Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Living a Mindful Life

When we first started talking about living on some acreage and growing our own fruit and vegetable and having animals, spinning, weaving, sewing, cooking, chopping wood and all those things that came with the fantasy, it seemed easy. Live a simple life eating wholesome food which is grown just out the back door while wearing our homespun and sewn clothing. Nothing like a reality check.

Over the years I have done macramé, spinning, sewing, gardening, pottery, painting, preserving, bread making, crochet and knitting. My partner in crime and life has done leatherwork, knots, fixing machines, repairing and inventing stuff like the golf ball washing machine (wish I could find the photo of that one).

We live with very little chemicals in our lives and have for many years, either making our own cleaning products and skin “keeping me young looking “stuff, or being very careful of what I buy, and I take ages to do the grocery shopping as I look at all the ingredients. And of course I mostly cook from scratch using the basics.

In real life this is hard work and saying it is the simple life is too “simple”, I prefer to think of it as a “mindful” life. Though, if you take out the chemicals and plastics and mind frying TV, it is a simple life, a quieter one. I like to live life mindfully, being careful of how I tread on our planet and how my actions will affect others. It is less complicated and more honest to live this way, but a lot harder sometimes.

We would like to do it all; I would like to manage my time better so I can do it all. In reality though, I spend too much time on the computer, (I follow so many blogs it takes me some time so keep up with all the interesting people and points of view there is out) dawdle around the garden and waste time enjoying the personalities and interactions of the chooks, talking about chooks and thinking about how funny and entertaining the chooks are.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with all that, slowing down and smelling the roses along the way is part of life, or should be if it isn’t. Being creative and living the best life you can is important, not just earning money and having a full schedule that you don’t have time to sit down and read a good book (Dr Seuss is always a good read).

I believe it is important to be aware of what is happening in the world, locally and globally. You don’t need to be obsessive about it but you don’t need to be ignorant either, you become small minded and self centred, and that is not good.

We try and live a mindful life that is basic, as few chemicals as possible, good food that is locally grown or grown just out the door. We are aware of what is going on in the world, just up the road, in our own country and in others, so we are informed, we are a part of the world after all. We mind our own business and like our privacy, like the idea of self sufficiency even though the reality of it is much harder than the dream.

Living a mindful life is hard, try not bring home a single plastic bag, we take our own bags everywhere ,and use them, but plastic bags still end up in the house. Thinking about what you are doing and what impact you are having gets tiring sometimes, you don’t always have energy or the inclination to garden or dig a hole to put those posts in.

We do the best we can while being informed but not obsessed nor ignorant, being a part of the world and being private but still getting out and being involved. We try to tread lightly in the way we live and I am working on not feeling guilty if it doesn’t always work out. Using the information we have and can find, to make the best decisions we can with that information, and not worrying about the rest.

So I wish everyone a mindful life, a simple life, even though it is hard work it is less complicated and where we are able to still our minds for a minute or so. I wish everyone a full life which is filled with homemade food and clothing and crafts and simple enjoyments like time spent together, having a cuppa with a friend or enjoying the company of women (or men) who are talented, funny, creative and just a little naughty, but not hours spent in front of the TV or gossiping and interfering in other people’s lives.

Now I have that out of my system, it is time to probably have a cuppa, make a chocolate cake and a banana cake, and do some more crocheting on the blanket I am making for our number one and only son. I am just making up all these traditional granny squares to use up the pile of wool I have before I accidentally buy some more.

1 comment:

  1. I like that term - mindful life, and you are doing a good job.