“Keep Life Simple” is a great philosophy. However, “life” is not simple. I put the word “life” in quotes because the word has so many meanings and it means so many different things to so many different living things. What is important to a worker bee is not going to be important to a happy human being. Right? Maybe. Maybe not.
Let’s talk about our lives, human lives. Even if we work side by side doing the same job as someone else, our lives are vastly different. The variables that come into play are in the millions, far too many to go into here. However we can explore the most obvious, some of which may not be obvious to all of us. Some aspects of why we are the way we are we don’t even know exist until we grow up. Sometimes we never know, or never grow up. There’s a few extenuating circumstances right there. Here are some more of the obvious ones:
Were we born a boy or a girl? Who are our parents? What was their relationship? Did we have parents? Did our parents divorce? Were our parents married? What was our relationship with our parents? Do we have any siblings? What is our relationship with them? When were we born, what era and what place do we hold in the order that our siblings were born? How, exactly, were we raised? What nationality are we? What sort of genes were we born with? How intelligent are we? How motivated are we? What is it that motivates us? What do we want to accomplish in life? Do we want to accomplish anything in life? What stands in our way of reaching our goals? What kind of people are we drawn to? Do we understand whether those people are healthy for us to associate with? Are we loners and independent, of which the two are not mutually exclusive? Do we like the city life or would we prefer to live in the country, or both? Do we love nature or never give it a second thought? Do we love animals? Or do we just say we do? Do we know the difference?
Let me stress at this point that if we, as individuals, cannot simplify the tangled maze of the life we were born into, we will have a difficult time in our life. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what racial color you were born, where you were born or whether you were born rich or poor. Nor does it matter what the answers are to any of the aforementioned questions. The same statement above holds true. If you do not learn to simplify your life, your life will be difficult.
To be sure, there are no truer words than, “Ignorance is bliss.” It could mean that what you don’t know, can’t hurt you, which could be argued. I tend to view the saying as referring to someone who does not possess a high intellect, nor are they driven to accomplish anything difficult. This type of individual is truly blissful. Not mentally handicapped, but someone that simply does not have the capacity, nor the desire, to think very deeply about any given topic. These people may not have a high intellect, but they have unwittingly found the secret of keeping life simple and are almost always pretty happy. This does not mean you can’t be intelligent, driven, happy and wildly successful and master the same secret of keeping life simple.
In fact, your success and happiness depend on it.
The aforementioned saying originated from a poem written by English poet Thomas Gray (1716 – 1771), “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.” Gray attended Eton College as a child. At the time Eton College, started at first grade. Gray imparts to the reader that the ignorance of the young is what enables them to be happy because they do not know or understand what awaits them in adulthood. It is a beautiful and insightful poem.
Here is a link if you are interested in reading it: PRESS HERE
And, therefore, the saying can mean that in one’s youth we tend to be happier because even if we are told about aging and death, it doesn’t usually bother us when we’re young.
Not all children are lucky enough to experience the “ignorance is bliss factor.” That is unfortunate because without this mental state of mind, is the beginning of the complicating of one’s life. More times than not, it is not something that is identified or dealt with. I know this first hand, because I began to grow up approximately four years ago and I am now 61.
Although, I had a good childhood in many ways, I would say that I did not possess the “ignorance is bliss factor.” I was fearful of many things, very insecure and very jealous, which is one of the deadliest sins.
My life has been a tangled, ridiculous web of tumultuous, most of the time unfounded, hurt feelings, anger and confusion as to what direction I wanted my life to go in and an uncertain path I needed to take to get there, of which the destination continually changed.
It is not a coincidence that I am writing my first blog for a major outlet, such as, Keep Life Simple. It is not not a coincidence that I am, finally, publishing my first book, something I should have done decades ago.
But it wasn’t until I figured out the answers to all those questions above that I could finally become an adult. What anyone’s answers to those questions are is not important. Everyone’s answers are different, but personally knowing your answers is the beginning of simplifying your life. However, once you determine the answers you need to forgive and forget the reasons that caused your confusion.
Once you figure out the answers to those questions is the time you start to simplify your life and I will offer the devices that I have found to make my life simple. They are devices which give me the discipline that I needed to sit down and write a blog such as this one, to build a website, to write a book, to take good care of myself, spiritually, mentally and physically. Those are the devices that allow me to identify and eradicate those people in my life who are not healthy for me to associate with and to choose those that are healthy and inspiring for me to associate with.
On that last point, if we are confused, we were confused by someone who influenced our life, which set everything in motion. It is someone who is, or was, close to us, a parent, a sibling; usually it is a family member.
