Less is more. Less leaves room for more.
Simplification purifies. Complication overwhelms, confuses; it dilutes what is important in life, clutters life up with unnecessary worries and objects.
Simplicity purges. It cleans out.
Simplicity is a parsing of components. A separation of wheat from chaff. A shedding of the unnecessary.
Simplicity is a unity of form and construction. A minimal assemblage of parts. Minimal ingredients required.
There is Beauty in Simplicity. Simplicity is ease of use and ease of understanding. Simplicity makes life user-friendly.
Simplicity is raw, genuine, and straightforward. With Simplicity we get it. We can focus.
Simplicity makes mystery accessible. Let us keep it simple.
“When you realize that there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu
Making Room: Divine Simplicity
We humans have a tendency to complicate things. At the same time, we crave Simplicity. This is one of our many paradoxes. We tend to get distracted by shiny objects while seeking profound Wisdom. We discern Universal laws and get bogged down in petty legalese. When a sage points to the sky, we stare at the finger, not the sky.
We can be collectors, hoarders, addicts, multi-taskers, control freaks, Human-doings, Social Butterflies, Drama Kings and Queens, stimulation junkies, persecutors and judges.
Simplicity is a guide and a reminder that in seeking Wisdom, awakening and spiritual growth, we have to keep our load Light on the journey. We have to watch what energies we carry and what we are adding on. We watch where we place our Energy. Adding to our load materially, energetically and otherwise takes away our Energy and focus. It distracts us. It complicates things. It crowds out the space we could give to Divinity.
We need to clean out energies, outlooks and ways of being to make room for Divinity. We want a sense of Divine Simplicity. Simplicity involves a singularity of focus and understanding of the Divine not bogged down by minutiae and distractions. For me, this would be something akin to the statement: We are Divine at our core and Divinity surrounds us in all creation.
When we make room for a simple understanding of Divinity with overarching guidance provided by the Simplicity of that understanding, we need less, we want less, we judge less, attach less, resist less, worry less, fear less and suffer less. We lighten our load. We make room.
With Divine Simplicity, we magically make space to: Love more, Create more, Nurture more and give more. We have greater Faith. We have more Gratitude, Optimism, Courage and Humility.
“Any attachment can empty you of both holy solitude and the spirit and joy of God.” -St. John of the Cross
Simplicity of Belief
In the Judeo-Christian bible, there are two groups of antagonists among several. They are called the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They are foes, in essence, to the protagonist, Jesus— especially right before he is persecuted. They are portrayed as devout individuals, yet they are bogged down in minutiae, with a legalistic, code-enforcement approach to spirituality.
Both parties become lost in technicalities. They lose sight of the forest through the trees. They complicate things.
In contrast, Jesus, at one point in the text, is more than happy, when requested, to break down a “Cliff Notes” version of what he thinks are the most important factors of all the codes, laws and relevant prophecies.
Basically, he says that all teachings are basically subservient to: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We can oversimplify for sure. Yet Simplicity is always accessible and understandable. It creates a lighter load in application and use. Simplicity will tend to cross lines of belief systems; the latter half of what Jesus is saying is basically a variation of the universally-accepted Golden Rule.
When we get away from Simplicity of belief, we may fall into minutiae, legalese. We may lose the forest through the trees. We become like the Pharisees.
Each of us may do well to seek out the simple statements such as the ones above that sum up so much in what is guiding us. These phrases may vary in wordage but they will likely have some commonalities when we truly seek out an overarching maxim (or several) that resonate with us.
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simple.” -Henry David Thoreau
Simplicity of Outlook
Simplicity of outlook clears the mind. We watch and monitor automatic pilot-type thinking and leave space for the Divine. We disallow clutter and judgment. I am not saying to be intellectually simple-minded. We may want to Simplify our thinking. We can par down the sheer volume of thoughts and reactions that we allow to dance around in our skulls.
For me, this looks like the Simplicity of leaving my mind in neutral gear. In neutral, I hope to shed ego and automatic reaction to what is occurring around me. I let go of judgment. I practice “Namaste,” seeing the Beauty and Divinity in those around me. I abide by one of my favorite quotes from Eckhart Tolle: “There is no such thing as a problem, only situations to be dealt with.”
If we are lucky, we may harness the treasured Simplicity of the child-like mind. From this place, we see all around us with Joy, curiosity and awe. We appreciate the mystery and miracle of life without having to have all the answers.
We look at the world with Love.
“Stop analyzing life. It makes it complicated. Just live it.” -Ramkrishna Paramahansa
Management of Inputs
In the spirit of managing the load we carry and the energies we take on, we must monitor what inputs and stimuli we expose ourselves to in the spirit of respecting our Divinity and that of others. We have to manage our time. We have to manage our relationships. We have to manage the media we expose ourselves to. We have to engage in self-care.
We also have to investigate our addiction to busy-ness with regards to our time and Energy. We may have spread ourselves over many projects, relationships and activities. We easily dilute ourselves. Our lives are busy, rushed and complex. We get involved in the drama and the gossip of other people’s problems in a manner that doesn’t serve them or us.
We can get stuck in constant reaction mode and we are susceptible to being trapped there.
In managing our inputs, we can unplug in various ways. We can move away from too much media stimulation and away from unhealthy relationships that do not serve us. We can watch where and how we spend our time. We can make time for self-care and Stillness.
We can make hard choices to Simplify our lives.
“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million, count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.” -Henry David Thoreau
Simplicity of Ownership
When we practice simplicity in its purest sense, we don’t need to own anything. When we have made room for God, we have everything we need. We have abundance in the spiritual sense.
