Villa M

 We live in a time of great freedom, but also high expectations. This age of choice can be both liberating and paralysing. In the past, our identity was something that was assigned to us - we were defined by where we were born, our parents and their social standing, and our trade, employment or business. We had no choice but to live and work on the family farm or continue the trade of our parents. Our community also defined us and created a sence of belonging.

 Today, in a secularised world, we have both the freedom and burden to define our own identity. We can live almost anywhere we choose - from the suburbs of the city to a small country village. And with that often comes anxiety. Is this the right decision? Is this a good choice?

We often oscillate between order and chaos in our lives. We start imagining how our lives might improve in a different environment. The idea of escape is tantalising. Whether it's changing cities or countries, it is easy to hope that all of our problems and concerns will be left behind. But wherever we are, so are they.

 But what if there was a way to appreciate what we already have? What if it was a simple idea that merely required us to be present in the moment? One of the easiest ways to enjoy our life is to live mindfully. When we live in the now, we start to see the beauty of what is right in front of us. We stop looking over there and projecting, and wishing to be someplace else. We start to realise that no product can fill a need. Being present is one of the biggest challenges to consumerism - because instead of wanting, we start engaging and appreciating our lives in deeper and more meaningful ways. We learn that we already have everything we need.