For the last 7 days, I’ve been at a lakeside cottage a few hours outside of Toronto, on a little creative and spiritual retreat. Since arriving here, I’ve driven into the nearby town once to get some groceries but otherwise, I’ve been getting around on foot, taking daily walks on the nearby trail. I’ve also unplugged from the world of Facebook and Twitter, and have been using email and phone sparsely to communicate with family and a few close friends.
This is a stark contrast from the usual for me which involves daily city driving, somewhat compulsive Iphone use and social networking, and constant human contact. In essence, I have been somewhat removed from my day to day life and all the “things” that I so heavily depend upon and this has given me a great opportunity to go within and gain some perspective.
Of all the things I’ve discovered during this week of solitude, the one I am really cherishing and wanting to share is that it’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy.
For me, that includes wearing pj’s and slippers, the smell of incense, singing in the shower, a brisk walk in nature, candlelight, reading a good book, writing, making dinner while listening to music, and hearing the sound of my loved ones’ voices. I could go on but you get the idea
As much as I already knew that I love a lot of these things, the fact is that I don’t do them nearly enough and when I do, I don’t really allow myself to enjoy them fully because I’m not totally present. We can get so caught up in our day-to-day routine that we lose sight of the spice of life, the simple things that make us happy. We can also become so consumed by the chase for more in our careers, relationships and the material world that we forget how easy it is to bring ourselves a little extra joy by doing the simple things that make us feel cozy and at home. This is good for the soul and when we nurture our souls, our sense of peace deepens, creativity flows freely and love abounds.
Being away has given me a chance to gain this perspective, but I’m definitely planning to bring this insight back to my life at home. I will work in my pj’s whenever possible, I will go for more walks, I will read instead of watching tv, light candles and burn incense when I’m creating and I will step away from the Iphone knowing that I don’t need to check my email 15 times a day!
The point is that doing the simple things can be easily practiced in the course of our regular lives. And not just on special occasions, all the time!
So what about you? What are the simple things that bring you joy?
Written for The Daily Love (Oct. 15th, 2011)