Calm Simplicity 28.03.20

I first started this site back in early 2015.

I was two days out of hospital when I decided to buy the domain name because it summed up how I was feeling at the time, or rather how I wanted my life to be from there on.

I had a 10 hour craniotomy to remove a brain tumour. Basically they removed a part of my skull (the bone flap) to get at the tumour and then screwed it back into place again.

Recovery was difficult and I couldn’t walk for a few weeks or drive for 12 months.

It tends to put things in perspective for you.

Lots of changes

 A bit like my life, I have changed this site/blog a lot during the intervening years.

  • I wrote over 70,000 words and then deleted it all.
  • I then wrote another 30,000 words and deleted it all again.
  • I changed the logo 4 or 5 times, probably more.
  • I made it a personal journey blog at first then pivoted into a ‘simple living’ blog

I realised in the end that I just needed to write to get it out of my system. The first iteration was very personal and gave a lot of details about my symptoms, diagnosis and ultimate recovery but in all honesty, does anyone really care about my story, I mean really care?

Probably not and why should they?

We all have our own issues, be they physical or mental health, relationships, work, family, life in general…The list goes on.

What it’s not

It’s not a blog about minimalism or living with a finite number of items.

It’s not about ‘living a life on purpose’ or ‘intentional living’ or other buzzwords and phrases that I really don’t like and don’t really mean anything.

It’s not about mindfulness because again, I don’t believe in what the phrase is trying to say. When people say you need to ‘walk mindfully’ or do a ‘mindful task’, I just want to laugh.

The same goes for the modern phenomenon called Forest Bathing. It’s simply a walk in the woods.

I feel that a lot of so called mindful experts, life coaches and the like are just preying on the most mentally vulnerable by hitting them with all of these fancy words and phrases that all mean the the same thing: Taking time out for yourself.

I just think it’s wrong.

At the age of 52, after a 25 year career in mortgages/banking at board level which ended with me having profit and loss responsibility for 164 people and lending volumes of over £5bn annually, a daily routine which saw me receive over 40 voicemails and over 100 emails every day, my own successful business under my belt which eventually went bust due to being diagnosed with a brain tumour, being unable to walk for 3 months and now having a permanent shunt in my head, 2 kids, 1 grandchild and 3 dogs, I can tell you confidently;

Mindfulness is just another buzzword for downtime.

Being able to switch off your brain and block out the noise by going for a walk without purpose, either on your own or with a dog, is all you need to do to recharge your batteries, clear your mind of clutter and allow you to get a handle on things.

The single most important thing we all have to do is to leave our phones behind.

That’s it. Allow you mind to wander…Not to think ‘mindfully’ about something like your footsteps or noise of the birds…Just walk and wander with no purpose other than being outside for an hour or so with no internet, email, phone calls or messages to distract you.

One hour a day and I guarantee you will see the benefits in a few days and really look forward to your walk time, however whatever you do, be it cycling, cooking, knitting, painting…Just make sure you have your phone nowhere near you for the time you are doing it.

Where I am now and the future of this site

Whatever we promote, it will all have one aim in mind and that is to show people how we can all lead simpler, less busy, more fulfilling lives. You can find more about the type of things I will and will not feature, here on the Marketplace.