15 June 2023
Reading time: 4:07 minutes

Why I slowed down and got rid of overwhelm.


5 am
My alarm went off. I hit the snooze and turned back.

5:11 am
Alarm went off again.
Snooze. Turn. Duvet over head.

5:21 am
Alarm. My eyes battled against me. I managed to get out of bed. Shower. Coffee. Get dressed. Still half-asleep I went behind the wheel and started driving. From the moment I hit the road to the moment I came back home I was working.

18-20 hours a day.
On the phone while driving to work.
On the phone while driving back right around midnight.
Most of the time I would not even think about contacting my family.
There were always fires to extinguish and problems to solve.
The job fully overtook all my conscious hours.
Sometimes it even crept into my dreams.

I was a big fish.
Taking care of multimillion contracts.
A small army of workers, supervisors, and managers at my disposal.

But I was miserable.

8:07 am
I woke up on my own.
My alarm is scheduled for 9:09 am.
Laying on the back, eyes closed, I breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold.
Again. Again. Again.*

(* Check my newsletter describing the benefits of box-breathing.)

I get up.
My eyes fall on the canvas. Last night I redid the skyline just before going to bed.

The sun needs a bit of adjustment but the sky turned out pretty well. Before anything else, I pick up the brush and repaint the river. When it will dry I will touch up the mountains and add the snow in the crevices on the shadow side.

Washed the brushes. Face. Brushed teeth.

Went downstairs.
The smell of coffee filled the kitchen.
Back in the garden, I noticed that the strawberries are getting thirsty.
I get them what they crave and get rid of some weeds invading their space.
Eyes closed, I bathed in the sunshine for a few minutes before finishing my brew.

The next thing on my morning list is food. Brain food.
What you put in directly affects what you put out.
I read twice a day. In the morning and in bed before sleep.
"12 Rules for Life; an Antidote to Chaos" by Jordan B. Peterson is an excellent book.

I finish the chapter. It's time to check my schedule.

It's Thursday, so I have a newsletter to write and then some other things to work on.
But first I exchange a few messages with people who are important to me.
Check the emails. Mostly newsletters, a few business-related ones.
Now it's time to start work.

Not all days are like today.
But most are.

The next four weeks will be more hectic.
I have a few things coming, which will take a lot of my time.
But they are all things I decided to take on.

And I cancelled a few other things to make sure that the new things will not affect my core habits.


Because I learned the hard way, that if you don't take the time to design your life, someone (or something) will design it for you. And usually, it will not end well for you.

I embraced the philosophy of "Slow and simple."
And yes, it's a part of Wabi-Sabi.

Slowing down and simplifying your life, is the only way, to feel the joy of what it means to be alive. Otherwise, you’ll rush through your life, arrive at the end and wonder, “What was the point?”

Slowing down and simplifying life has both, immediate and long-term implications.

1. Slowing down enables you to actually live.

We are so accustomed to living in the rush, that we don't have time to enjoy the NOW. When you slow down, you create a space for yourself to wonder and ask questions. You become present IN the moment.

Why do you think most people hit rock bottom or total burnout before it finally dawns on them that their way of life is not sustainable? (I certainly went that route myself!)

It’s because we are moving too fast and never slow down to analyze our self-sabotaging behaviour.

And it doesn't need to be too complicated.

Try it.
Smell the roses.
Or the coffee.
Close your eyes and enjoy the moment.

It doesn't take long. You don't need to spend hours on this. Take two to three minutes out of the rat race. And for those two, three minutes just be.

2. Simplifying your life gives you clarity.

Where there is a clutter there is confusion. We add this and that and something else, because we expect that it will make us more happy. But the opposite is the truth.

We become happier when we remove some things.

When you move into a new home, you will always throw away some old stuff.
When you budget, you remove unnecessary expenditures.
When you enter a relationship, you remove some habits.

Decluttering is a way to improve life, to grow.
Letting off what doesn't serve you makes room for things which will benefit the new you.

Try it.
Take ten minutes tonight.
Look at your life with one question:
"What can I take out to improve my life?"

Did you ever say, "I wish I didn't have to do this"?
We all have something in our life that we don't want to do.
Maybe you don't have to do it.^

(^ Check out this newsletter for the 5D method and apply it. Especially focus on points 1. and 4. You might be surprised.)

This is my advice today.
Go slow and make it simple.

By going slow and simple you will allow yourself to be present and in tune with the world around you. Immerse yourself into the fabric of the universe. Appreciate the simple things:
  • The joy of watering your flowers in the morning.
  • The joy of watching a sinking sun
  • The joy of listening to soft rain
  • The joy of baking a bread
  • The joy of reading a book under the shade of a tree
Beauty is found in everything that is alive.

Slow down, simplify your life, and concentrate on what really matters to you.

Collage by Lubo using an image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Till next week ​

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