Laura Basha

Photo By: Nailia Schwarz

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”


– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I have been reflecting on simplicity for some time. Simplicity seems to be on many people’s minds, these days especially.

Life experience can become so busy that it occurs to us as complex and as needing urgency to address every issue that comes up.

In my reflections as well as my investigative readings, what keeps coming back to me is a common thread that runs through the tapestry of all the commitments I have made, and then subsequently experience as demands on my time! I have often made commitments and choices without thinking through the entire picture of the issue or the ramifications of the choice. This results in the experience of living a complex life.
If I look at de-cluttering my home as an example, I can see that when I make a new purchase, I don’t always think through how useful it will truly be, so I often add to a collection of lovely-but-not-very-useful items already existing in our home. When I look at my schedule, I see that I sometimes say “yes” to commitments without really looking at the entire use of hours in the day, or week, or month, or even year. I don’t ask myself in the moment of the commitment, have I given myself enough resting time to experience balance in my day/week/life?! When I look at wanting to drop a few pounds, am I consciously choosing what food to put into my system that will actually contribute to having a body weight in which I feel most comfortable, or am I choosing to eat what feels compelling at the moment but not designed to accomplish my larger goal?

What I see now is that all of the issues to deal with around simplifying my life come down to one issue: being clear and purposeful regarding what I want, and being disciplined in remembering what I want.

Ah, discipline!! Such a contaminated word! Seems like acquiescing to coercion rather than creating a desired outcome.

But, what if discipline was really simply remembering what we want?

I am left with a deepening of understanding of this concept of simplicity: that simplicity is the result of consciously choosing. Being present to the implications and ramifications of a choice, I then need to deal with the resistance that arises internally when I stay true to the larger picture.
Discipline is indeed remembering what I want, and I can see the added value gained from living a life of conscious discipline, conscious choice. Consciously remembering what I want, and choosing accordingly, allows for a letting go which synchronistically unveils simplicity.

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