Christina and I are both doing our best this month to hone in on the concept of simplicity. Ironically, thinking about simplicity, writing about it, and, of course, putting it into practice are all a bit complicated.
Comprehending simplicity is actually rather arduous. It makes my brain hurt in that spot right above my left eyebrow where I sometimes get migraines. How backwards is that? Not only do I struggle to keep aspects of my life simple, I can’t even conceive of how that would work. Because sometimes I forget that I am the creator of my reality. If my life busy and stressful and overwhelming, then that’s just how it’s going to be, right?
Or maybe not? Might I be wrong?
Let’s skip over the whole notion of what it means to comprehend simplicity, because really that’s just more work than anyone needs to be doing (the opposite of simple!). We can sit around and over-analyze the idea, or we can accept this truth and move on: simplicity is possible.
But HOW?! you ask yourself. You *simply* (wink, wink) remember four things:
First: Make it a mantra.
Simplicity is possible. Simplicity is possible. Over and over and over again in your head during those moments when life is overwhelming. When your breathing is faster or more shallow than it should be. When you look at your schedule for the week and see that you have no time for yourself. Simplicity is possible. The more you say it, the truer it will become.
Second: Communicate your emotions openly and honestly.
For some reason, during times of chaos in our lives, we tend to shut down the feelings. We may be tired or sick or sad or happy, but we’re too busy to acknowledge those emotions and we keep them at an arm’s length, for fear that they will keep us from productivity. This is not wise, because emotions have a nasty little habit of building up inside you and then exploding, usually in a negative or harmful manner. If you’re stressed out, say it. If you’re worried about something, voice your concern. Surround yourself with people who get it - who get you. A friend, a romantic partner, a diary, anything! Letting those feelings out will actually make the day-to-day craziness easier, because it’s one less thing for your body and mind to be working on. Holding everything in is a big job!
Third: Find little moments of quiet and solitude.
Grab these moments at every chance you have and put them in your pocket like a precious shell you found on the beach. Treat them like a gift and bask in the silence, the peace, or the privacy. Know that these moments, even if they are five minutes or less, can be rejuvenating to the body and healing to mind and spirit. Drink them in and let them soothe your soul. And be grateful for them!
Finally: Re-evaluate your priorities.
Take a step back and ask yourself what is causing the sense of overwhelm. Draw or write it out to physically see what might be removed or rearranged in your life to bring a greater sense of freedom and time. Women today are expected to want to “do it all” -- a dangerous notion that dilutes self worth and adds unnecessary commitments to your calendar. Let us shift to focus less on doing it all and more on doing what makes us and others happy and healthy, wouldn’t you agree?
Now that I’ve written this out, the concept of simplicity isn’t so hard to understand. Paradoxically it takes a bit of work, in the form of forethought and imagination, but just thinking about the calm washing over me makes that effort feel very worthwhile. I wish you luck as you simplify your own self.