November 3, 2019: Seeking Simplicity
“Live is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucious
Having a creative brain, ensures that ideas are continually popping in and out, often cluttering up the clarity of what is real or even possible. These ideas can be germinating seeds for new adventures, creations, and possibilities, or can be worrisome thoughts about the future and regrets about the past. Learning to sort through them to find what’s viable and true, can be a challenge, especially when we’re bombarded each day with a multitude of outside stimulation about what we could do, should do and be like.
“Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed” Confucius
I have always had the tendency to add spinning plates to my already busy life. A great idea will surface, and I’ll immediately think, “of course I can do it”. The reality of whether or not I have the energy or time, isn’t considered; the excitement of something innovative and new is the enticing motivation and hard to resist. Add the perfectionist gene to this mix and it’s the perfect recipe for overload and a crashing of plates. The juggling act can become overwhelming, leading to the feelings of being both discouraged and overwhelmed.
“Our life is frittered away by details….simplify, simplify” Henry David Thoreau
This week was no exception. We’re getting ready for an incredibly, busy holiday season, with four upcoming shows including one where we’re hosting an open house with 12 other artists. There’s a multitude of things that need to be accomplished, and yet I had, what I thought was a great idea, to add another activity to promote our jewelry.
When I shared this idea, with a good friend and Dreamscape Team member Shelly, her courageous response was, “Are you out of your mind” Your plate is already full! Where are you going to find the time? It’s a great idea, but you don’t need to do it now.”
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”~ Hans Hofmann
My first reaction was, “of course I can do it. I love this idea and I know it would work. I’ll find the time….somewhere”. But, later while walking in the woods, I thought about her comments and realized she was right. Taking on yet another commitment was not the right choice to an already full schedule for both my husband and me. I had to take a step back and think about what was actually necessary. Part of my discussion with Shelly had been about what did I actually hope to accomplish in the days, months and year to come, not only in business, but our life style.
“Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.” Charles de Lint
Taking the time to simplify is similar to the process of decluttering a home. It can be a challenge to prioritize where we want to focus our attention, energy and time. To do this, means making a conscious decision to reflect on what’s truly important. In essence, it’s an archaeological dig to uncover what do we really want to happen and be part of our life. It’s asking hard questions and then truly listening to the answers from the quiet voice that whispers inside of us. The balancing act should not be one with a multitude of plates spinning precariously, but a reflection of choices that really will add meaning and value to our days.
Quiet walks in nature, disconnecting from technology, inspirational readings and the practice of meditation provides me with guideposts to simplicity. Also, I’m learning to listen to the advice of trusted friends who sometimes can see more clearly, that I’m adding yet another unnecessary plate.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
How do you simplify the complexities in your life?
November 3, 2019
Oh man, how I would change my complexities if I could! To much to say in this forum
November 3, 2019
But at the very least, you are taking the time to think about your “complexities”. That’s the key to a new beginning and any changes you might have to make. Thank you Dotti for taking the time to read and respond.
November 4, 2019
Each plate deserves the attention it deserves (did Yogi Barra say that first?), keeping them in the air just adds stress to the equation. Put your plates on the table and sample the most important thing on each one or put some on the back burner and a few in the freezer for later.
November 4, 2019
Thanks so much for reading and responding Liz! I love how you’ve taken the analogy of spinning plates, and turned them into a practical and meaningful action. Does this mean we get to eat dessert first?
Seriously, prioritizing our “plates” helps to focus which ones deserve or need our energy and time the most. It’s not always easy to sort it out, life does have its complications, but once again paying attention and listening to our own inner voice is often the best way to simplify our lives.