The Power of Simplicity
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
When we talk about simplifying our lives, often our perception is that we need to minimize all that we have. But that is not necessarily true. In fact, we can enjoy an abundance of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual pleasures without having to give up on anything truly important. And so, what simplifying our lives really comes down to is prioritizing what is, in fact, important. Furthermore, it’s about organizing our thoughts, feelings, and all of our “stuff” in such a way that we only engage in what we absolutely love and enjoy.
The reason so many of us equate simplifying with minimizing is because when we accumulate all the “stuff” that we no longer need or even like, we can feel overwhelmed by it, which can lead us to want to give it all up in favor of the “simple” life. However, the only reason we feel overwhelmed is because we are not truly aligned with the joy we are seeking. And so all that “stuff” in our lives, be it physical or emotional or mental, becomes cumbersome and obligatory rather than freedom-inspiring.
The best way, then, to truly live a “simple” life is to start reflecting upon what it is that we truly need, as well as what we authentically desire to experience in our lives. That way anything that does not fit into these two categories will become something to release and then replace with choices we make from our heart and soul.
Granted, sometimes we are required to do things that we might not completely want to do, or even like to do, but need to do nonetheless, yet even in those moments we can decide that these “tasks” are for the betterment of our lives in some way. This change in perspective can then cause these tasks to become voluntary rather than obligatory. Consequently, when we start to see the benefits we are receiving (or giving) from doing even mundane things, we start to see how necessary and enjoyable they truly can be.
For example, maybe doing the laundry isn’t your favorite activity. However, if you start to think of it less as a chore and more of an opportunity, you can then turn an undesirable activity into something that has deeper meaning. Think of how blessed you are to have the modern-day conveniences that make doing your laundry that much easier. Think of how good you’ll feel in your freshly washed clothing. And if you're doing your family’s laundry too, think of how happy it will make you to provide your loved-ones with this essential service that will make their day even subtly better.
And changing perspectives can work with bigger life choices as well, helping you simplify and clarify what you actually desire moving forward. For instance, if you seriously dislike your job, now would be a good time to start thinking about your options. What would you want to do? What fuels your soul? What are you passionate about? What would your dream career look like? Start by finding the positives in your work right now and then move on to listing all the qualities you would like to experience in the work that you want for your future. Prioritize your desires, goals, and intentions so that you know exactly what floats your boat. Then act on the opportunities that present themselves to you, for the clearer you are on what you want, the more aware you will be when those opportunities arise.
In my work I talk a lot about what I like to call “Mindful Indulgence,” which is simply a way of living where your goal is to find the joy in everything you do, and to make choices that are aligned with your authentic self and heart-centered desires. But what precedes living a mindfully indulgent life is the ability to simplify in such a way that goals are clear, intentions are true, and priorities are meaningful. For it is when we know what we seek (and why) that what we seek can find us.
On that note, here are some steps to help you simplify your life without compromising what you love or what you desire to manifest:
Start by physically de-cluttering your home. Go from room to room and item to item and honestly decide if it’s something you truly need, like, or want. Does it still serve an important purpose in your life? Can it do more good elsewhere? This might seem hard at first, especially since most of us get really attached to our things. But the more we go within, the more honest we will be about whether or not we truly need these things, and the more we will be aware of when we are holding on to them without reason.
In the de-cluttering process, ask yourself if the things that you are choosing to keep inspire you to feel happy. Do these things feel special to you? Do they evoke positive feelings or emit a positive vibe that motivates and inspires you? The goal, ultimately, is to surround yourself with only the things that bring you joy and align you with your heart-felt desires. Anything else just adds clutter to your life and creates confusion. When you have a clear goal it is helpful to clear your path to that goal as well; that way you will see clearly to where you want to be. Plus, the more you surround yourself with the energy of what you love and desire to manifest, the less road blocks you will likely stumble upon along your way.
Next focus on your internal environment. What chronic beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions are you feeding into that keep you away from who you want to be and how you want to feel? You see, simplifying your life in large part comes down to releasing all the gunk that no longer serves you, which includes all those negative patterns that have been keeping you stuck to date. And so, if you are going to only and always align with your joy, you will need to release (or transform) all the stuff that contradicts that joy. Now, releasing those negative patterns, some of which you have been accumulating for your whole life thus far, may not always be easy, but the sooner you start to question their validity, the sooner you will get back on course with manifesting the life you truly want to live.
Simplifying your life also comes down to having faith in something bigger than yourself. Now, you don’t have to be religious to believe in the vastness of the universe or to contemplate how it came to be in the first place. Even staring out onto the ocean can help us realize how much more there is to explore. One thing we can all agree upon, though, is that there are many unknowns yet to be discovered and none of us, and I mean no one, has all of the answers to every question there ever was or ever will be all at once. However, when we start to think bigger, we do start to gain a bird’s eye view of not only our own lives but also the world at large. And when we step back for a moment and contemplate the grander plan, we can at least find some peace in knowing that just like there are more frontiers to discover, there are also more solutions to be found and dreams to be realized.
Now that you have contemplated the grander scheme of things, relax into the flow of life, knowing that everything you need is available for you when you need it. Relax in the comfort of knowing that even with all of the questions that exist, and even in the most trying of times, somehow humankind still manages to find its way to great discoveries and resolutions, and you are no different. We are a determined and surviving bunch. So relax in that knowing and let yourself take comfort in your resiliency. Relax into the unknown by releasing your need to know and your need to control and just be present in this moment with all that you have and all that you are right now. Appreciate it and accept it with trust and faith that as you do, more and more joy will become your reality.
And as you go about your day-to-day, think of ways that you can simplify your tasks. Can you delegate more? Can you find more enjoyable ways to do what you need to do? Are your obligations real or are you just putting more on your plate than you actually need to? Are there ways you can choose to mindfully indulge (through conscious awareness and choice) in what you love? Can you make more time for yourself without feeling guilty about it?
Most importantly, do not deprive yourself from using your imagination. It’s free and always open. Any time you feel down, stressed, worried, or overwhelmed, you can go within and envision yourself in your happy place, doing what you love with enthusiasm and total freedom. Doing this exercise will not only help reduce your overall stress levels, it will also actively start you on your journey to manifesting the life you truly want to live.
In a nutshell, simplifying your life simply means releasing what no longer serves you and embracing all that expresses who you truly are at your core. But in order to do that your fear must go. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of lack, and so on. By recognizing how far you have come already you will realize how strong you already are. Then you will embrace the unknown with joyous wonder as you engage in this present moment with your full attention, your authenticity, and the simplicity of your gratitude. It’s simple: we are always in the now. So let’s make the most of each moment so that when we string our moments together, they will represent a life well lived.
In truth, everything becomes simple when we look at it through the lens of love.