The truth is that the more stuff that you own, the more your energy is divided amongst managing these items and the more you may be dragged away from Divinity as you identify with, and receive validation from, the ownership of said objects. This is a form of idolatry in some respects. Simplicity doesn’t ask you to not own things. It just asks you to watch how your energy and identity is being put into the ownership of the things you do own.
If our mindset is one of constant acquisition, management and identification of material possessions, we have less space and time for Divinity and all that comes with that.
“When God is with me, all the “necessities” of life become unnecessary.”Paramahansa Yogananda
Purging Old Wounds, Simplifying Our Lives
Our wounds will complicate and control our lives beyond reason, and can be difficult to discern as they tend to lurk in the dark and can act so subtly. We do matter. We are lovable, and we are good enough, but these types of wounds complicate and cloud the simplest and most singular of imprints upon our souls─ that we are Divine.
Often, a Dark Night of the Soul (see Healing) will serve to purge a soul of wounds in an intense manner, like a dish rag being washed and wrung clean. Outside of this experience, we can look at our life history and take control of our own Healing processes, with professional help as necessary, in order to purge the wounds that load down our psyches and complicate our lives.
How Do We Simplify Our Lives?
Simplification as a process is different for everyone. If you reach some point of awakening, you will automatically start to shed complexities in your life. As a matter of eliciting awakening, we have to take an inventory of our lives and survey what has made them so complex.
In generally, we can slow down and step back from our lives as much as possible to make the observations needed for change to occur in our lives. Guides, coaches, healers and counselors can lend perspective to this process.
Clearing our minds, slowing down our thought processes and becoming more Mindful makes for a good start in engaging Simplicity. With such a vantage point, we can more carefully discern what parts of our lives need paring down or purging in some manner. We may be more cognizant of what might block us from doings so when we do this. We may find, for example, that we feel obligated to carry on with certain activities and relationships because of guilt or some other emotional trigger.
From this point of clarity, we ca shed and purge that which does not serve us and our Truth. This includes objects, relationships, old wounds and activities. We make space. We don’t allow that space to be filled with anything else for the moment except for self-care and that which reflects or celebrates our Divinity.
We will struggle with this, to be sure. We may receive negative feedback from others who liked our “old self” more, and wants it back. We may feel uncomfortable in this new way of being, because Simplicity does not typically comply with social conditioning. We may have developed an addiction to having a more complex, hurried and stuff-filled life. Being busy may have allowed us to avoid Simplicity, while having lots of stuff may have allowed us to avoid acknowledging a void within; in Simplicity, we may be more aware of who we are beneath all the complexities and drama of life, and experience how we feel about ourselves there.
Simplicity can expose us to what lies beneath complexity. Simplicity can be a place of raw being. It can be where we feel the simplest emotions in their raw, unfettered fashion. Grief, anger and shame can then be expressed and purged.
In Simplicity, we are straightforward. We feel the feelings that need to be felt; then they are free to move on, thereby making space for our own Divinity to rise up.
With this, we have de-cluttered. We have purged. We have cleaned out the closets of our own lives.
Having purged, cleaned out and purified, we can just be. When we can just be, we purge, clean out and purify. The Simplicity of being is to just be. Sit. Breathe. Just be.
“Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition, and every situation that no longer serves a Divine purpose in your life.” -Iyanla Vanzant
Non-attachment is the primary element that supports Simplicity. With Non-Attachment, we let go of the clutter of objects and old ways of thinking and being. We learn to not fear the action of letting go. We let go of all that does not serve us or that otherwise dilutes our Energy away from the Divine.
Courage and Freewill help us to make hard decisions regarding simplifying our lives.
Self-Awareness and Healing may help us with letting go of that which clutters our mind, body and spirit.
Forgiveness can serve to release unresolved issues and associated emotions.
Gratitude allows us to appreciate both what we have and the Beauty of Simplicity in general.
Stillness, Solitude and Meditation support Simplicity in allowing us to just be without distraction.
Nature teaches us Simplicity and manifests it in its creations.
Truth, Love, Equanimity and Bliss serve to demonstrate and represent a soul’s essence Simplified and in line with Divinity.
- Identify your most basic spiritual values. Look for maxims, quotes and phrases that support these for you, which do not conflict with each other and are easy to recall. Challenge yourself to honor those maxims consistently, and reflect upon times you have not and why that was the case to avoid violating your values in the future.
- Initiate Healing processes to identify, process and purge the negative impacts of any old wounds of inherent inadequacy. Be aware of what a Dark Night of the Soul is. Flow with it should it occur to you.
- Clean out the clutter of unused items in your home. Donate or give these items away. Create space in your home. Monitor your consumerism so as to not purchase unnecessary items afterward. Avoid excessive materialism.
- Unplug from technology and social media on a regular base. Monitor its daily use and take a total break from all media (especially electronic) consistently, such as three days per month.
- Survey your entire schedule and workload. Look deeply at activities and relationships that do not serve you. Make the hard decision to let go of that which does not serve you, including relationships. Seek guidance by professional healers as necessary in this process.
- De-accelerate your entire life as much as possible. Walk slower, eat slower, drive slower.
- Practice assertiveness skills in saying no to new obligations.
- Notice Beauty and Divinity in simple things. Take the time to observe things you might overlook when not making the effort to notice them, such as the activity of small insects or birds, or a smile or friendly greeting from a stranger.
I Allow Myself to Release and Let Go of All Which Does Not Serve Me
I Honor Purity Clarity, and Beauty; I See Divinity in all things.
I Choose Simplicity. I Choose Making Space for the Divine.
I Know I Am, I Know My True Essence (Divine)
Dear God, Please let me be grateful for all that I have and allow me to live with only what I need. Help me to appreciate Simplicity.