I also found it hard to unwind each day, and realised that my head was swimming with so much stuff that my mind raced a fair bit of the time. I wasn’t in touch with my surroundings and sometimes out of tune with the wonderful people I shared my life with, and I certainly was not in tune with the plight of the planet. I was blissfully unaware of my impact on it and to the ecosystems that exist upon it. I had drifted on the tide of a life half lived for far too long.
What a sorry state of affairs! I had an inkling of what might be wrong, so Kim and I started to attend meditation classes so that we could both learn to relax. I really enjoyed the experience, and things began to change. After a meditation session, I felt connected to my inner self in a way I hadn’t experienced in my life. That was about two years ago and I felt great.
And then came the day that I went to the cinema to watch a free movie provided by work, and it changed my life. It was as if I awoke from a horrible dream, and if you have read this blog from the beginning, you will know the rest of the actions I have taken to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
All the actions aside, I think I have only once described the emotions and personal changed that have taken place with in me. Firstly, I have taken a step back, and had a really hard look at myself and the way I lived before my epiphany. I managed to come to grips with who I was, and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I found that by looking within, rather than searching for answers in the outside world, I found that I was already complete and that my life was complete. I found that a simple life had meaning, and it was not about blatant consumerism that the TV blasts at us, day in, day out. In fact, I found myself watching less and less TV, and began the research and learning that ultimately helped my understanding the climate change problem, and the ways I could reduce my carbon footprint.
At first my family thought I had lost the plot, but found that their husband and father began to talk about more interesting things, and made them think about things that challenged their own understanding of how our civilisation works. I had another purpose other than the daily grind of work. Not only did I feel fully connected to my family, which brought me great joy, I began to feel connected to the Earth, through my gardening endeavours. I may have said this before, but growing your own food is one of the most uplifting and spiritual things I have ever done, and certainly one of the most fulfilling. All of the things that my family and I have done over the last two years have brought us closer together, and we spend more meaningful time together. I now stress less about work, and am more relaxed at home, but more active. I have also lost 10 kg in the process and now know that by looking at my inner self, I changed who I was for the better.
Nowadays, we rarely go out anywhere due to my back injury, but we have a fuller lifestyle. We have comfort in knowing that we produce our own solar electricity and hot water, drive less, and have reduced our consumption across the board. We make things together, we grow food together, we cook together, and most of all we have fun together, which is really the simple home truth that people caught in the rat race just don’t realise. Living simply, and honesty, like our parents and grandparents, is what a full life was, and still is, all about.
It makes me sad some days, when I realise that it took me 42 years to get it, but my goodness, I am making up for it now. I still work to pay off the house, and actually enjoy work without the stress, and find it a great way to spread the word. I stopped sweating the small stuff. We are paying off the house and our other debts very quickly, so we should be debt free in about ten years time (maybe a little longer). We don’t live in a McMansion (never did anyway), and now live within our means. Credit card debt is down and nearly non-existent, with the nasty consumerism troll now living at the bottom of the compost heap like the rotting matter it is.
It feels great to be alive, and to have a goal as big as the planet for the rest of my time on it. I have found the “something” that I was missing. It was inside of me all along, and I just didn’t know it at the time!