May 26, 2016

Simple Living Conversion Moments



Have you had an experience that changed your mind totally and completely about how you live your life? A moment of insight in which what was previously shrouded and fuzzy becomes clearly focused?

You could call such moments 'conversion experiences', and I know from my own experience, that they can be very powerful. After you wonder, "How did I not see this before?" You are a new person.

Such moments are usually associated with religion, but this concept of radical change can be applied to many things, perhaps to learning in general.  I am particularly interested in examples in which such moments lead a person away from participation in a consumer lifestyle toward a more simple life.

To suddenly change one’s mind changes how everything looks. It is a voluntarily shift in the basic beliefs upon which one's life is understood. The fact that such abrupt and total transformations are possible is very encouraging. There may be hope for us yet.

But such conversions are not always supernovas of change. Often they are tiny fireflies of energy that push us in a particular direction. Everyone has the capacity for both, if you are open to such things and allow them to work their magic.

One such moment that I have personally experienced is hard to label as a total and sudden change, or something more gradual. All I know is that at the time it felt like a probe directly to my brain. It happened a couple of decades ago, and I still think of it today.

I had been canoeing and fishing with Linda on a pristine mountain lake in the Rockies. While on the water I caught a large silver-sided rainbow trout. Later we were transferring our canoe, gear, and my catch back to our van.

We were standing by our vehicle. I was putting the fish into our cooler when a man walked up, staring at the big trout. I looked up at him.

"You killed that beautiful fish", he said.

Then just as quickly as he had appeared he moved on, leaving me to ponder his statement. Fishing has never been the same since.

While I didn't feel an immediate change, that one brief moment in time came to transform how I feel about fishing, consuming fish, and ultimately about life itself. Call it a conversion moment, or an ah-ha experience, but whatever it is, I see these moments as opportunities to alter life for the better.

They are little gifts from the Universe.

Have you had a simple living conversion moment that has resonated with you, and that you just can't forget?










May 24, 2016

Off The Clock

What time is it? Almost sunset.


I enjoy being off the clock. I find the relentless division of my moments into hours, minutes, seconds and microseconds to be arbitrary and over-rated. Not to mention a killer of the unfettered life where things happen when they happen, and not a moment before. Or after.

Our time obsession is too linear for me. Every micro-moment is measured and packaged, and it is only ever going in one unimaginative direction. It is too all-encompassing and limiting, this tyranny of the tick tock.

While we count our seconds, the years recede in the review mirror with increasing rapidity. Where did the time go? I wasn't paying attention. I was busy. I forgot.

My dislike of this relentless manipulation of time is also physical. Wrist watches cause my skin to burn due to a sensitivity to nickel, which is used in watch backs. I have therefore never worn a watch longer than a short while, before my epidermis rises up in temporal tingling.

I am also psychically allergic to calendars, day timers, and alarm clocks. I'm not big on schedules, either.

In our culture we perseverate on the past while simultaneously racing into the future. But the present is when things are happening. We lose a lot by being too busy to notice. A lesson can be learned from other cultures, such as a traditional tribe in the Amazon rain forest that has no concept of time at all. For them everything is all right now.

The take away? Enjoy the moment. Now. And now. And now...


"For fast acting relief, try slowing down."

- Lily Tomlin






May 20, 2016

Inequality Kills



It is a race now. A race to see what does us in first. To see what brings us chaos and completion.

Will it be climate change that forces our hand? Or will inequality blow us apart first? Or will Monsanto kill us before that? Or war?

Living simply, generously and compassionately could help, but it is not a very popular solution.

I wonder - will I have the luxury of passing away peacefully in my sleep due to old age some day, or will some other human-caused gong show cause my early demise?

Who knew the end times would be so exciting? I am sure there are people right now betting on the eventual outcome of this experiment we call life on planet earth. They might think they can enjoy their profits before the whole thing finishes off with a mighty fizzle.

It is a race. A race to the end. It will not be televised. Many won't even know it is coming, even though for many others it will not be a surprise.





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