Simplify Your Life

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”

John Zabat-Zinn

Modern society is truly awe inspiring. Think of all the discoveries mankind has made in the past century, or even just the past 50 years. Technology has exploded and we are connected with information at the touch of a button. This is truly a remarkable time in history and human evolution, but in the creation of all these marvels, we seem to have forgotten the beauty of simplicity.

Many are totally connected all the time. Tweets, texts, tickers and all sorts of things vie for our attention. This is on top of jobs, household tasks and other responsibilities. People are becoming more overstimulated, distracted and stressed than ever before. While instant information and communication has its advantages, has it really made life simpler? Or just complicated it in other ways?

To get the most out of life; it’s important to take a step back. It’s hard to be fully in the moment if you are texting, tweeting, watching TV, cooking dinner and answering emails all at the same time. Many of the great masters have taught us that it is in silent moments we discover the deeper meaning of life.

Full and present awareness opens us up to the richness and beauty of the world and one another. Our modern world and its demands have robbed many of the joy of simplicity.

Imagine hiking in the woods, or walking along the beach. These simple acts have a profound positive impact on our health because they compel us to disconnect and unwind, to be wholly in the moment enjoying the beauty of life. Meditation has similar effects; it requires silence and awareness.

If you regularly feel tense, forgetful, tired or irritable; it could be due to chronic over-stimulation. Fortunately, there are some easy techniques that can help you power down and reboot. Develop a meditation or prayer ritual, even if it’s only for a few moments per day. Mala beads are a great way to focus your intention and direct your energy. Light some candles or burn a soothing blend of incense to increase relaxation. Allow yourself to fully enjoy the flicker of the light, the smell of the botanicals and the ease and comfort of your favorite sacred space.

Go for a walk. When the weather is nice, take time to go outdoors. As you do, pay close attention to details, attune to your senses. Try to see the path from a new perspective each time. Have dinner together. Gathering at the table is a great way to bring the family together without distraction. Ban the use of phones, games and other items. Use this time to reconnect in a meaningful way.

Rid home and work spaces of clutter by organizing and getting rid of what you don’t need. In many traditions it is taught that our environment is a reflection of our inner world. If you want to find peace and simplicity within; create harmony in your environment.

Embrace your creativity. Nothing is more satisfying than the feeling of creating something unique. Use your vision and your hands to express yourself. It is an incredible way to enjoy the simple abundance of life.

Simplicity allows us to fully see and understand the richness of life. It’s the little things that add up. Most people remember the experiences that make like meaningful. A baby’s smile, the love of family, the sound of laughter, the beauty of a sunrise; these are just a few examples of simple things that deepen the joy of living. Embrace simplicity daily. Never postpone happiness and your life will be richer.