STOP and Be Simple

Blissful Moment
Blissful Moment – Photo: Erica McKenzie

Simplicity has always been a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. For the last two years I have been on a personal quest to try and simplify my life. Eat simpler, shop simpler, think simpler. Do everything with more fortitude and enjoyment rather than the momentary rush of ecstasy I get when I finally cross an item off my “to do” list.

When I set out to create this blog, it was not without a fair share of kicking and screaming. Truth is I have a love/hate relationship with technology. While I understand there are many advantages to our computer generated interactions with others, I cannot with good conscious, allow it to continue to influence my life. I have come to despise social media and am really only keeping my iPhone because it has a pretty awesome camera on it. (Oh and so the occasional person can actually CALL me…foreign concept, I know!) My final decision to start this blog was motivated by one thing and one thing only, how much FUN I am having simplifying my life! The title of this blog, “Recreating Simplicity” is what I fully intend to do – recreate (aka to make fresh) the simple world of yesteryear – that is, BEFORE technology became a societal addiction.

Simplifying has been a huge transition for me. I have always been a busy, overachiever. However, the introvert in me has been screaming to move into the slow lane for quite some time, so I finally obliged. My first move was to simply STOP – much easier said than done for a go-getter like me. Nonetheless, I have taken the STOP principle as my personal oath. STOP stands for – Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Proceed. As a certified professional life coach and counselor, I have introduced many of my clients to this concept. One day (most likely one incredibly hectic/exhausting day) I realized that it was high time that I started taking my own advice and STOP myself. I closed my Facebook and Twitter accounts, stepped down from several committees and boards, and began the process of cutting my many responsibilities in half. I knew it was time that I stopped basing my success and self-worth on how many items were on my “to do” list (during a particular busy point in my life, my “to do” items hovered regularly at a minimum of three pages for a number of years).  I held this delusion that I would always be needed if I had something to do – usually for other very capable individuals. I get tired just thinking about it now.

In this blog I intend to not only share my insights, tips and tricks on how I’ve “recreated simple” but also provide snapshots from simpler times as well as the importance of reconnecting with the natural world.  I hope to help others fill their brains with fun, relaxation, and a dose of enlightenment (or two). Where I feel most compelled, however, is to encourage others to simplify their lives for their own health and well being. Simply limiting how often I check my cell phone, for example, has freed not only my time, but my spirit as well. I find myself relishing every second of sitting at a window and just staring, letting my mind wander.  I want others to experience such bliss as well, even if it is just for a brief moment.

I hope you are excited to take this journey with me. Recreating simplicity in my life has given me the best gift I can give myself – it has given me back my soul – and I mean that with the utmost seriousness. I know I am a better person because I have chosen to STOP – and not just to smell the roses, but to sit down beside them and admire them for awhile. It is truly a glorious way of living.

So here, dear reader, I end this entry with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. My dog is laying at my feet – her deep breaths and my typing are in perfect rhythm. I can hear the wind outside and smell the sweet scent of the candles flickering behind me. This is what simplicity is – both monumental and peaceful, but most of all, wonderfully freeing. I have never felt so alive. I hope you will join me in my quest.

E 🙂

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