Look how beautiful these Brussels Sprouts are. And, look how simple they are. There are only 5 ingredients: the vegetable, olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic. The process is pretty simple too. I cut each sprout in half and place all of them in heated olive oil in my enamel coated cast iron skillet (it’s like a dutch oven and is oven safe, we have a Lodge brand). I throw whole garlic cloves, stir to coat everything with the oil and let them sit till they get a nice brown. Towards the end, I salt and pepper to taste. Then, the pan gets put in a heated 400° oven without a cover for about 10-15 minutes. For the full recipe, click here.
Yesterday I lived a day of simplicity. I fasted from all electronics and had a retreat day. It was free from Facebook, emails, t.v., and, perhaps most importantly, politics and the news!
I began my retreat with swimming and the sauna. After breakfast, I read one yoga philosophy principle and then took a walk as a form of meditation. Then, I came home and experienced a guided meditation that left me incredibly relaxed. I followed this with a bike ride, lunch, a nap, sauna again, yoga, and finished my retreat with a massage.
Needless to say, I relaxed. More importantly, my mind was less cluttered and my experience of the world more clear and focussed. One day off from my normal activities and all the things I do to occupy my time gave me a nice break. It also gave me perspective about the constant bombardment of news from the persistent checking of my phone throughout a typical day.
I love my iPhone and the numbers of things I accomplish with it. But, I realize that, like anything, moderation is important. I am conscious when I walk down the street and go for the phone to leave it in the pocket and enjoy my walking. I deliberately resist the phone when walking down a set of stairs. I notice that my mind and my hand go for the phone with every free moment to fill.
My retreat day was a day of renewal and relaxation, but it was also a helpful reminder to live the balanced and simple life in every day. So, while I may not have time every day for a 47 minute guided meditation, I can do at least 10 minutes a day. I will continue to reach for my phone for the latest news, but less often. I will be more conscious about my use of technology and when it might limit other pleasures in life. I will draw from my deep belly breath to bring the simple relaxation of the retreat any time I need the reminder.