Showing posts with label Philosophical Thinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philosophical Thinking. Show all posts


Harnessing Old Wisdom for a Fulfilling Modern Life

If you have been around here for a while, you know that I love to look to the old ways to find wisdom to apply to a modern world.


I have no desire to go back to days that were often peppered with intolerances, hatred and inequality, yet, when I cherry pick through the old ways and old sayings I seem to find so much value.

In our fast-paced, crazy, technology-driven world, it's easy to overlook the timeless wisdom that has been passed down through the ages. Whether it be from our grandparents, or from ancient philosophies and practicesm this sort of wisdom offer insights that can greatly enhance our modern lives, providing a sense of guidance, mindfulness, and balance that's often missing in our digital age.

Mindfulness and Presence:

Incorporating ancient mindfulness practices can be a game-changer in today's hectic lifestyle. Drawing from Eastern traditions, techniques like meditation and deep breathing help us find solace amid chaos. By focusing on the present moment, we alleviate stress, boost mental clarity, and enhance overall well-being.

I love to read about the science behind these concepts. Of course, in days gone by, people didn't need to know that an MRI machine can validate their findings on the benefits of mindfulness or meditation - they just did it!

Stoicism and Resilience:

Stoic philosophy, practiced by figures like Marcus Aurelius, teaches us the art of embracing challenges with grace. Applying Stoic principles—like distinguishing between what's within our control and what's not—fosters emotional resilience. Gratitude and a pragmatic mindset empower us to navigate uncertainties with strength and composure.
The works of Ryan Holliday are such a great source of inspiration in this space.

Simplicity and Minimalism:

In a world driven by consumerism, ancient teachings on simplicity and minimalism resonate more than ever. Embracing a less cluttered lifestyle—both physically and mentally—frees us from distractions. By adopting a minimalist approach, we gain focus, contentment, and room for what truly matters.

It amazes me that one of the growth businesses in recent years is the leasing of storage sheds to hold all our 'stuff'. Gone are the days where your belongs fit into a suitcase.
I really like the work of The Minimalists in this space. I have learned quite a lot from their exploration of what really matters in life.

Community and Connection:

Across cultures, ancient societies thrived on strong communal bonds. Applying these values in our modern lives fosters a sense of belonging and shared experience. Concepts like Ubuntu, rooted in African philosophy, remind us of our interconnectedness. Strengthening our support networks enriches our lives and enhances our well-being.

Balancing Technology and Nature:

Ancient civilisations intuitively balanced technology with nature. Today, we can learn from their example. Carving out time for nature, practicing digital detox, and cultivating a deeper connection with our environment can mitigate the adverse effects of our tech-centric lives, rejuvenating our minds and spirits.

I always surprised to hear myself saying 'I don't have time' or hear someone say 'I'm too busy'. I think it would be an interesting exercise to see how much time we use across different aspects of life to see where we can collect the moments that we need to do some of the things that really matter to us.

Incorporating ancient wisdom into our modern lives offers us a map to navigate the complexities of the present while embracing the timeless truths that have endured through the ages. By practicing mindfulness, resilience, simplicity, community, and connection to nature, we enrich our lives with a sense of purpose, balance, and fulfillment that transcends the challenges of our time.

As you've read about these timeless practices, which one resonates with you the most? I'd love if you could share your thoughts so that we could collectively work out how to incorporate these elements into our modern lives.



Looking To The Old Ways in Uncertainty


There is so much that I love about the 'old days' and the 'old ways'. 

I like the  'can do' spirit of the people, particularly those that lived through the Great Depression and World War II. 

I love their ability to 'make do and mend' and work with what they had. 

Of course, this is just a romantic view of the past. A way in which I am cherry picking the good from the bad. I fully recognise the trauma, the oppression, the ineqaulity, the poverty and all the other things that were prevalent in these time. 