In my case, which I have just recently figured out, I could never figure out why I hated my mother so much. I hated her from the moment I was born. I was in charge from the moment I was born. I didn’t realize that, but I also did not understand, until recently, that my mother is a psychopath and has been a child her entire life. She did not protect me and some terrible things happened to me as a young girl as a result of that neglect. She never wanted children and she was jealous of me because my father adored me. I was the first born. My brother became my mother’s favorite, which never bothered me in the least.
Although my father was a bona fide genius, he said something to my mother that would make any mother jealous of her daughter. We flew to Florida when I was about five years old. My father told my mother that if the plane crashed into the ocean, he hoped she knew who he was going to save, and it wasn’t her.
Can you imagine?!
Sometimes geniuses are not very smart.
I hated myself for hating my mother. But I also needed and loved her because she was my mother. She was not my intellectual equal and was jealous of my ambitions and she found ways to thwart them, although I was unaware of what she was doing and always wanted to love her and make her proud of me. I don’t think she was aware of what she was doing either.
Consequently, I always chose women for my friends that had no real chance of succeeding in life because of their own problems and that were always jealous of me and all of my ambition and I allowed them to control me and hold me back. Those same reasons are why they chose me. It gave them a sense of power to control someone that they knew was capable of much more than they were. I chose women that were just like my mother, instead of choosing women that were self-confident, successful and wanted to help others be the same.
However, with this knowledge, in order to simplify your life, you must forgive those that have harmed you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Mother Teresa. You don’t have to forgive someone that raped you, for example. There are those that would disagree with me on that, and perhaps you should forgive everyone. Let’s just say I’m not there yet. I do forgive my mother. She has a back story as well. She did the best she could. She was once a very beautiful woman. Now she is in a wheelchair and suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And my father, I don’t think he understood what was going on. He did the best he could as well, so I forgive him too. He has passed away.
Not forgiving someone is only a burden and complication for you. It is not a burden for someone who is dead or who is a psychopath. Psychopaths have no burdens. In their minds, they are both the hero and the victim. They justify everything they do. Even murder. Read: Joran van der Sloot, who murdered two women.
If we go back to the beginning of this piece, I began by asserting, “What is important to a worker bee is not going to be important to a happy human being. Right? Maybe. Maybe, not.”
The assertion is wrong. Here’s why:
It all comes down to keeping life simple.
The worker bee is a female. Her job everyday is to fly great distances in search of nectar and pollen with which she fertilizes plants that give her the nectar and pollen. It is a symbiotic relationship. She works diligently everyday for her short, but vital, life of six weeks or so. She brings back the nectar to the hive where it is given to the bees. The indoor bees pass the nectar from mouth to mouth chewing on the nectar, which reduces the moisture content and turns the nectar into honey, which is what they eat. They put the rest of the honey in the honey comb where it is stored for the newborn bees. Each bee has a specific job. They keep it simple. When they get up in the morning, they don’t have to wonder about what they are going to do.
For the record, bees are not capitalists. They are communists. They don’t manufacture extra honey to market and sell for a profit to buy a big house. They build their own big house, which in its self, is an amazing architectural feat.
For that reason, I don’t eat, consume or use anything made with honey.
So, the bees have a very simple life. However, all this simplicity does not mean that the worker bee does not face diversity. All wild animals face much more adversity than most people. A wild animal’s adversity is real and it is usually life threatening. It is not something that is made up in their minds as it can be with humans, especially ones that have not simplified their lives. Wild animals don’t have the capacity for making things up that are going to interfere with their jobs of making a living. They are programmed to instinctively, keep life simple. That’s why they are successful. Any wild animal species that is alive and thriving are successful sentient beings that are the guardians of their species.
All animals are guardians of the earth’s ecosystems. Everyone one of them, to a greater or lesser extent, is necessary for keeping the planet alive. The only animal that is not necessary is man.
Can you imagine if wild animals had nervous breakdowns in the face of adversity? Quite simply, we would not have a functioning ecosystem and we would not be here.
It is what they do in the face of diversity that is important. They never waver. They keep the goal in mind and move on until they can move no longer. Wild animals are truly an inspiration of what can be achieved if you keep life simple. As I mentioned, they are the ones that keep us alive and I do not mean by eating them. I am a hard core vegan and I will talk about that subject in another blog.
Obviously, we are not worker bees and our lives are much more complicated than theirs, but not more difficult. We make our lives difficult by not knowing how to keep life simple.
