Searching for the Simple Life

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Through aMINDmedia.com, I came across a link that led me to a video of Danielle Laporte‘s “Sizzle Reel” for her crazy-dynamic Firestarter Sessions. Listen to THAT once every morning and then try to be blah — won’t work! Her opening statement is

Life balance. How’s that workin’ out for ya?

She goes on to say how balance is not the best when you want to BE the best, and going for it all out is a totally valid way to go. Why not pour your heart and soul into something you love, something that will be successful? Be creative, be obsessed with quality, go over the top! (I’m paraphrasing.) 🙂

wildrose-2Like it has a million times before, my computer screen saver came on, cycling through a slide show of various nature pictures. A photo I’ve seen a thousand times (and even made a watercolour painting of) I saw anew — the lovely complexity of a simple flower, the wild rose. Next up was a butterfly. Suddenly, it struck me that nature is not simple. It is complex. And in my life, I am always striving for simplicity, but perhaps it is a search-in-vain.

Danielle Laporte made me rethink the quest for life balance and now, I am rethinking the quest for simplicity. I often say that I want to have a simple life, but maybe that isn’t even something I should even be striving for. Maybe it’s not a principle of nature, a fact of life, or a way to thrive. The most abundant environments on the planet — the amazon jungle, the boreal forest to name two — are complex, not simple. A desert is simple; if I strive too much for simplicity, will my life become like a desert? Are simplicity and balance valid goals or limiting behaviours? Will eliminating things in order to make life simple inadvertently make it smaller, closed off, less interesting, or simply, less?

Yet they say less is more. That’s a great nugget of wisdom… or is it? It’s a proverb, but does it actually hold any universal truth? Many catchphrases don’t. I think perhaps when it comes to certain things, it is true that less is better, but I think I have that part down — I have a strong anti-commercialism streak these days. For me, less stuff is better. I think I need to expand on the idea that sometimes wanting more is okay too. I don’t want to be someone who chokes life off because of fear or risk-avoidance/seeking security. I want to be expansive, lovely and thriving — very much like nature is at its best.

Okay, so nature includes predator and prey and creatures that live off dead, decaying material… so, as with most analogies, you can’t take them too far! But the profound beauty of undisturbed nature is an amazing harmony and intricate balance… of many complicated things working together perfectly, like a mind-boggling biological machine. My body is a mind-boggling biological machine! So perhaps, my life — my home life, my business, my career, my hobbies — can be too. That will be my vision for my life from now on — beautiful, thriving complexity, that hums along smoothly and nobody dies and gets eaten. 🙂

Danielle Laporte’s kick-you-in-the-pants video is here! (Don’t mind the promotional aspects of it.)

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100_0591I’ve had some time to think about this (I wrote the above a couple of days ago but didn’t have a chance to post it). There’s no question that life, when it comes to physics and chemistry, is complex. Animals in nature live simply because they don’t second-guess; they know what they want/need and what they enjoy. (Don’t tell me that animals don’t enjoy things; my cat loves to nap and birds love to fly…)

I think our modern, complex lives have gone awry in the ways of enjoying simple pleasures: living in the moment, loving family, being with friends, eating simply. These I will add to my vision of life from now on, and I invite you to do the same!

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