February 26, 2016

Release The Struggle

Our culture is obsessed with The Struggle. We struggle to keep up, to "be successful", to have the right job, the right things, the right vacations. It doesn't have to be that way.

It is commonly accepted belief that life is a struggle and that we must expend a great deal of effort to provide for our needs and our goals. Starter homes and the promise of ascending the social ladder keep us always wanting more, working for more.

Being content with a less materialistic life sets us free. When our needs are simple, the struggle is over.

Through the pursuit of simplicity my life has become less difficult. In the beginning this felt strange and unfamiliar. I was led to believe that life was hard when you were doing it right, and that is what I believed for a while.

While Linda and I were headed for a life of simplicity anyway, her health issues pushed us to accelerate our schedule. It was a blessing in disguise.

By 40 years old I was semi-retired and preparing for a time when I would need to take on a roll as Linda's full time caregiver (or "man-servant" as she likes to call me). Living simply was not only the best way to achieve our goals, it was the only way that we could see to make it work.

We quit our jobs and shifted our lives from ones of running the race with everyone else to ones focused on our well-being, as well as that of those around us and the planet. Wonderful things began to happen.

We slowed down. Our stress levels dropped. We slept better at night. Our days were filled with activities we chose. There were diet changes and deja vu. Silliness and synchronicity. Humour and health. Life was feeling less plastic and more perfect.

It was very satisfying to redefine what success meant to us. Things were feeling easier, even as Linda's health was demanding more of us.

When we limit our desires we can begin to release the struggle. We can give ourselves permission and allow life to become easier. Today there is no lack of challenging times and difficulty, but overall our life now follows a simple, natural and effortless flow.


  1. Life is a constant rush and when you get off the ride it's great. To make things worse people self medicate and are dominated by dopamine. We need use more oxytocin that adds back into society. There is nothing better than a day of mediation and just being present. Alex.

    1. Oxytocin is an interesting substance, being both a neurotransmitter and a hormone. To restore balance our culture needs to look more at being rather than doing. We need less doing. Way less. More sitting. Just sitting.

      I know lots of people addicted to the rush of adrenalin that keep life overly busy in order to get their daily dose. It's not sustainable. I notice that they are often sick with colds, flu and the like. It is possible to not be sick all the time. Slowing down helps.

  2. I once said that "My illness has taught me more than it's taken away". There may be a time, when that's no longer true, but it did make me change my life for the better. Life has slowed to a crawl and I'm loving it!

    1. So true, Miss Marla. Often medicine people in traditional societies have previously been through some sort of extreme hardship that taught them things not as available to less "tested" individuals.

      I love a slow, deliberate and purposeful life in which the moments and days flow seamlessly into one another. Magical.

  3. Every day for a few minutes I think about death. Nothing morbid about my schedule. It makes my day really wonderful. If I am going to die and we all will there is nothing that can make my life miserable or upset me. I like this way. Hugs to you and Linda. Saffron Australia

    1. Saffron,

      One of our treasures has been pushed toward thinking about things that culture tends to ignore. Though initially difficult, it is good to think about the impermanence of things, and act accordingly. If one is unafraid to die, one can be unafraid of anything. That is when the love begins to flow.

      Hugs received. Sending some down under for you.


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