Boil Down, Simplify, Reduce, Harmonize, Normalize And Clarify The Complications

Recently I have been in a roller coaster car on the bottom dip of the long rail.

Recently I have found myself at the bottom of a canyon, moving up hard-scrabble ground to make it to a river amongst the trees.

Recently I have been spending time at the bottom of a large hole dug by very large tractors, and eyeing the dirt walls carefully.

That is to say, I have had the blues.

But in the last couple of days I have felt the occasional small upwelling of good feelings. The momentary wonder and pleasure of simple things. My appetites are returning to their normal charges. Music in the car is suddenly fresh and I feel good. I see people on the street and wonder at their lives.

I often spend time thinking about my camping gear, whether or not I have everything I truly need to make a simple trip with a minimum of weight and maximizing the usage of my gear. I guess we all have our obsessions at times. This morning I said to myself that I already have everything I need, and this was a sea-change. My job is to reduce and keep it simple.

“Whatever the tasks, do them slowly
with ease,
in mindfulness,
so not do any tasks with the goal
of getting them over with.
Resolve to each job in a relaxed way,
with all your attention.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

My next solo trip into the backcountry will be simple. The simplest of arrangements. No more gear. Shed the gear I don't need.

So to each of you, casual and dedicated readers alike, I ask that you examine ways to simplify your life. Write down one area of your life in which you can boil down, simplify, reduce, harmonize, normalize and clarify the complications. Once you have done this, write down a handful of specific steps that you can take in the next day to begin this crucial work. Then plan out something as a reward, once you have made the changes - I am certain it will be something you have been not doing because of the complications.

That's all.


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