I am a reformed capitalist who has left the rat race to live on a permaculture farm.
I have 10 chickens, one dog and some random cows who visit from time to time. In my early teens, I had a near death experience which shaped the way I see the world. Hence, I have an extensive library of self help, spiritual and esoteric books which are currently blocking the entrance to the front room! I enjoy yoga and meditation and spend a heap of time on the farm digging holes, planting trees and harvesting fruit and veg from the property. When I am not working on the property I like to read and write about how we can live more sustainably and become more connected with ourselves, the planet and each other. On my journey so far, this is what I’ve learned:
1. Let go of the ego and just be yourself
“Take time to be an impartial observer of life particularly when an ending is causing despair.” ~ Lao Tzu
We don’t need to be anything or anyone. We need to impress no one. As a society we have become concerned with having the latest fashions, how we look and impressing others. What for? Who cares? We are trying to fulfil other people’s expectations of us. That doesn’t really make any sense. Always trying to prove ourselves to others drives us to distraction. Even when we succeed at creating the right look, social status, image or whatever it is we are trying to achieve, most people don’t notice. So why bother? Our preoccupation with our exterior persona has diverted us from our true self. Once we have let go of our ego state we feel a freedom a freedom that allows us to truly experience life to its fullest without the weight of expectation holding us back.
2. Learn from masters
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein
By studying great teachers and mentors we can develop wisdom from what others are willing to share. If you seek to learn, grow and become wise then you need to associate with wise and knowledgeable people. If you wish to learn any craft or art then a good place to start is to watch what others are doing. Modelling is the process of observing parts of our own and other people’s behaviour in order to reproduce it and improve our functioning and outcomes. We can reduce the amount of time it takes to learn a new trade, skill or anything you wish to replicate. The great thing about modelling is it is all about leverage. You gain access to someone else’s knowledge base and experience that may have taken them a lifetime to compile, develop and learn. That’s why books, reading and watching educational programs can be great teachers.
3. Bring awareness to your life
“The unaware life is not worth living.” Socrates
Today there are growing trends toward living a holistic, sustainable lifestyle with a focus on quality of life. We are moving into a period where we will see an ever increasing focus on personal development and contribution to society. People have been living like this for many decades yet, for the majority, it continues to be a challenge to balance work with lifestyle. The meaning of life is elusive, with the wealth of the 21st century providing humanity with many distractions. Technological advancements provide entertainment and lifestyle opportunities that only decades before did not exist. Practice being in the moment and experiencing the sensations, feelings and emotions every moment has to offer. Our potential is limitless; we just have to be aware that our life is a function of our habits and manage these accordingly.
4. Realize that we all experience conditioning of some kind
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” ~ Albert Einstein
Be aware of how we are influenced by various communications, past experiences, situations and emotions. Modern society and many of the individuals within it have been conditioned. Life and its great mysteries can be glossed over. Many of us end up confused, isolated and questioning. Engaged in trivial activities or hedonistic pursuits, we try to distract ourselves from the deeper meaning of life. We are conditioned to see things as right or wrong, black or white, up or down. The teachings of the spiritual masters tell us that everything is perfect. Let’s enjoy the moment, life and everything we encounter.
5. Understand you create your own experiences
“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” ~ Aldous Leonard Huxley
Allowing ourselves to observe experiences allows us to make more informed and educated decisions. Observation is an important element in the development of our evolution. Much of today’s society revolves around ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’ and observing. Take notice of your experiences. Too often we overlook, turn away, and do not learn from our experiences. Rarely do we take a long hard look at our experiences and learn from them. We walk right back into the same old patterns and bad habits. Only by observing as the great masters do, can we learn and understand that our experiences are neither good nor bad. It is how we perceive them and what we learn from these experiences that make a difference.
6. How do you live your life—through fear or love?
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha
To have a happy life is to live with love and release fear. Human beings are primarily motivated by two underlying emotions, love and fear. These two extremes influence every aspect of our lives. Fear is situated at one end of the spectrum while love is at the other end. On an economic and societal scale we can see that entire industries are dedicated to and thrive on fear. Great masters understand that one who lives life through love can conquer all. Masters know that they have no need for approval, they are not attached to external forces or things, they understand that happiness, compassion and love must be manifested within.
Excerpts from One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…