Simple is beautiful
Less is more
I am learning to practice this in every area of life. When we keep it simple we get to the essence of what really matters to us. We can strip away the rest. Most of us feel too overwhelmed with all that we have and do. We buy things because we feel it may be expected of us to live a certain way. This pursuit of more drowns out what is truly important. To keep it simple we need to go beyond this idea of saying yes to everything, doing too much, saying too much, owning too much. This keeps our directions and actions clear and meaningful.
It is about being an essentialist. I am no expert, but I am learning to get better each day. I have amassed too many things and am making big efforts at giving away and simplifying. I wish to see less as enough. I aspire to take away and clear out rather than add.
Below I attempt to apply this principle to 5 areas of practice.
- Keep it simple at home: A cluttered home clutters our minds. Too many things all over can feel claustrophobic. We have more to clean and organize too. Managing things around our home takes up so much of our time. Simple uncluttered spaces give us a sense of ease and calm. The most important things in life are not actually things!
Try this: Just clear out your table surface. Reduce the objects in the room you are in and notice how you feel.
A small thing of beauty like a curio or 1 single flower stands out and fits beautifully now.
- Keep it simple in communication: Bombastic, complex language can be plastic. We are not affected by it. It often does not touch us. Get to the essence of what you wish to say and why? Allow yourself to choose simple words to say it. Look at the brevity of a ‘ Love you so much’ ‘ I need you to do this’ ‘ this upset me’ “ I am sad you said this’. Focus on your feeling.
Try this: Choose to give 1 person an essential message and use only 5-6 words.
Notice you will need to get sharp with words.
- Keep it simple with actions: Big hairy audacious goals are great. The problem is we get bogged down with big. Some of us get overwhelmed. Start small. Identify the small steps. Break it all down into smaller pieces. It will enable clearer action and better delegation too. Instead of efforting, you will do what you need to with ease and joy.
Try this: Pick a health goal. Break it down into smaller actions. Just do 1 action for a few days. Get comfortable. Then pick the next action.
See your confidence grow!
I picked 15 min of walking each day as an action. Less is more and better than no movement at all. This has helped me ease the inner critic in me.
- Keep it simple with Rhythms: Regular routines enhance our well-being. Rhythms are in our sleep and awakeness, night and day, breath in and breath out rhythms. You will feel calm with a daily rhythm repeated daily without a thought.
Try this: Wake up at the same time each day. Drink a glass of water. Sit for 10 min on your balcony or in some greenery.
Notice in 1 week of doing this how you feel. If not then keep to a simple night routine of 2 things you will do each night before you sleep.
- Keep it simple with a No list: One of the ways we complicate life is by agreeing to everything that comes our way or is asked of us. A simple No list is a great quick reference. It creates a pause before our response. Learning to say No is a skill that can simplify life.
My No list :
- Keeping away from toxic relationships saves me energy
- No to free charitable work unless I take it as something worth my time.
- No to night-outs
- No to shopping for fun
- No angry aggressive conversations
- No accepting new gifts, I ask for used things
- No throwing out what can be repurposed
Try this: Make your list of just 3 things on your No list. Go a month following it.
See how it feels.
Keeping it simple is a gift to ourselves. A gift of ease.
Ending this blog with a story I read. A teacher once asked a child ‘ What are the seven wonders of the world? The child said “ Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, playing and friends’. Such captivating simplicity!
Do you feel inspired to try some of these ideas?
Be curious and try it.