I looked up the word simple today. Easy to understand, deal with or use; not complex or compounded; not complicated; not elaborate or adorned. Actually for such a common word, there were quite a few definitions. However they all speak to “simple” being the stripped down essence of something… be it chemistry, botany, math, grammar, plants or people.
I should explain that the reason I am looking up the word simple in the first place, is because that is the word that comes up when I think about the future. Simple is the word that comes up when I think about how to navigate, plan and approach the day to day activities of my life.
Literally, there may be many things vying for my attention, however if I see them in their simplest form; each different thing, when not compounded with the others, is pretty straight forward. Simple is also a big part of what our spiritual journeys are all about!
It hasn’t always felt this way for me. For the longest time, I felt I was searching for something. If I found the right equation or the magic formula, I might shift or change my experience and all of a sudden I would arrive at some nirvana or enlightened state. I would be evolved and know exactly how to create and have the life of my dreams.
Well, I have the life of my dreams. So how did I get here if I haven’t yet found that perfect equation or magic formula? Then it dawns on me… Simplicity lead me here. I just have a tendency to make simple complex! When we make simple things complex, we give our minds something to be distracted by, something to work on or figure out. Our minds don’t always want the simple answer. Where is the challenge in THAT?
Stay present; be in the moment; live from Now…. These concepts are embedded in almost every spiritual teaching. Breathe, quiet the mind, connect with your heart.., are cornerstones of many spiritual practices. Align the mind, body and spirit.., physical, emotional, mental and spiritual; to connect with All-That-Is. These are simple concepts at their core. Yet we make incorporating and implementing them complex.
What would happen if we stopped making everything complex? How would our lives change if we lived simply? Authentic; unadorned; free of deceit or guile; sincere, unconditional; unaffected, unassuming, modest. You see, these are all definitions of “simple” too. We may already have the magic formula or perfect equation in our possession. We might just be overlooking it, because it seems to simple!
Our lives will have ups and downs. We will experience loss, sorrow, hurt and pain. We will know peace, love and joy. This is natural, this is part of our human experience. The difference is how we respond to the ebbs and flow. Do we make them mean something about us? Are we magnanimous in our response? Are we martyred or victimized by life’s events? These highs and lows in life are the ideal time to connect with our spiritual practices and awareness.
But more than that, creating our futures, through the lens or filter of “simple” allows us the greatest opportunity for realizing those dreams. When we allow what we are creating to be simple, we are less attached to what it looks like or how it manifests. It is our minds that try to fill in the complex details of our imagining. Simple says “let’s see what shows up”.
All of this is to say, that as we move into this new year, keeping it simple, feels like the way to go!
With Light, Love, and Laughter