I mentioned earlier that there are devices that are available to everyone in order to achieve balance and serenity that is needed to keep your life simple. Not everyone will use the exact same tools. However, they all must achieve the same basic goals. The goals include: a physical fitness and awareness of your physical health, and to achieve a way of reducing stress and clearing and calming the mind.
Without physical health and mental stability, nothing will be simple.
Here are the methods that I use to maintain both aspects of well being.
I interchange daily, running and yoga classes. You must move your body and get your heart rate up. Running is the best bang for your buck. There is pounding involved, however, the technology of running shoes has come a long way. Don’t be afraid to take them back until you find the right one for you. If you are just starting out, go slow. If it just isn’t possible for you to run, then walk.
However, you must push yourself to your limit. This is work. You can relax after you work. And it will be the best relaxation you will ever have. What good is relaxing if you haven’t earned it?
I just started yoga. I really knew nothing about it. I thought it was something that was, well, just relaxing. I thought it would be too easy for me. Wrong! Yoga has many structurally different classes at all different fitness levels, all of which give you a full body workout. They also stress that you should be thankful for all that you have, which is also very important in an effort to keep life simple. It is very much a mind and body experience.
When you’re feeling like the world is against you, try a little gratitude. That negative feeling is one of those feelings that we make up in our minds. It is a way for you to keep yourself from doing what you need to do.
You may have heard of transcendental meditation. It is an ancient Indian, as in India, practice. It is a 20 minute investment of your time, twice a day, which will change your life. It will clear the manmade clutter out of your head and allow you to think with the unfettered ability of the beautiful, purposeful and so necessary, Lady Worker Bee.
You must eat healthy! You may or may not know how detrimental to your health and the health of our planet, eating other sentient beings is. Very simply, there are 56 billion animals that are brought into the world unnaturally every year and are slaughtered by humans for human consumption. Leaving aside how unhealthy, both mentally and physically, it is for you to eat animals, the more important catch-phrase is, “brought into the world unnaturally.” These animals also need to eat and drink water. They also defecate and cause more methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas, than all the cars and airplanes combined. The oxygen giving rainforests are being cut down at an alarming rate for pasture land. The amount of water needed to maintain these pastures is, again, unnatural. In less tropical lands many species of wildlife, such as wolves, bears, coyotes, bobcats and cougars are being slaughtered because they are killing the grazing animals. Mother Earth cannot endure the upside-down, ecological mess that man has created. She will fix it the only way she can. Read: The Plague.
And you should avoid fast food chains like the Plague! They are guilty as sin.
I’m not an alarmist. It is simply common sense.
Those are the basics of keeping life simple, which in turn will lead to a fruitful, productive and useful life.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I’m anxious to see what your think.
In my next post I will go into detail about the basics I have mentioned and other tools you can implement because of them. All of which, keep your life simple.
And, by the way, if you think the workers bees don’t enjoy their hard working lives, take a look at this lovely lady that I taped bathing herself in the sun and read her story.
Author, journalist and entrepreneur, Tere Albanese has made the journey from being raised on McDonald’s hamburgers to becoming a hard core vegan and staunch animal rights activist. She is an expert on all forms of animal cruelty, its causes and how we can combat it.
A graduate of UCLA, she holds two teaching credentials in English and Social Science and has taught both disciplines extensively.
As an entrepreneur she designed, manufactured and marketed a high-fashion cruelty-free line of shoes and accessories under the name of Saint Francis Couture.
As an accomplished equestrian she has showed hunters and jumpers, exercised racehorses at Santa Anita Park in Southern California and taken retired horses of the racetrack and trained them to be hunter/jumpers or pleasure horses for the start of a new life.
As a published journalist she has written extensively on the Thoroughbred racing industry.
Ms. Albanese has just completed her first book, Virgil the Hound, which is an epic poem about a fox hound that does not want to hunt foxes. It is the first in a series. She wrote the original poem about Virgil when she was ten years old. Virgil the Hound, is a must read for children and adults. The reader will fall in love with Virgil, who against all odds, breaks away from the pack. Virgil teaches a human about compassion and having the strength and confidence to do the right thing while facing a majority of opposition. And isn’t that always the way?
The poem acts as a gateway to the educational “Dedication Pages.” The “Dedication Pages” is where you will learn the stories of so many animals that have been victims of animal cruelty.
Something else that Ms. Albanese is an expert on is staying young. At 62 she appears to be in her forties. She switches off between running, and taking yoga classes every day. And, of course, a healthy diet is essential. Probably one of the most important aspects of staying young is the right frame of mind, which is right in line with the motto, Keep Life Simple.