Why would you want to keep your life simple?
I never thought of simplicity as something I would want in my life. I wanted excitement, I want adventure, experience, complexity, fun, challenge. Looking for those things I took risks, I travelled, I sought freedom, I sought independence. I had a clear picture of the life I wanted : I wanted to travel the world as a director with the man I loved. And so I did. But as I wrote before, this not make me happy. It all actually made me very unhappy and scared, but I continued doing it because I thought I just had to learn to better ‘fit in’. I lost myself in all the things I wanted. I lost myself in wanting. So after a career, two kids and various failed attempts to clear the chaos and anxiety from my existence, I decided to move as far away from the world as I could think of. To dismantle my life and all the ‘stuff’ I had put into it. I did it because I wanted to stay sane and I had ran out of ideas how to live a life that would actually suit me. Without panic attacks, without guilt, without health problems (I’ve suffered from severe anemia several times).
So there I was, in this tiny village on top of a mountain, in the middle of nature, no electricity as soon as it rained, nothing to buy, to do or to be. Coming from a world where I had been encouraged to distract myself, to always look for more and better, I was not used to this nothing. But after the first months I discovered there was a treasure hiding under the noise and distraction. And now, after three and a half years I would never want to go back to that noisy, busy, overwhelming life of more, more, more. I want less and less, because the simplicity I found in France not only solved a lot of my problems, it also gave me what I was looking for to begin with.
I found that traveling the world and looking for new experiences outside of myself did not give me the kind of adventure I wanted – I did not even know what kind of adventure I wanted. It was the silence of the mountains that gave me true adventure. Being able to feel the subtile movements of life, the subtile movements in myself, is where I began to understand what inspiration means, what creativity means, what love means, what truth means. And I feel I haven’t even begun yet, it is still the beginning of discovering a whole universe of stillness that starts the moment you abandon being busy, being distracted, wanting. It is the decision that makes the difference, the decision is the door.
I have to make the decision over and over again. Every day. Do I need a new dress? Do I need this coffee rendez-vous? Is this conversation serving me or the other in any way? Is this contributing to my goal? What was my goal again? What do I really want?
Answering these questions can be muddy and I still waist a lot of time, energy and money on things I later think of as complex. Simple to me is as little stuff, money, appointments, locations, contacts, computer time, wanting, needing, buying as possible. Without becoming dogmatic, that is they key. You make the decision form your heart, not because it is a rule.
So did I go to the party last week? No I did not, I turned around when I was already on my bike and went to the movies to see the new Vinterberg movie with chocolate and a beer, by myself. Because my decision to go to the party had not came from the heart, it came from my ego that told me that I would become a nobody if I would not show myself at the party in my beautiful dress.
I forgot I had already surrendered to becoming a nobody a long time ago, because wanting to be somebody was exactly what got me off track in the first place. So I surrendered again. If you chose something else, you have to actively remind yourself what it is you want from life. If you want the perfect life, everyone can tell you how. But if you want you own life, you can only listen to yourself.