“Life is so stressful, so busy, so complicated, give me some peace!” I hear it all the time and before we moved to France I was repeating it myself. I needed to step away from all of that business and desire to get a clear view. To find my own voice again. Being caught in the treadmill it is hard to see what keeps it going. And it turned out – duh – it was me who kept the treadmill turning. Having so many conscious and unconscious ideas about how things should be or had to become. I was keeping myself hostage with expectations, desires and judgements. I thought I was a free spirit, but I turned out to be scared of living by my own truth. People said I was brave to move away, but I was a coward too. I made my life on the outside way more important than my life on the inside, because it felt more safe.
In France there is no life on the outside, or very little of it. It teaches me how I’ve lost balance between the outside and my inside, how I’ve been focussing on what my life ‘looks like’ to get a hold of it. To attempt to materialize what I felt was possible for me. Wondering why it left me tired and empty.
If you want to accomplish anything on the outside, you’ll have to counter it with at least the same, but preferably double, on the inside. This is where it all starts; with a honest, loving, nurturing fire inside of you. And like every fire you have to keep it lit, you have to watch it, sit by its side, feed it, make it the center of all. I was meditating etc for years, but I was never aware of this fire. I thoughtlessly used all of its energy to build a visible life and got frustrated when there was little emotional warmth left inside of me.
Back in the city this private bonfire means more to me than anything. It keeps me alive. It is life. The only way to live a balanced inner and outer life is to live a simple life. I thought it would be the challenge to manage this busy life, but the true challenge is saying no to it. Keeping it simple means getting rid of the excess means saying no. No to parties, to openings, to appointments, to too many locations, travels, different people, shops, phone calls, drama series, television, too many new or different things at a time. It is the opposite from modern life, from fast, exciting and new. From more, more, more. From what you’ve learned to love, from what you’ve learned to want. It is sobering up and as difficult as letting go of as any addiction. Being busy is soothing in a way, it keeps you from seeing what is really going on. And little by little as I try and stumble to say no thank you, I’m getting my life back in return. In keeping it simple lies the true challenge for a life that not only looks great, but feels great too.
These are our chickens. The brown one is the mother and the others her daughters. The lighter one laid her first egg yesterday, then she proudly climbed the tree, cackling from her chicken paws to tell the world she did so. Her very first manifestation!