despite the lows, I know deep down inside the promise of peace and purpose is true. So I won’t be going back anytime soon. There’s only forward to go!
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