We live in a very complex world. Many of us are overloaded with information, technology, apps, consumer goods, foods, clothing, stuff, activities, and events.  Because of this, many of us feel overwhelmed, and don't remember how to breathe anymore. Others may even feel they need to acquire more. 

Ironically, when the time comes that we need to move or relocate, we find some things in our closet have never even been used and many things end up being thrown away or donated. We then feel badly that we wasted so much money.  I have been through this and I really wish someone had taught me the lesson of simplicity sooner. 

Life Cleansing

Practicing "life cleansing" (getting rid of things, clears your mind), but it is not easy. It may need to be a lifetime practice. 

If we think about it a bit, how much more do we really need? Are we healthy with more? Is our mind clearer with more? Is our family happy with more? Is my life better with more? Are we really happy with more? Do we really know what is enough? Do we have time to relax and to breathe? Do we have time to exercise? Do we have time to read and to meditate? Do we have time for our self or taking care of our self? Do we have time to rest? Do we have time to enjoy daily meals? Do we have time to enjoy healthy conversations? 

These questions are worth going over and over in our mind until we know the answers. I understand that it is not easy to practice "letting go." It is a journey or lifetime practice, little by little, bit by bit, until we are able to let go of the unnecessary things, tangled mind, and endless desires.

Up Side and Down Side

Everything has two sides—the up side and the down side. While new technologies do make things easier, they also give us headaches, insomnia, heart problems, eye problems, neck/shoulder problems and back problems,

A big house is comfortable, but it takes a lot of time to maintain. We spend more money to maintain the house and work more to support the house.  As a result, we may end up exhausted or develop physical ailments. 

Our system trains us to want more, and the more the better. Our system also indirectly creates "fear." We must have more. Some of us carry so much fear it causes sickness. Unfortunately, we don't even know our sickness is related to fear. If you ask anyone, "Do you have fear?" You may be surprised to find out the number of people who hold onto fear.

Yin and Yang

Let's understand the concept of Yin and Yang. If we bring the Yin and Yang theory into practice, we do much better. For example, we don't have to use electronic gadgets all the time, and giving them up we may have less stress and more pleasure. 

If we don't have too much to take care of, or maintain, we can find more time for relaxation and doing self-nourishment such as qi gong exercise, tai chi, or meditation, and other healthful activities. We can take more time to socialize, to learn, to read, to breathe, to look into our emotional health and spiritual health.

Daoist Simplicity

I have been studying Daoist philosophy for over 30 years. What I cherish most about the Dao is the life coaching and wisdom. For the first 15 years I understood mostly the theory part, for the next 15 years, I focused more on my practice. It is amazing when I experience the mindful practice of the Dao. I feel stronger every year (internal strengthening.) One Daoist teaching is about "Simplicity."

Our life is too complicated, there is too much we have to deal with, but we can control our self by practicing "Simplicity." We don't need much to live with, but the problem is we want much more. What if we change the "want" to "need"? In fact, no matter how much people may want and possess, many of them are still not happy.

No matter if you are rich or not so rich you can still benefit from simplicity. From this practice, you are able to avoid illness such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, light headache, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, anger, alcohol, bloated feeling, digestive issue, chronic pain, or even poor memory.

By removing the desire, we could remove our stress. We all know that stress is the number one cause of disease.

Life is too short and every year we get closer to the finish line. Each day you have stress is a day you lost, and we cannot afford to lose these precious days. We need to cherish every day of life, embrace life, and not to let others make us "fearful."

The above is an article written by Dr. Aihan Kuhn. It appeared in her summer newsletter.  She is the co-author of True Wellness—How to Combine the Best of Western and Eastern Medicine for Optimal Health. Pub date September 2018.