Jun 01, 2016 08:54AM
By Ana Rincon
"Everything changes. Nothing remains without change." Gautama Buddha
I’ve recently had to “walk the talk” in several areas: decluttering, living more simply, and accepting change with equanimity. I’ve decided to downsize to a new and much smaller home, which for me means giving up a lot of space, some comforts, and many possessions. It is a challenging process, but many of the lessons I’ve learned while reading and publishing Natural Awakenings have helped.
Primarily, less really is more. Our motto, “Feel Good, Live Simply, Laugh More” is so apropos. The current situation and big house, lovely as it is, doesn’t always make me feel good. I’ve found a new location that does. I’ve also observed, as I sort through my belongings and those of an entire family, that we have not been living simply. On the contrary, we all bought into the excess that our suburban society seems to demand. As the donation pile grows, my sense of being burdened by possessions lightens.
Maybe more importantly, I’m also letting go of old plans and “to dos” that have been weighing on me. This is hard, because they represented my “future” at one time. Letting go of plans brings some sadness. But they no longer fit. And to make room for a future that is more exciting and more “me,” they have to go.
Moving also means giving up my beloved lake and the constant entertainment I get from watching its changing moods, weather and wildlife. This is where accepting change with equanimity comes in. When I searched for an apt quote for this month’s letter, I knew I wanted something about change from Buddhism. But my search also turned up the following quote from Charles Morgan, an English author I hope to read more of:
"The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change, for happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up."
So I won’t cling to the happiness that the lake provides. I will allow happiness to take the form it chooses. Will I laugh more? I suspect so.
For more on happiness, read “Happy All Day” by Judith Fertig and her “10 Habits of the Happiest People.” (Just another example of how Natural Awakenings has helped me deal with major life changes along the way).
Wishing you the happiest of Junes,