In search of a simpler life …

I’m cutting back right now. She says writing a blog after work before a yoga observation starting at 7.45pm … I’ll rephrase that, I’m trying to cut back.

I am over being busy, and I am trying to lean way back. Focus on this, my writing, my yoga teacher training (and my full time job) and cut back on all the extra bits that slip in.

I realise my priorities are different to many. I don’t have children or responsibilities that reach beyond myself, but this pre-amble is not really meant to be about any of that.

This week I wanted to share with you a story, a parable, that I first encountered in one of my favourite books (Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye) and has made me stop and think – and consider all the “stuff” that I make myself busy with.

A Simple Life

One summer, many years ago, a banker was vacationing in a small village on the coast. He saw a fisherman in a small boat by the pier with a handful of fish that he had just caught. The businessman asked him how long it took him to catch the fish, and the man said he was out on the water for only a few hours.

“So why didn’t you stay out there longer to catch more fish?” asked the businessman.

The fisherman said he catches just enough to feed his family every day, and then comes back.

“But it’s only 2pm!” said the banker, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.”

The banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the banker replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.

The banker laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The banker said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends. You would have a full and wonderful life.”

The fisherman smiled at the banker, quietly gathered his catch, and walked away.

Food for thought.

All my love, as always, L xx