When did you last check your e-mail, send a text, post a status on Facebook? A few hours or only minutes ago!
For the week in LA we ‘unplugged’ from the daily digital distractions that more often than not clutter our lives. Without cell phones, iPods, and internet access, the impact of the immersion was intensified. I saw this as a potential challenge for me as I enjoy staying very connected via social media and to be cognizant of my time as I am usually on a very tight schedule. It was even recommended that we not wear a wrist watch. With this in mind, I wanted to embrace being present and living in the moment.
When I first heard the phrase ‘living simply‘ before departing on my service trip, I was skeptical of the seemingly negative connotation. The ideas that it is living without much of what makes our daily lives in the twenty-first century run smoothly and on time. Although a minimalistic approach is one way to live simply, it is not the entirety of what this phrase can mean.
I learned that living simply is not only living without modern luxuries, or necessities for some, but it can be a positive approach to living a healthier lifestyle. For example eating simply could consist of incorporating less processed foods in your diet and eating foods that are organic, without preservatives, and most importantly sustainable. The US is largely made up of a consumer society unaware of the large quantities of waste we produce.
While living in Skid Row, we made simple meals and followed simpler hygiene habits. This ‘no frills’ style of living allowed me to focus on the reason I was in LA. I was able to put more time, energy, and thought into the relationships that we formed and the service I provided. I allowed myself to bring one item that I considered a small luxury…my coffee mug (and instant coffee)! I greatly appreciated this when I was waking up at 5AM ready for a long day.
Please share any thoughts or ideas about how you live simply or something you could do to live a more simple life.