I became more convinced than ever that God finds ways to communicate to those who truly seek him, especially when we lower the volume of the surrounding static. I remember reading the account of a man who interrupted a busy life to spend a few days in a monastery:
"I hope your stay is a blessed one," said the monk who showed the visitor to his cell. "If you need anything, let us know, and we will teach you how to live without it"
ok, it is time for a life audit. Two days ago I moved all of my things out of my house and into my friends house where I am staying for the next two or three weeks. Looking at all the packed boxes and many bags and surveying the amount of just "stuff" that I have I have come to the conclusion that it is time for most of it to go.
Here's why: A year or so ago I was reading Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence was a cook in a French monastery in the18th century and learned the wonderful practice of entering, staying in and enjoying God's presence. This resonated with with me and after praying on it I received a clear word from God one Sunday morning that has stuck with me and has since become the crux of the philosophy that I tend to apply to my life. The word Simplicity of Joy.
Not long after receiving this word God started to stir something up inside me. It was an overwhelming contentment with simple things and living life simply and a growing dissatisfaction with the materialistic mentality that seems to dominate Western society today. I find that I am at my happiest when I have less (including money). The type of lifestyle that connects with my spirit the most is without doubt a simple lifestyle. The training, climbing and parkour disciplines that have crept into my life recently, for some reason seem to strike chords with me in a life philosophy that practices simplicity and God's presence.
So, we come back to my many boxes of packed possessions. I think it is time to part with a lot of things. Simply for the sake of simplicity. I want this next year to be completely given to God and free from the unnecessary distraction. Also, personally, I find that I am just so much closer to God when I am removed and disconnected from the material world I live in and go my own way with it being allowing myself to be free from those things.
So what are my aims?
(1) To have a ruthless clear out of my stuff and bring it down to the bare minimum
(2) To live off as little money as possible, wasting nothing (especially food)
(3) To be careful with what I eat and consider my diet more in my training
ok, so onto my diet. After three years of what I can only describe as a student diet I have come out pretty healthy, but undeservedly. I recently went four months without take away food, it was incredible; my body felt great and the amount of money I saved changed my bank balance by such a significant amount. My discipline to eat well and maintain a regular lifestyle was a natural following result. It was so much better and it wasn't that hard, but it was so much easier to revert back to unhealthy eating. In the same way, on the materialistic front, I feel that, living in a society where the pursuit of happiness is founded in pursuit of "having" I have found that it has been a very easy discipline to live free from and apart from that and the results of it, especially in my spiritual life are so much better, however, despite this it is always so much easier to revert back to the pull of the Western commodity driven philosophy.
I was talking with Jin the other day about diabetes and the importance of diet regarding type 1 diabetes, and I remember being so inspired by the discipline required to maintain a good lifestyle with something like diabetes that it resonated strongly with this simplistic and disciplined lifestyle that I am moving towards. Now after three years of eating poorly, my health is fine, but I don't think that that is any reason for me to continue abusing my body with a horrendous diet because I won't suffer too dyer consequences.
And finally, onto my training. I have not trained over the past couple of days but moving out of my house has provided me with enough heavy lifting that I probably exceeded what I do in my daily discipline anyway, but I am moving into a method of training that is focused on pathway and goal. I am working towards a certain goal in parkour and until my I achieve that I will have it in mind as I train towards it.
So for the moment my goal is to master the various flips on the bars. The training I am going to do to reach this goal is going to be more intense handstand discipline, moving from timed free stands to push ups every morning, chin up and pull ups on bars with stomach stretches. I am taking a slow road to a more intense program but I am so much more concerned with learning to love the discipline than burning myself out with a discipline I can't enjoy or seek God in.
Anyways, I think that's me done for today, this is just a simple sum up of some of what I am thinking on at the moment.
Peace and Love
Song of the day: Adoration - Andy Baker & Nick Law