simple meal

Today we ask that you simplify your life.

Simplify your life.

Most people feel that they would like their lives to be more simple. Yet they feel that this is hopeless. Life is too complicated, and it is getting more complicated all the time.

But simplifying one’s life is not complicated. It is challenging — but not complicated.

The main thing that makes life feel complicated for people is the modern habit of “multitasking.” That is, modern humans are chronically distracted, and trying to do too many things at once.

When you think of a simple meal, what do you think of? A few good things served on a plate. Nourishing food, that will go down well in your belly. Food that won’t give you indigestion.

A complicated meal might involve many courses, and many things to eat. It might be a gourmet meal, or a meal with many different competing flavors. Very likely such a meal will leave you feeling overfull — it is difficult to digest such a meal.

That is what life is like for many people. A complicated meal, with many competing flavors. There may be moments of pleasure as you eat, but in the end, there is indigestion.

It is fine to eat a complicated meal every so often. But if it is all you eat — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — then it will compromise your health.

So how to make life more simple, more nourishing, more easily digested?

Simplify what’s on your plate. Eat less. What you do eat, make nourishing.

Most people protest that it is impossible to simplify life. Their work is too demanding, family life is too demanding, etc. 

Certainly work and family are part of a balanced meal for many people.

But what about all the extra courses and flavors? What about all the colorful distractions — the constant checking of phones and computers, the constant absorption of information? These things can be reduced.

Do you really need to do all the things that you do? It is one thing if you have plenty of energy to do these things. Then there is no problem. But if you are exhausted and stressed, it might be time to take a close look at all the things sitting on your plate.

Look at the things you do as if they were food. Does what you do nourish you?

Another way to simplify life is to be present in what you are doing.

If you are at work, be at work.

If you are with your family, be with your family.

If you are cooking a meal, cook the meal.

Focus on what you are doing right now. Be there. Don’t let your mind wander in twenty different directions at once. Just do what you are doing.

People think, oh, nothing will get accomplished if I don’t multitask.

But in reality, nothing much gets accomplished when you do multitask.

A truly focused, present human can get a great deal accomplished in relatively little time.

A distracted human takes a lot of time to do little. There’s just too much food on the plate.

So simplifying one’s life is possible.

Really it just means breaking the addictive habits of chronic distraction, multitasking, and over-scheduling. It is challenging to break these addictive habits, but it can be done.

The first step is recognizing that chronic distraction, multitasking, and over-scheduling are addictive, destructive habits — not just the thing that everyone does and calls modern life.

Chronic distraction, multitasking, and over-scheduling are not givens. They are a part of the current cultural conditions — the societal mores of your time. In the past, cultural conditions promoted such things as the morality of owning slaves, or the healthy properties of cigarettes. From a modern point of view, you can see these things were destructive. But they were normal, in their time. 

Therefore, it is wise to question the prevailing cultural conditions of the time that you inhabit. What may seem “normal” to most people now will be looked at by future generations as destructive and unhealthy.

Simplify what’s on your plate. Let what you eat in this life be nourishing.