I recently took a trip with my boyfriend to Phuket and Phi Phi Island in Thailand. I had read a lot about it on blogs and forums before I left, but it was much greater a place than I could have imagined. Simplicity. Striking. Gorgeous. Nature. Peace. Tranquility. These are all words that describe this place perfectly. We stayed in Kata beach where the water is turquoise and crystal clear, we swam all day, rode on elephants, went snorkelling, explored the island on a little motorbike, we communed with nature!! Could you imagine that I felt the most alive I have in a long time just living with the basics in community with nature? 😉
Today we are too wrapped up in technology, fashion, and “keeping up with the Smiths,” as it were. We have isolated ourselves in concrete jungles and live a sort of half-life. The energy that lives in nature is the energy that we need. Before you die, take a trip where you also live with just the basics. No or limited internet, a shack or bungalow with a shower above the toilet, bring a small amount of clothing, and enjoy nature.
The Thai people of Phuket are so happy with so little. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that 95% of them are buddhists, but I certainly noticed that it changes the way they treat each other as well as foreigners. On their Songkran Festival they celebrate water, the mother of life. They openly welcome foreigners, playing and splashing each other with water like brothers. They pile their families and friends into the back of pickup trucks and don water guns and big buckets of water. They dance in the streets, soaking wet, with huge smiles on their faces. I was shown love by a huge amount of people that day and it really nurtured my heart and soul.
Let us strive to live more simple lives, to shift the focus back to living in community with our planet instead of separating ourselves from her. I promise there is much more happiness to be found in this sort of life.
All of us have been here at some point. Letting go of control is perhaps one of the most difficult things in life. But if you are trying to control everything, you enjoy nothing. You are unable to live in the present moment. Have you ever thought about that? When you are living in your thoughts, and not with a silent mind which is at peace, you are not living in the present. We are constantly thinking of the past or future to try to calculate our next move. Things that happen to us throughout the day will trigger a memory, which will then remind us of something we have to do in the future, which will then reference us back to our past to learn how to handle the situation better this time. In modern day we seldom make time to just be still and live in the moment.
The times I feel most present and alive are times when I am in nature. It is because I am appreciating something that is beautiful to me, something that is intimately connected with me. I sit in awe and admire, there is no control-battle present in these moments. I am completely content, completely present. That’s why being in nature is always a sort of meditation for me, and I always feel I have so much more energy. I actually have a nice story that pertains to this.
I live in Hong Kong right now. It is a very busy city. There are lots of people rushing around all the time and the public transport is stuffed with people. There is hardly room to breathe sometimes. People control their schedules so tightly, and everything has to be exact. One night I had been working very late and did not get much sleep. A friend of mine was in town that I do not get to see very often and he invited my boyfriend and me to go to the Tai Tam waterfalls. I was extremely tired but something told me I had to go. We made the trip out there which includes a hike of about 15-20mins. When we arrived, even though I was dripping with sweat (the summer in Hong Kong is VERY hot and humid), I felt instantly energised. We swam in the waterfalls and the pools, admired the nature, sunbathed on the rocks, it was incredible. I felt present that whole day, I wasn’t trying to control anything. I felt a deep connection with the nature there and it recharged me better than sleeping a full 8 hours. This is what we need, daily meditations where we let go of control and just allow ourselves to be content.
Let’s all make more of an effort to “let go and let live.”