Raven Minimalsim in 5 Steps

Just about every morning, I sit at my desk with a cup of black coffee waiting for the pair of hooded crows living on my roof to swoop down and entertain me. It is a ritual that, for me, is vital to the success of the day’s inspiration.

Their familiar voices echo between the empty streets right on schedule. As the  male alights on the fence, the sun glints breifly off of his Wednesday Best.  He shakes himself of the dawn’s rain and in his silhouette I am reminded of his cousin The Raven, who only visits me to steal the shiny silver twist-ties I leave on my window ledge.

This crow and his mate, however, have only recently established a home, and worry less about the accumulation of permanence and possession.

The simplicity in his stance, as he stood there sizing me up with each of his eyes at varying intervals, was Orphic and immediately evident.

I was reminded of 5 ancient wisdoms which resonate with how the natural world exists:

1. Accumulate little

The more we own, the heavier our burden.  Crows live a rogue existence throughout the year, only constructing a  ‘permanent’ nest during the spring. While we probably won’t give up our homes and apartments in preference for living like a nomad, we can strive towards a form of detachment from our shelter so that we feel at home wherever in the world we happen to be.

2. Eat simple food

The majority of what we need is found in a handful of foods such as fish, eggs, whole grains, tomatoes and olive oil. Somewhere we lost sight of this and began to manufacture a plethora of created stuff that doesn’t necessarily taste good, and certainly isn’t necessary. Crows, on the other hand, wouldn’t consider eating something if it didn’t taste right. In fact, they go through great lengths to get the food they know they should eat.


3. Dress simply.

Black goes with just about anything, but even the Crows know that texture is key. Feeling comfortable in our clothes is equal to feeling comfortable in our own skin. As our clothes are a reprentation of our inner well being, take a hint from our little friends and don’t hesitate to make that hoodie a part of your day when you need it.

4. Lead a simple, stress-free life

We get so wrapped up in complex issues in our daily lives that just don’t matter all that much. I’ve always imagined myself in 5 years looking back on a given situation to assess how impactful it truly is. Most of the time I can’t see myself remembering it much, just as today I barely think about the 100s of dramas that played out for me in 2004.  At our core, we are creatures built for hunting, building, and breeding, and those are the only things that should give us any concern even today. 1, 2, and 3 encompass the extent of the Crow’s to-do list, leaving us both with only one true challenge – our own fear.  Just as Crows must overcome their obsession with owl-shaped shadows passing overhead in order to sleep even a little,  so must we let go of whatever opresses our creative freedom.

5. Let your life be your message

“If one has wealth, it does not mean that it should be thrown away and wife and children should be turned out of doors. It simply means that one must give up attachment of these things!” ~Gandhi

The crows have proven themselves the epitome of this step by simply inspiring it’s manifestation here on this page.

Does what you do and how you live convey your message to the world?

~V