January 25, 2017

Simple Life, Calm Mind

My mom had a favourite saying when my 4 siblings and I were young and prone to panic at the smallest slight.

"When in trouble
when in doubt
run in circles

Now I know that is what we call a sarcastic remark, but after that how could one not see the futility of doing things that don't help to solve the problem at hand? I guess it was effective.

A simple life is a calm life. A calm life is one in which one may face all challenges with equanimity and passion. Being calm has never hurt anyone. Can you be too calm?

When you make the madness of modernity move aside, it leaves only you. That can be scary at first, which is why we are so prone to being easily distracted by things. However, approaching and getting to know our source in stillness is not something that should be neglected if we are to be ready in a rapidly changing world.

Whatever the future may bring, there is no better preparation than cultivating a calm mind. From an internal stillness we can more effectively address whatever gives us that panicky feeling in the pit of our gut. Like what is happening in many guts right now.

Efforts toward stress reduction, and effective and meaningful change, do not include running in circles screaming and shouting. No anger, no threats. It is time for decisive action. A calm mind prepares us for just that.

I say, "Bring it on". I have been calmly waiting for this for a long time. I am hoping that a simple living revolution of cooperative and compassionate communities will be part of what replaces living under competitive capitalist consumer constructs.

Remember to breathe.


  1. Anonymous1/25/2017

    I'm working on it.

  2. Ah, this is timely. It's so easy for me to feel like I'm "doing something" by reading the newspapers and getting upset. Not helpful….

  3. Anonymous1/26/2017

    I think being calm is good thing, although you need to be put under stress at times. These are some things I use to promote calmness.
    Firstly, breathing. Breathing can often take a bit of practice. Learn to breath from the diaphragm. Breathing in for 4 though the nose. Hold breath for 2 and out for 4. Place hand on diaphragm and feel it move in and out.
    This practice can lead to meditation which will work at 30 minutes a day, although 2 x 40 minutes is optimal.
    Diet, eat a whole food plant based diet, to take it further eat Brahman or Chan diet and cut out aliums too.
    Exercise, this helps to put your body under controlled stress working the endocrine system.
    Cold water immersion also helps with controlled stress and helps improve mood.
    Running in nature or wild swimming makes this more powerful.
    Avoid artificial contraception and learn natural conception, it takes research to do this right and practice karezza.
    Avoid drugs of all kinds and caffeine. Caffeine triggers the fight and flight response.
    Give up consuming and live a simple life.
    Improve oxytocin by learning a massage system and learn about holding patterns.
    There is plenty more, but this is a good foundation.

  4. World change is in the air. It feels palpable now. I'm scared but also hopeful that good will come through change.... although I also feel we're in for a hairy ride. :(
    Focusing on breathing is good. So is moving forward one step at a time.
    Today I'm going to discuss adding a free range chicken run to our property with a friend. It's a step closer to being a little more self suffecient and less reliant on the outside world. I think I'll also pot up a few more seedlings. And play with my children. Small things, simple things, but meaningful and worthwhile all the same. Peace to all NBA readers. x

  5. Anonymous1/26/2017

    Thank you Linda and Gregg ,you made us calm just visiting NBA. Alex I would like to read more about your diet or good links to find.Good wishes Saffron

    1. Anonymous1/27/2017

      Hi Saffron,
      A whole plant based diet is all that is needed for optimal health. How Not to Die by Dr Greger is a great source of information.
      You can go further with diet, but this is more concerned with cultivation. Plants are very powerful and people might not notice how powerful they are if the effects are drowned out from other distractions. Alliums have a large amount of methionine. In the ayuvedic tradition they are classed as rajasic or tamasic. Coriander is a very powerful plant and is considered holy in India thus daily consumption is not recommended. This article offers some information
      Plants have their own essence or qi so can effect consciousness, but as we consume them the plants essence distorts our own consciousness. I trained as a herbalist for many years, but rarely recommend taking herbs as healing is achieved from within the body. Although certain plants are recommended to eat often such as brocali and blue berries for example.
      Diet is not often considered due the often pressing serious problems people have and these practices are not well known.
      All the best,

  6. Anonymous1/28/2017

    Alex thanks for your kindness. It looks like is something I follow already but not the whole principal, slowly I will there. Wishing you well

  7. Anonymous1/28/2017

    Greg - this post made me think of something I just read on a review site of an online store. A customer wrote in, telling her extremely complicated story of purchasing an item, receiving it in a defective condition, paying for it through an online loan(!), having to cancel the loan, sending the item back . . .!!! I got tired and stressed just reading the review. Since I have cut back on my consumer habits, I have also decreased my stress levels amazingly. This quote is so beautiful in its truth and sensibility. Truly, decreasing our levels of consumption in a thoughtful manner also decreases our stress levels and increases our enjoyment in so many other intangible things. This is a real win-win in so many ways.


  8. Calm. Breathe. Center. Ground. That's what I've been doing these past few days and why I'm late commenting on this timely post.

    I think your mom's saying explains what has happened as we move into an unknown and upsetting new U.S. administration. Instantly, we realized we were in trouble, much more than some thought. And it happened faster and more dramatically than some thought. Big changes were thrust at us instantly showing us that the very foundation of what we've known is at stake causing us great doubt about the future. The reaction was to run in circles scream and shout. There was some order and organization to it. No one was arrested that I heard of. I think we were/are having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. And a situation that feels threatening. Life threatening.

    I think people are beginning to calm, ground. I am. A number of people are posting lists and articles like this one offering suggestions for calming and how to calmly move forward with activism. The next step will be to pick your cause or causes and determine what you can do or decide to do nothing. I'm doing a lot of figuring it out. What's important to me? What can I do? What do I want? Need? How can I contribute? I think we need the shouters, the screamers and the circle runners for the movement to be successful. It helps to get media coverage which can make people aware and involved. We need the calm and orderly too. I have figured out that my place is somewhere on the calm and order side. Also I want to be careful not to "tone silence" people nor do I want the impose "respectilbility polices" on anyone. I see the damage of respectilbility politics is doing on the marginalized here in the south. I see the counter reaction to it too. It's scary. I think we need a mix in our response to what's happening. Comments here are helpful as they always are. I appreciate this community very much.

  9. I think shouters, screamers and circle runners do more harm than good. My mother was one of those people and no matter what we discussed I found myself going the opposite of what she was trying to hammer home. Shouting and screaming and trying to force people to accept your viewpoint NEVER works and it's not working now. It just makes the divide deeper.


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