I find this one of the most challenging of all the opposites we experience, the balance between simplicity and happiness with what we have, and the
I have sat to write this to you, having just returned from a huge paddle board with Arran and Marley. The sun was brilliant, the water about 28 degrees celcuis. The water crystal clear greens and blues, with jellyfish, fish, sting rays and boats bobbing about, with people happily waving at us. We saw the cutest little boat houses, run down shacks built on top of huge rocks, on sheer cliffs, one shades of pastel pink and another dark charcoal with a bright red awning. Stone walls and peeling paints. They speak to me of a life of simplicity and solitude, a romantic view that’s probably untrue, I recognise.
As we paddled in the silence, I broke the peace to chat to Arran about the yo-yoing we both experience of ‘let’s work less, and just be on the water as much as we can, absorbing all of natures goodness, travel less and work less’ and the other equally compelling ‘let’s travel the world and experience incredible things and build The Broad Place and work even more on our art and writing’.
Both of course involve earning an income, one to a lesser degree than the other. This is something I hear our students anguish over all the time, experiencing what we do too; the balance between earning an income and living a life. I want to suggest we can have both. But if we are miserable doing either, neither then work. If we earn an income, doing something we detest, for a small amount of being able to do something we adore, the balance is not there. Likewise if we live minimally, but are scrimping by, craving travel and exploration, and the money to create the art we want to create, and are therefore constantly dissatisfied, clearly this isn’t the solution either.
Gratitude, deep heartfelt in my bones gratitude has helped me find the balance. Checking in to see am I truly thankful or just going through the motions. It’s cracked me open in ways I could never have imagined. And through this gratitude, I started to realise that both paths are important, both powerful, and are two slipstreams of how we can live. And when in one, never ever, resent the other. And when we return to the second stream, allow the gratitude to flow as equally. Stemming all shame for our choices and pursuing all we want, with gratitude in our hearts is the best path for sure.
Sent with love,