After more than a year of living full-time in Byron Bay, I’ve figured a few things out. Big things.
Life is an adventure : how obvious, and yet how we often overlook this. I think I almost forgot that I was the one in control of my life adventure. I was so caught up in living a ‘busy’ life that I stopped my adventure.
Moving to Byron Bay manifested itself in the form of a ‘lifestyle job’ (which is all I will say about that for now) that many people would trip over themselves to have. However I had myself so hunkered down in what I thought was the ‘right’ way to live, my peripheral vision became almost non-existent. I had created a comfortable square to live in that was hard to look outside of.
It’s important to note; I wasn’t living badly. I just wasn’t living terribly meaningfully. I was too focused on fulfilling a kind of cookie-cutter existence where I ticked off all the right boxes. I wasn’t overworked, or underpaid, and yet I was constantly flat-out and it seemed like time was whizzing past me quicker than ever before.
Fast forward to now again (for the purposes of not boring you!) and I find myself happier, more productive and creative than ever! How so?
Just as I was reconciling the how’s and why’s of the wonderful shifts occurring in my life physically, emotionally, spiritually etc I decided it made sense to finally sit down with Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’. By now I knew essentially what to expect from reading this, and I was excited to finally be committing myself to taking the time to enjoy the read. Then an interesting meeting occurred. A friend introduced me to Liss of Life In The Slow Lane. I knew of Liss through her amazing adventures documented on her Instagram account, but never imagined, or considered, we would ever have cause to meet.
Liss is a lot younger than me, and I consider her to be so much wiser than me on many levels, which I really admire. While I don’t yet know her very well, I think I can say that I know how she will react to these comments (Liss, you know I mean all this, so just blush and take the compliment!) She is one of the most grounded people I have ever met, and exudes a visible kindness of heart. Liss put her copy of‘In Praise of Slow’ by Carl Honoré in my hand, and Jack took a backseat as I read the book that explained the changes in my life with such clarity it was like a retrospective epiphany took place!
Moving from the Gold Coast (a place I loved living in) after 10 years, shedding massive amounts of excessive ‘stuff’, embracing life on beautiful farm acreage after being in suburbia, becoming immersed in leading a leaner, cleaner, slower pace of life; it was all a natural response to what my life was in need of… s l o w i n g down. Stopping even, for a short time when I first settled here. Yes I am luckier than most. This makes me even more committed to making sure I respect that ‘luck’ by living well. And by ‘living well’ I mean something almost the opposite to how I have lived over the course of much of my life.
I’m not selling a book here. I’m not promoting a new way of life either. Mostly I’m having a positive vent because I am so happy to share this reminder of how we can choose to live better. There are no rights and wrongs with how you choose to live better. There are no prerequisites other than a wish to change and the ability to recognise how you can improve the way you live. There is no time limit. Sometimes, the hardest part is simply understanding that it is human to want to over-complicate things, and to re-simplify things is very straightforward.
These are the basic choices for how I slowed down and improved my life:
- Life is too short to live fast.
- Money really isn’t everything.
- Experiences are worth more than possessions.
- If I can make it, do I really need to buy it?
- Nature really is an incredibly beautiful thing, as much as it is a powerful and destructive force too. Therefore it’s good to work with Her, not against Her.
- Balance. If all I do in a day is find balance – it’s a good day.
Yours may be the same – they may also be entirely different. You don’t have to have a mid-life crisis. You don’t have to run away with the circus. You don’t have to reinvent yourself as a hippy or a gypsy. You don’t have to quit your responsibilities.
This life shift for me, will represent a shift in my writing too. I’m hoping that You, my reader, will get something from this. Time will tell, I hope you do – please give me your feedback, and share your experiences with me too.
P.S. I still haven’t got around to reading ‘On The Road’, but there’s no rush, I’ll get to it, and when I do, I’m really going to absorb and enjoy every single word!