In this place I focus on the pearls of wisdwom that I can take from days gone by. I look to the previous generations for their knowledge of running a housegold, keeping the family budget on track, bartering, growing a garden, sharing with their community and finding joy in the little things. 

I have always loved these 'old ways', but as I write these words in 2022 it seems that I am seeking this wisdom now more than ever. It times of uncertainty, looking back to see how our older generations dealt with adversity is a great source of reliable, tried and tested information. 

Here are some of the posts I had written years ago about my love of the old ways.  


Old Wisdom and the Spring Equinox in Australia

I just love spring! It has such a special feel to it.

The Spring Equinox happens in Australia between September 21 and 23. This year it happens today at 6.23pm.

Mathematically, we are at a quarter point for the seasonal year. Day and night are completely equal in time and from tomorrow day will be longer than night.

This balance in the earth’s days reminds me that we should stop and calibrate things in our own lives. We should seek balance. This often means that we need to do a clean sweep, re-evaluate and change things a little.

In days of old, the Spring Equinox held great hope to people because it symbolised the end of the cooler weather, the emergence of seedlings and the anticipation of new crops. The houses were opened and the soot of winter fires cleared out.

We still hold onto this time of ‘Spring Cleaning’. It’s time to pack away blankets, tidy our cupboards, donate clothing that doesn’t fit and generally de-clutter.

We take this time to sow our summer seeds, work out what seedlings we will need and think about harvesting what is abundant now.

Lavender is in abundance at the moment, which tells me it is time to make new skin care products and soap. After harvesting this crop of lavender and picking some rosemary and spinach for dinner, the house smelt sensational ! 

On the 28th of September I celebrate my birthday, another reason to stop and think about the season and the year to come.

The many new colours of the flowers, the sounds of the birds and the smell of a potential summer breeze on the wind makes me stop, think and bring everything back into balance, ready for a fresh new season.

Do you have a spring ritual, a cleaning ritual or any other special things you do to bring in the new season ? 


Renewing, Restoring, Rewilding, Reconnecting

We were due for a break. We were excited by the opportunity to go away as a family and take some time out.

We didn't need to go far, or spend much money at all.

It is funny that you can be so close to home and yet feel so different about things. Truth is, it is not the location, it is the mindset that you slip into.

You slip into a mindset of relaxation and renewal. You slow down, breath and look around. You are not rushed and you take the time to let all the little things enter your senses. You listen intently, you breath deeply to smell all that you can. You reach out to touch the surrounds.

And it feels wonderful. It feels like you have a fresh lease on life.

...and yet, you are so close to home. It shows you that you can turn off distraction and turn on your senses at any time that you need to renew.

Our weekend consisted of a Friday night of games first of all. A hilarious night of Pictionary where we snorted with laughter and our drawings made us question the way we think collectively because we could draw meaning from a couple of squiggles.

On Saturday we walked almost 8 kilometres. We explored, studied and 're-wilded'. We reconnected with nature and realigned with the fabulous thing that is Mother Nature in its many forms.

It is beautiful to watch our boys, who are now young men, still show wonder and awe at the natural environment.

On Saturday we had an abundant meal of fresh seafood.

On Sunday we returned home, very steadily, stopping a number of times along the way.

When we arrived home we were refreshed and content. It was such a wonderful time of purposeful renewal that we all agreed that we will do this more often.

Personally, I will be exporting this thinking to myself when I am at home. I challenge you to do the same.

What would it look like if you carved out some time to practice renewal ? Does it mean that you have a bubble bath with a glass of wine ? Does it mean that you drag your chair out into the garden and read indulgently without guilt while you eat strawberries ? Does it mean that you choose a hobby and give your self permission to carve out time to indulge yourself in it ?

It's very healthy to practice self care instead of martyrdom and guilt . We are much better for those around us when we take care of ourselves first.

There is much joy to be had in slowing down.

Harnessing Old Wisdom for a Fulfilling Modern Life

If you have been around here for a while, you know that I love to look to the old ways to find wisdom to apply to a modern world.   I ...