Many people have told me that I have an independent and adventurous attitude. If you’ve seen the movie Shawshank Redemption, you might recall a scene in which Red says that Andy is one of those birds that just aren’t meant to be caged.
That would be me. I am unable to be confined. I used to be imprisoned… stuck in the rut of being a captive of one’s cubicle and a victim of the commuter curse. No more, however.
Gandhi was a strong proponent of the philosophy that simple living is the fastest way to freedom.
I agree. After I adopted a more minimalist lifestyle, I came to the conclusion I didn’t need a 6-figure salary, so I freed myself.
1. I’m free from the alarm clock
I do not believe that it is normal to be awakened from a deep slumber by what can only be described as a “alarming noise.” In addition, it is not natural for humans to get up when it is still dark outside, and in order to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, we ought to get out into the direct sunshine as quickly as possible after waking up. It is quite challenging to accomplish this while working a full-time office job. Now, I work according to my own standards.
Some people credit getting out of bed early as being the foundation for all other good behaviours. The night owls won’t agree to it since they believe they are capable of being far more productive in the late afternoon and evening. In point of fact, adenosine is produced at a faster rate when you wake up at an earlier hour. In addition, this is what causes you to feel sleepy as the evening progresses.
The conflict that arises between the natural rhythms of our bodies, which researchers refer to as “biological time,” and the work and school schedules that we have collectively established as a society and are obligated to uphold is referred to as “social time.” This conflict is one of the most significant obstacles to getting enough sleep and waking up naturally.
If you are able to maintain a consistent time for going to bed, you will be able to establish a natural rhythm and teach your internal clock to prepare you for sleep at the same time each night. In addition to that, this will assist you in waking up at the same natural time every morning. If you make it a point to go to bed at the same time every night, even on the weekends and holidays, your circadian rhythm will eventually align itself with the 24-hour cycle it was meant to follow.
2. I’m free from car ownership
When cars were originally introduced and only a select few people could afford them, the answer is yes; they may represent freedom. However, due to factors such as traffic and urban growth, many people now perceive them to be an annoyance. Walking is a fantastic exercise that is essential for us humans to participate in.
This is not something that is just recommended, but there is an innate mind-body connection with our gaits and being aware of our surroundings that is important for deep, holistic health. Because I don’t have to worry about parking a car, I have more than sufficient time to wander around outside and think. There are several transportation options available for lengthier journeys, including aeroplanes, trains, and rental cars.
3. I’m free from the gripping hold of electronics
Yes, I use electronics, and probably too often. However, I do my best to view electronics as nothing more than a supplementary tool for my job and my amusement, and I do all in my power to steer clear of the perils of continual connectedness. Have you ever witnessed anybody misplacing their phone? They have a panic stricken reaction like they lost their child. I do not own a smartphone, nor am I active on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
A couple of years ago when my contract ran out, I decided to go a year without any cell phone. . Only at home could anyone possibly reach me if they were trying to get in touch with me. When my computer is in need of repair, I go to the library to use one of the public computers there so that I don’t stress out while it’s being worked on. When I need a break from staring at a device and want to simplify my routine, I will occasionally just write with a pen and paper. On the weekends, I just sometimes use my computer. I read anything from two to four books a week, and I only ever read them in their physical form.
4. I’m free from the gym
I used to be a gym rat for many years. I would get in my car and drive the meagre mile to the gym, where I would run on the treadmill and lift weights on the “scheduled body parts” for that particular day. After that, I came across writers such as Mark Sisson and Katy Bowman. Instead of spending my time and money on exercise equipment that forces our bodies into positions that are not natural and isolates muscles, I have transitioned to completing functional motions that use the entire body when I am outside.
In addition, rather of focusing all of your physical activity on a single, intense session once a day, you should spread it out throughout the day. I may not have the chiselled figure of a bodybuilder, but compared to when I was a gym rat, I have more energy, more strength, more flexibility, more speed, more tranquilly, and an overall feeling of improved holistic health and wellness.
5. I’m free from vacations
I can travel the world on my terms. Not, on a 3-week a year basis. I don’t have to ask for permission. I don’t even need “vacations” because I’m not stuck in a mind-numbing job trapped inside for 40+ hours a week. Plus, I get bored with luxury vacations. Instead, I travel for extended periods and plan to volunteer and work overseas for better cultural immersion. I travel for experience, not to ‘get away from it all’ or to be pampered by the locals.
6. I’m free from stuff
Yes, I do still have certain stuff, but when my husband and I were married, we had a lot of toys. We each had a road bike and a mountain bike, hiking equipment, camping equipment, hang gliders, aircraft, a hot tub, luxury sports vehicles, and so on. I’m not kidding. What do you think? I did not feel happy. Now that my husband and I have downsized our lifestyle, I find that I have a greater sense of contentment. I can rent or borrow anything I need to have any experience I want in almost any place on the planet.
7. I’m free from my coffee addiction.
I used to be one of these people who couldn’t think about anything else but coffee the minute I woke up. It wasn’t even just the caffeine, it was the smell, the percolating sound, the robust flavor, the warmth. It was a habit that I wanted to break. Now, I enjoy myself a cup at a nice cafe, but I don’t need it for energy first thing in the morning. I don’t drink it every day and I don’t drink it at home. I feel much more in control of my consumption now and that is important to me. It is now a treat instead of a ‘need’.
8. I’m free from the (not so) great indoors.
Because I work because I choose to rather than because I am forced to, I do not have to spend my whole day confined to a cubicle. Every day, I am able to spend time outside, where I can soak up the sun and get in a good workout. Because I have the time and the lifestyle that enables me to adjust to some pretty dramatic weather fluctuations, I am not typically confined to staying home when there is a heat wave or when there is a winter wonderland.
How anyone can be free: Live simply. Always know when you have enough.
Here is a story I found on the internet:
At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut tells his friend, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history.
Heller said, “Yes, but I have something he will never have: Enough.”
How about you? Are you free? Or does something, someone or a constant want have a hold on you?