I have been listening to a tape on Chronic Fatigue by Deepak Chopra which introduced a few interesting equasions to consider.
The first one is this :
Knowledge has organising power through the Mind-Body connection, knowledge affects the body and creates health.
On the subject of downshifting, I accept that learning new skills and practising a closer connection to nature, growing vegetables and creating a simple life are going to be beneficial in creating a lifestyle and environment that suits me and my family better.
The second equasion is more interesting :
The principle of the second element states that the ultimate solution to any problem is not on the level of the problem itself. The solution lies in bringing in a second element which is opposite to the problem.
How so? I have had to look at that one a few more times to let it sink in and apply to what I know.
Lets look at the problem for example, of not having enough money.
The problem does not appear to lie then in the fact that there is not enough money. You can spend time finding out where the money is going, how you feel with less money etc.
What would be the opposite?
If Time = money then the solution to not having sufficient money would appear to lie in the opposite of the second element of time.
Downshifting changes that equasion....more time, less money.
The question is not why I have less money but how I spend my time and what values and beliefs I attach to that.
It appears therefore to be a vicious circle.....if I think I do not have enough money, then my only option would be to go and earn more. By pushing harder to earn more, I feel too tired to cook a meal and to feel better I go out with my family ( because I am too tired to cook) and spend time in the mall shopping for stuff I may not need, but it makes me feel better. The reaction to not having enough money means that I am going to push myself harder ( to earn more), I am going to feel bad and want a quick fix ( which costs me money), and then feeling even worse because I know that there is not enough money ( and there is not going to be now for sure after a restaurant meal), I go and buy stuff to make me feel better. ( Those are behaviours and emotions which in fact have not got anything positive to add to the solution).
lets turn that around.
If I have not enough money...how am I spending my money? What am I doing with my time?
If earning more money makes me feel bad inside, then how would I like to spend my time? How do I bring back balance?
The above is only an example, in the end analysis I have enough......
If the problem is that children are spending too much time inside playing video games? The solution would appear to lie not in how we can stop them playing video games and how bad it is for their health, how much we spend on it, how we worry......the solution lies in the second element of the opposite....how can we encourage our children to go outside and find enjoyment in nature?
Could it really be that simple?