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Chasing Enlightenment

How much attention we place on material items, makes me think.

Have you heard about the trend for travelling long haul with nothing more than a mobile phone and a toothbrush?

One word, Respect! 

Quite frankly, I for one am sick and tired of lugging heavy baggage around, not just because it slows me down, or that my shoulders ache plus add insult to injury it costs so much to fly with over baggage. I recently found myself checking in (no idea the already limited 7kg was being shrunk to 5kg on the domestic flight in China!) with only about the same weight as a large chicken in carry-on baggage.

I was forced to re-evaluate not only my packing but my lifestyle and values! Sifting through my stuff, chucking it sucked at the time, but truth to tell, it was great not to carry so much and a good life lesson, as always gained the hard way.

All things I believed were essential to my trip, but can’t remember what they were except a favourite pair of wool shorts a heavy flask and a great book on nutrition, I somehow managed to survive without!

Total Nada. In this mode you take your passport, a toothbrush, some cash, a cell phone, the clothes you are wearing, and that’s it. It’s pretty radical. You have to be in a certain zen state to enjoy this, but like many things, once you jump in it is not hard to.The life lesson is time to get lighter.

Imagine: This guy just jumped on a plane from with nothing, a big fat zero luggage and with no return ticket…and not only got back but had an amazing adventure documented in videos and pictures of the people he met on the journey. It’s the best way to surrender ego, make friends and see the world I can think of. What he had was a blind faith, a trust in mankind, a vision of making it happen and the crazy dare devil nature to book the ticket and go and get a bit closer to enlightenment.

Taking it to the limits, of not only travelling light but having a deep and unquestionable faith in the universe,  like the indigenous of Australia, who walk out every morning after their tribal sunrise communion with the powers that be. They just know that they will be provided for. They have no idea of what, when, how or where, the food will be……..But they are sure it’s going to show up and it does!

We are attracted to lighter products now; transparency, things that pack and collapse, inflate instantly and can fit into a pocket of a backpack at most. Technology has made it possible to develop such items but we are the creators and the concept was propelled by our desire to unburden ourselves physically.

Not only clothing and lifestyle items but food too… Less is more and lighter is better! PersonallyI prefer soups, switched to sushi and salads as staples with smoothies, juices and the new trend for supplement waters, means are we are actually getting physically lighter. This trend toward lighter eating.  Who wants to eat heavy weight old- fashioned fare?

Heavy cream sauces will be replaced with healthier accompaniments, like vegetable pureés, as part of a trend toward lighter eating. “The lighter, the fresher and brighter the ingredients the better,” says Waitrose.

Our ancestors ate huge lumps of meat, potatoes, bread and dripping just to keep the hunger at bay. They needed as many cheap calories as possible to survive, fight battles and keep the cold out.  Let’s face it though guys….no one is going to fly after a roast dinner with suet sponge for dessert!

And how about lightening our minds, taking the weight off our brains!!!

The escalation of mindfulness and popularity of meditation is tackling that problem. We all have so much stuff in our brains, memories we hang onto for emotional reasons, facts people will think we are stupid if we don’t know, or information crammed for an exam we needed to pass but never used…huge quantities of names, places numbers, like old encyclopaedias and telephone directories.

No wonder we suffer from headaches and can’t sleep at night. There is no excuse and no need. Now we have apps and computers to store everything and search when we need…now we can finally start to lighten our heads too.

There will be ‘brain diet plans’ and I use the word loosely, we now know that “poor nutrition adversely affects the development of our intelligence, mental health and ultimate success” but what we don’t understand is not simply how to feed our heads but how to clean our minds. The Brain Diet I am talking about here is to restrict how much data we stuff in and then to clean out some of the old accumulated info, more like a a brain detox 🙂  Fact: In the future, we will spend as much time, if not much more learning how to empty our heads, as we spent filling them in the past!

Also published on Medium.

Fiona McLoughlin

Editor in chief, founder of clothes design studio Global Gypsy, lifestyle designer and mindfulness expert.

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