I hear many people distress about their need to simplify their lives and "move to mountains." Their desire is to eliminate all of things that cause them stress and move into a less hectic, and more gentle, lifestyle. They want dream of solitude and calm with easy living. However, simplifying your life does not necessarily mean selling everything and moving to a mountain cabin. I've done it, and it's not that easy. It's expensive, alienating, and difficult. Human beings are not meant to live alone; however, sometimes it seems as if that is only way to survive.
When I speak with such individuals, I first ask them what it is that they find hectic and stressful. In most cases, it is not their way of life that is causing problem, but it is how they manage many facets of their life. "Moving to mountains" is merely running away from problems that are making life difficult. The most haunting aspect of running is that problems will follow you regardless of how far "back in woods" you decide to move. The many facets or our lives can been seen as either stressful or as a learning experience and it is important, and beneficial, to resolve and manage them instead of running from them.
--- Why is it so hard? ---
On one extreme, there are people that say that life is beautiful, but they are bitter and unfulfilled. On other, there are those that despise life as horrid and painful, yet they are content to remain in their situation.
If indeed life were an absolute, everyone would see it same way. However, life is a series of events that occur on a given timeline. We all mask and filter these events, or realities, because of our experiences. Sometimes we're blinded by these filters and cannot move; however, it is how you are able to adjust your view and manage your life that makes difference.
You can either let life run you, or you can run it. It's just that simple. You have power to determine events and opportunity to decide when these events occur. But, to do this, you have to not only figure out what is in your life, but also where you want your life to go. This is first step in simplifying your life.
--- But, if I just dump it all, it all goes away. ---
Yes, if you simplify by eliminating everything in your life then, indeed, all of "those" problems will disappear. However, you will end up with ... nothing ... and an entirely new set of problems to handle. But, in process, what is it that you are getting rid of? Your furniture? A car? Some tools? Your family? No, you are getting rid of "stuff." Stuff consists of things in your life that, at one time or another, meant something to you or represented something. For some reason, now they don't.
Look around at your stuff and determine what it meant to you and why. Then, figure out what changed over your life such that stuff no longer means anything to you. As you consider changes, think about whether these changes were for good or bad. Did you outgrow these things for better or for worse?
As you ponder, realize that stuff is not causing problems, but it is your view of your "life" and what "it" means to you. These things are merely representations of something that once was, but no longer is, and now you feel tug of what these items represent. This "tug" usually happens when you have no current direction in your life and are searching for something more, or better, within yourself.
--- But, there's just so much coming at me. ---
Overwhelming sensations are expected in today's world; however, you have ability to control everything that comes at you. The only thing that prevents your control is your ability to comprehend various levels of control you can exert on any given facet of your life.
You have to examine every facet of your life, not just ones that appear to be causing problems. You might find that ones that appear to be causing greatest problems are not problems at all, but are instead irritated by other gnawing aspects of your life.
Write down single, overwhelming, feeling that you have --- confused, lost, angry, misdirected, intimidated, etc. Then, write down every element of your life that affects you directly and indirectly --- work, marriage, neighbor, expectations, disappointments, successes, past, future, desires, hobbies, kids, friends, etc. For each of those items, write down how you feel about each one listed --- angry, alienated, confused, overwhelmed, etc.
Go through your list several times then sleep on it for a few days. You are slowly defining things that are creating overall feeling you originally noted. Let it all settle in so that you can think clearer next time that you examine list. Then, as you go through feelings you defined for each item in your life, determine if there is a common thread that is causing that feeling.
In most situations I've seen, there is one underlying issue that provokes a problem in everything you do. It is not necessarily various issues, but it is something that you have within yourself that is blocking you or causing several external problems.