Live Simply With Style

How To Breakaway

The barrage of stimulation that inundates most of us in western societies cannot be underestimated. It is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to find our way when we are floundering in such a maelstrom.

There is a good reason most religions recommend vision quests, retreats, pilgrimages, or other forms of escape. If you want to find answers or direction, there must be enough calm for your mind to contemplate.

A wonderful exercise to test this notion is to buy enough food supplies for a couple of weeks and then escape to a remote, beautiful location without phones, newspapers, radio, television, and the like. Take books, hiking shoes, perhaps a canoe. Then, relax and live day-to-day. You are giving yourself permission to enjoy yourself and the natural world around you. When successful, this cold-turkey withdrawal from modern society opens you up to how little you really need to have some fantastic experiences.

A Lakota shaman, Carl Bryant, terms it—find the "good red road." It's quite simple—once you've removed yourself to a favorite, quiet spot, do nothing but float mentally. At some point, you allow your inner mind to ask, "Am I on the road of my beliefs, following my passion and bliss? Am I content?" Throughout the world, in all cultures, most people know at that moment if they are following the "good red road" or not. The trick, according to Carl, is that while you can discover if you're on the road, you'll spend most of your life trying to stay on it.

If you take the time to remove yourself and reflect—the result may change your life.

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