From the perspective of present moment awareness, everything is gloriously simple. It just is.
What’s truly important rises effortlessly to the surface and everything else naturally dissolves when you learn to let the small stuff be.
A commitment to simplicity supports you to clear the path to your chosen priorities and relish the delight of simple pleasures; the exquisite aroma of freshly ground coffee, celestial art created by clouds and time alone reading an absorbing book.
Less is More
Simplicity invites you to do more with less; and with less, you appreciate more.
Bhutan may be one of the poorest nations in the world, but with Buddhism as the main religion, it ranks as one of the happiest and measures the wellbeing of its people by Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Bhutanese seem to be living the truth of Lao Tzu’s maxim, “He who knows he has enough is rich.”
Outwardly Simple and Inwardly Rich
Valuing simplicity has a long history. Almost 2,500 years ago, Confucius declared, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
In fact, all of the major spiritual traditions teach their own version of material moderation and spiritual abundance as an approach to life that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich.
It’s not so much that material possessions or financial abundance are the root of all evil – it’s the attachment to them that triggers the ultimately suffocating desire of always wanting more.
Shakespeare, Emerson and Thoreau
Many great writers have praised the value of simplicity, including Shakespeare, who stated that “Brevity is the essence of beauty.”
Two of the great Transcendentalists of the mid-19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, believed wholeheartedly in simplicity, and Thoreau affirmed, “Our lives are frittered away by detail … simplify, simplify!”
Prioritizing a connection with nature, both Emerson and Thoreau felt that simplicity leads you to discover the deepest potential of your soul and enrich the farthest corners of your imagination.
Their outstanding creative output based on this view speaks for itself.
Nothing More to Take Away
Italian sculptor Michelangelo knew a great deal about stone, among his many other talents as a painter, poet, architect and engineer.
When asked about carving the statue of David, he explained that it was simply a case of removing the stone that didn’t look like David.
This creative perspective also reveals the essence of simplicity as a Core Principle of Conscious Writing which guides you to focus on the essence of your message or story for the most authentic and effective communication.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry summed this up beautifully when he stated that, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing more to take away.”
I’m currently embracing the calling to explore the next level of simplicity in all areas of my life, including my writing.
It this resonates with you at this time, here are three suggestions for how to begin the process of simplifying your…
- Outer environment by clearing the clutter and creating space for no more than you absolutely need or genuinely love starting with one drawer, one cupboard, one corner or one room at a time.
- Inner environment through a regular practice of silent contemplation even if it’s just for five minutes at a time to still the chatter of your mind and clear your view of what’s truly important; then let go of everything else.
- Conscious Writing process by taking small steps on a consistent basis in the knowledge that every blog, article, piece of marketing copy or book is written one word, one paragraph, one section at a time.
As Jack Kerouac summed up so well, ‘One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple!’
What are your thoughts and feelings about simplicity? Please share your comments or ask a question below. Thank you!