THE SIMPLE LIFE

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“Be as simple as you can be;

you will be astonished to see

how uncomplicated and happy

your life can become”

Paramahansa Yogananda

Last summer I was lucky enough to meet someone whose story has impressed me pretty much, so that since then I can’t seem to keep it off my mind. The story itself may seem quite ininteresting but it ispired me, and still it does today. I’ll keep it short and sweet: a married couple, after decades of living in a big northern city, spending life working 9-to-5 in the office, one day – almost all in a sudden – kicked off everything and started over a new life in a microscopical place in the middle of nowhere. The office life was substituted by a farm life. They produced wine, they had animals, fruit and vegetables to sell and to live by. The bare essentials to live. To live and to be happy. Although their farm really is private and secluded, they have never been short of company. They in fact hosted (they still do) people from all over the world. From this point of view they have met and socialized with far more people than myself since high school…

Probably they forgot that there are entities named Dior, Dolce&Gabbana, etc.. Probably such names they heard during their previous life, now turned out to be meaningless, or sort of. Ah, I don’t want to forget to mention that both man and wife were, in their own way and in their own right, stylish.

That man was a talker! And while he was telling stories he laughed. To tell the truth, he was always laughing. And smiled. Clearly, he was happy living this life of his. At a certain point he said that his and his wife’s family comes to visit from the north sometimes, and the latters all the time (in spite of all the years passed) never fail to express skepticism towards their life of choice. And while telling that, he kept on laughing, because he (and his wife along) knew that the others were so small to have never understood the purity and the beauty of their chosen existence.

This man and his wife left me completely petrified. Their happiness left me petrified. Their uncomplicated life left me petrified. Their beautiful life left me petrified.

I am not going to say here that I want to leave everything to move in the middle of nowhere. The country life doesn’t suit me at all, that’s for sure. But if simplicity makes happy, well that is the place where I want to live.

Chasing trends, or the latest super expensive “it-something” makes life a little bit frustrating if everything revolves around that. Because that encourages to always look at the others and what they did achieve, instead of focusing on our possessing, our values, our desires, out future. Ourselves. It’s exactly the same when I spend hours surfing through the web looking for the most embroidered dress (that I will never have the occasion to wear, but I want to buy it in any case) and then, all in a sudden, I see a picture of a pair of jeans paired with a crisp white shirt and I realize that is way more stylish and worthwhile to buy (I would surely wear it more often in my life than the before mentioned dress). Not the mention that this white shirt would surely make me feel confident, beautiful and (why not) sexier. Investment pieces and investment choices.

This encounter is also making me think a lot about the definition of “bare essential” that is not about the few and the cheap but it is linked to quality and its related values instead. Quality is beauty. Beauty is happiness. Happiness is timeless. It leads the way for a real revolution!

I also love the idea of starting over from scratches, and commit to live the life one wants to live. Moving to another city (or country), learning new habits is hard (I know well, I moved here in Milan when I was 19 from the south). Sure, reinventing oneself with the support of one’s beloved one has a sweeter taste. Because it’s not easy, it’s hard, and support is needed because hopes can fade away so someone trusted to ignite them all again is more than welcomed!

Trusting our gut takes courage and a very good dose of stubborness! Deep down, at the bottom of our heart, we all know what we want, and where we want to be. We just have to collect time and strenghts to start the journey that must be light packed, simple and uncomplicated to make happiness happens.

Have a good October.

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Pictures by me

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