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Chief Joseph and John Cali
from the September 2010 Star Beacon
Simplifying Your Life
by Chief Joseph and John Cali
Joseph and I have been complimented often (and criticized
occasionally) for making life too simple. Well, we’re at it again.
The simplicity characterizing Chief Joseph’s and my work
(and my personal life) has its roots in a time long past. Let me
I made a deliberate, conscious choice to simplify my
life when I moved to Wyoming years ago. The life I lived before
that in the USA’s Washington, DC area, as much as I loved it, had
grown far too complicated, hectic, and “out of sync” with who I
had become. I felt like I was drowning in a dark sea of confusion
and chaos. I knew I had to make a change.
The life I live here in Wyoming is radically different
from my former life.
I’m no longer a slave to technology, even though without
it Chief Joseph and I could not do the work we do. I turn off my
computers most evenings, and even (horrors!) take a day away from
I’ve been an “exercise freak” most of my life. But I
don’t belong to a health club or own any exercise machines. I jog
outside, not in a gym or on a machine. I like being out in nature.
I like simple exercise.
I used to cook fancy meals, but no longer. I don’t
starve myself, but I like simple vegetarian cooking.
I’m blessed to live in a beautiful place with mountains,
valleys, and wild creatures all around — and lots of peace and
quiet. I spend a little time most days immersing myself in the
grandeur of it all, and giving thanks for my simple blessings.
Despite its simplicity, my life is more abundant now
than it’s ever been. I no longer live a complicated, confusing
lifestyle. It feels good — really good!
Friends, as we observe you from our perspective, we see
so many of you living the complicated, confusing lives John talks
about. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We’re not advising you to bail out of your modern world.
After all, despite its problems, it also holds many
blessings for you. As we’ve said before, there is far more “good”
on your planet than “bad.”
One way you can surely simplify your lives is to take some
time each day to “count your blessings,” as you say. Learn to love
and appreciate all the good in your lives. Love and appreciate
even the stuff you might consider not so good. All of it — the
good and the bad — are there for your highest good, for your
Spend some daily time giving thanks for all of it. It
doesn’t have to be a lot — even a couple of minutes is fine.
Your modern technology, as wonderful and powerful as it
is, can be the proverbial double-edged sword. Sure, it’s brought
you all closer to one another in many ways. It’s certainly
fostered a greater sense of global awareness. But it’s also driven
you apart, as it’s a tool you can use to cut yourselves off from
your family and friends, by continually immersing yourselves in it
all — “gluing” yourselves to your computers and other devices.
So take a simple break from it all now and then, as John
does. The world isn’t going to disappear if you’re not on top of
every last little bit of what’s happening on your planet.
Take some time each day to nurture yourselves spiritually.
This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or difficult. Spend a
few minutes quieting your minds and focusing on your breathing.
Spend time out in nature, appreciating all the beauty around you,
even if you live in the city.
While we could give you a long list of ways to simplify
your lives, we won’t. Perhaps another time. We do, however, want
to leave you with one last thought.
We see many of you getting confused and even lost in your
spiritual lives. There are so many “gurus,” teachers, advisors,
etc. out there today.
That’s not a bad thing at all. But it does not serve you well to
be continually going from one to another to another, and so on.
Even placing all your reliance on a single teacher (including
Chief Joseph) is not a good thing for you to do. You’re really
looking for what you can find only within yourselves.
Take from the teachers what feels good and right for you.
But always know you are your own best teacher. You are your own
highest and best authority, bar none.
Trust yourselves — your human selves and your higher
selves. That alone will greatly simplify your lives.