I just returned from a short vacation with my wife Sigrid and daughter Rosanne. We rented a little cottage in the middle of the forest and had a wonderful time. We all needed this vacation to relax and spend some time together as a family.
The last couple of weeks have been quite busy for us. Sigrid had a back injury from which she is recovering now and I have been taking care of Rosanne, trying to do my day time job, studying and maintaining this blog. I had little energy left and was a bit stressed. The vacation came in just the right time for all of us.
The funny thing with running a personal development blog is that I am very conscious of the fact that I have been pushing it to my limits in the weeks before the vacation. This is a kind of awareness I acquired over the last couple of years. But even with this knowledge life sometimes gives me these little lessons why it is so important to relax and live a simple life which is enlightened, authentic and stress free. I also found out that having this personal development knowledge and act accordingly are two different things. So I guess I still have some work to do.
One of the reasons why the vacation was such a great success is that it simplified my life. There is not a lot to do in a little cottage. No work to finish, no rooms to clean, no jobs around the house, no garage to work in or a big meal to cook. There is no time for stress. There’s only time to relax, doing some hikes in the forest and in the evening taking care of the fire in the fireplace. And did I already mention the luxury of having a sauna in the cottage? What a way to relax!
At the end of the week my energy level was up again. Inspiration was flowing, generating one idea after the other. I felt I can take on life again. But how can I maintain this relaxed, stress free feeling now I’m back at home?
In my article Keep it simple and live an enlightened life I said that human beings are good at making simple things complex. More complex than it should be, spending most of our time and energy on things we do not need. I now know I need to further reduce the complexity of my own life; private and at the office. In the last two weeks before this vacation I felt that Iife was controlling me, instead of me controlling my own life. I can assure you I never want to feel this powerless again.
This vacation was a very valuable lesson for me. It showed I had too much stuff going on in my life, stuff I can do without. It was a lesson in simplicity and how to apply it to my own life, all the time, not only when I’m away from home.
I decided go through my life to make it simple again; take out all the unnecessary things and obligations that cost too much time and drains my energy. Never again do I want to feel powerless and stressed. Instead I want to feel empowered; empowered to be the director of my own life. Here is my new motto: Living a simple life is living a stress free life.