In the middle of this quarantine period, I decided to revisit meditation because I started to feel that life has started to feel overwhelming again. I was first introduced to meditation as the end part of yoga. The corpse pose with soothing instructions telling us to relax our muscles made me really feel calm afterwards. Around the later part of 2018, my friend referred me to download an app where I can practice guided meditation by myself. I tried it and it became my solution when I can’t sleep or when I need to relax. In one podcast, I was intrigued when the teacher asked me to think about my core values in one word. Values as per the dictionary are a person’s principles or standards of behavior and also one’s judgement of what is important in life. We all know this but seldom think about what exactly this is for us. I know I do. It is important that we practice all the good words as much as we can to be a good person right? But in this session, he was talking about that one word that would represent who you are. He also said that your values are like the flag pole to help guide you in your every day decisions.
That got me thinking about what that is for me. While I would like to be an epitome of goodness and goodwill, one word stands out that made sense — simplicity.
Even back then I prefer to keep things simple and I never really took any notice of this until now. These may be from the most mundane like how fast I choose my purchases to issues like problem solving and achieving my targets in a straightforward way.
I wear simple, utilitarian clothes. I do not have a lot of material possessions. I seldom schedule multiple activities in a day. I love to be still and get lost in my thoughts by reading and drawing. I re-use and re-purpose things so that I do not have to buy more. But when I do buy anything, I make sure that I really love them and will use for a long period of time. I even named my kids just one first name so they can have more time to answer the exam questions without wasting precious time writing a lot of first names.
My desires are also simple. I don’t really want a lot of houses or a lot of cars. I just want one. The one that we live in. I use my extra money on travelling locally with my daughter so that she can see that we are blessed in so many ways, how to survive with just what is in our bags, be aware of our surroundings, and maybe in some ways help others through our visit. I also save and invest because our future is important to me.
Knowing what we value is also subconsciously ingrained in our body and our body reacts when we compromise what we deemed important. I feel it a lot of times in different ways. I always get this feeling whenever I do online shopping and got side tracked into what I will normally buy. I have this tugging at the pit of my stomach whenever I consider something worth buying because it is interesting or cute or this maybe I will need this someday. Also when I am invited to do something on a weekend and I know that it is not what I am interested in. And if work related, when I am asked to choose how to design the particular space and I am bombarded with all these ideas that maybe is an on-going trend. This feeling of uneasiness, the want to say no, and the butterflies in my stomach is my body’s way of telling me to rethink my decisions.
The 8 mins of podcast made me realize a lot of things about myself with that one word. This awareness and acceptance makes it easier for me to make decisions and cultivate this more in my actions.
*The pictures are from our hike to Mt. Pinatubo last year June 12, 2019 Philippine Independence Day that I was not able to post. This was just a day hike and our break from city life. Many would say that being simple is boring and they are probably correct. However, excitements out of these mini excursions are anything but boring and brings balance by opening our lives to nature and to other people.