Ancient Hindu culture had divided life in four stages – student, householder, retired and renunciation. Indulgence with material things was permitted in household life, which would span for 20+ years. After that person would start preparing for renunciation, by slowly handing over the responsibility to younger generation and taking advisory role for the time being.
Minimalism – a new normal in western culture has some flavor from our roots.
Since I am in a wellness profession, I strongly believe that holistic wellness culture in family or society can be imbibed, if we start practicing simple (minimalistic) lifestyle. Joining an expensive gym or hiring a celebrity trainer would only defeat the objective.
Let me share my journey in this space. I have spent two decades in corporate life, climbing the ladder from individual contributor to managing a large business. As we all know, with growth comes higher remuneration. Beyond a point, we start indulging into “wants,” well supported by consumer led society.
It is very difficult to draw a line between wants & needs. It varies from people to people. As we look at our peers, we get drawn in indulgence.
When I started 2mpower in 2009, first thing I decided to do is to use public transport for commuting, as much as possible. This helped me take more STEPS everyday, at the same time allowed me to be with people, who struggle to meet ends everyday. This was the most difficult step in adopting simple lifestyle, as I was used to chauffeur driven cars.
Once I was able to adapt to this, it was much easier for me to give away branded items, and use minimalistic items, be it clothing, stationary, food or other lifestyle accessories. I knew that, if I do not give them, it would be anyway stolen in my daily commute. Plus it allowed me to be one with other folks travelling in the public transport.
I gave-up my lifetime membership in 7-start hotel for health club, and decided to be on open spaces for my running and other physical activities. I started using public space much better, and started to appreciate some of the large lung spaces we have in our city. Very recently, I have started bare-foot running, and that has really relieved me from worrying about my footwear. Now, I can run anywhere, anytime in barefoot.
As a family, we have started this journey, and have set milestones every year for simplifying our lifestyle.
Before America start exporting this “minimalistic” life to our country, the way it has done for Yoga, I think we should look back at our roots. Wisdom hides there in abundance!