A friend of mine recently went to a cottage where there was no internet and poor cell phone reception. To many people this would be a nightmare and completely impractical, but for me the first thing I think of is ‘freedom’. But how will people get a hold of me? Exactly! There is a valid reason for not being in communication with family, friends, work, ect. All there is left to do is relax and be with those around you.
I am reminded of the trip I took to Tanzania, East Africa in 2007 for over 5 months. The first month was incredibly frustrating. I would spend 2 hours at an internet café only to send 1 email and post one blog. (To read about my experience in Africa, click here). The amount of work that I completed in an entire week would probably have been done in one day if I were back in Toronto,Canada.
After that first month, I got more accustomed to the slower pace of life and really began to embrace the process of getting tasks done. (Email, however, was still a nightmare). For example, my classmate and I would walk 30 minutes to deliver an English class to women in the neighbouring village and spending an hour or two chatting, laughing, and sharing a meal together.
Spending time to be with these women and living their culture was incredible. One of my most memorable experiences was watching children of the village playing with scraps of garbage. Their clothes were dirty and worn through, and the ‘toys’ were nothing more than sticks or an old tire frame but they were so joyful. These memories remind me to appreciate the miracles of everyday and to avoid getting caught up with materialistic ‘stuff’. More is not always better.
Letting go of having to be in control of every aspect in my life is often challenging for me. However, I realize that being stubborn in my point of view results in me missing out on many opportunities along my journey through life.
Challenge yourself to let go of the things that don’t make a truely positive impact on your life and the lives of the people around you. What makes your life meaningful to you?