Simplicity sounds so easy, but when your life or current situation is complicated, it sounds completely out of reach. Maybe you are just getting started on simplifying one part of your life, like diet or finances and running into roadblocks, or you declutter and declutter only to face more decluttering. There could be other things happening that make simplicity easy to dismiss too.
Finding simplicity might be complicated because:
- your partner likes to collect things
- it’s hard to let go
- you are too busy to make a change
- the stress of a current situation is overwhelming
- you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work
The key to creating a simple life, and to finding simplicity everywhere is to start by finding it somewhere.
1. Create a minimalist sanctuary
This might not be an entire room, but look around your home and see if there is one area that you can simplify just for you; a place where you can find and clearly see simplicity every day. Perhaps it’s a corner of your bedroom or office, your nightstand, or even a kitchen drawer.
Simplicity looks different for everyone, so create a space that inspires you to simplify more of your home and life, and don’t compare that to what Pinterest tells you simplicity looks like. That might mean a sanctuary completely free of stuff for some, and for others, it includes favorite books, or a notebook and pen, or other things you truly enjoy. Give this minimalist sanctuary a chance to speak to your soul.
2. Go outside
Thoreau said, “Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.” We perfectly flawed humans complicate things. With our stuff, busyness, big hearts, short fuses, and beautiful, messy lives, we complicate all of it. Nature is there to remind us that life is simple. Take a walk around a lake or into the woods and think about how you have everything you need in that moment. Learn about the magic of simplicity from everything you notice on your walk.
3. Be grateful
Develop a simple gratitude practice, and see the thread of simplicity in the things you are grateful for. In all of the gratitude lists I’ve made and heard about, there are rarely material things on the list or big accomplishments, because a good life isn’t full of big wins and lots of stuff. Instead it’s little wins, beautiful connections, highs, lows, and a good night of sleep. My current gratitude list looks like this:
- uplifting conversations with a good friend
- the way it feels when an idea wraps its way around my heart
- watching planes land
- blooming trees
- the look of sheer wonder in my dog’s eyes when I say “treat” or “walk” (every time)
Not into gratitude lists? Try a gratitude collage like the one I made above. Grab a few images from your mobile device and put them together using Diptic. I included images from a hike with my dad on his 75th birthday, underwater treadmill therapy for Guinness, my niece Alexa’s latest masterpiece, sunrise, sunset and other things that grabbed my heart recently.
You’ll find simplicity somewhere when you see how simple the things you are most grateful for really are.
4. Edit your work and your life
Find simplicity with each thing that you remove. From words on a page to clothes in a closet, edit and remove all of the things that are complicating your life and find simplicity not everywhere in the end, but in little somewheres thought the entire process.
5. Just breathe
Breathing is a function that keeps us alive, usually with very little effort or attention, but it offers another benefit. Turning your focus towards your breath provides the time and space you need to remove panic and reaction and to see things more clearly. Slow down and simplify almost any situation by paying attention to your breath.
Once you find simplicity somewhere, you will find it everywhere.