Sunday, July 8, 2018

Weekend Words

Freedoms of Simplicity

"Simplicity is one of those great words that can't be defined easily.  But it can be described and it can be distinguished from things that just look a little like it.  If we persevere, we can recognise simplicity when we experience it in others and, more importantly, when we practice it.

Simple living in not about elegant frugality.  It is not really about deprivation of whatever is useful and helpful for our life.  It is not about harsh rules and stringent regulations.  To live simply, one has to consider all of these and they may be included to some degree, but simple living is about freedom.  It's about a freedom to choose space rather than clutter, to choose open and generous living rather than a secure and sheltered way.

Freedom is about choices: Freedom to choose less rather than more.  It's about choosing time for people and ideas and self-growth rather than for maintenance and guarding and possessing and cleaning.  Simple living is about moving through life rather lightly, delighting in the plain and the subtle.  It is about poetry and dance, song and art, music and grace.  It is about optimism and humour, gratitude and appreciation.  It is about embracing life with wide-open arms.  It's about living and giving with no strings attached.

Simple living has fewer knots and more bows than scattered and cluttered living,  More standing on tiptoe, more quiet waiting.  More openness to the next moment.  Or the next day.  Or the next year.  The options are more obvious if one lives simply.  So are the choices."


  1. You know, I've been reading a trilogy of books which, I suddenly realize, may seem the opposite of this quote describing simplicity. And I am always looking around my life to see what I can strip away to help me on the way to a greater simplicity. But I have been immersing myself in these books about family and home, or more particularly, about what generations of people living in a house, praying, giving of themselves, loving and sacrificing can do to make that house into a place that can be a healing place for all who enter. I wish I could put it better, but after reading your quote here, I am struck by the difference in our present generation wanting simplicity, and this previous generation - this family especially - having a beautiful house with many antiques and heirlooms in it, all adding to the beauty of the whole. And, I wonder that if both sides of this coin appeal to me, where shall the twain meet?
    I will have to ask God for enlightenment; but I am thinking that simplicity can also be found within, or else a king living in a palace would have no hope. And that wouldn't be right, for everyone must be able to find it somehow. Right?
    Something more to ponder. :) xo

    1. I think simplicity is an individual thing. it is different for all of us. It is whatever leads to that 'inner simplicity', peace and rest.

      It is this drive for consumerism, or over consumption (in all areas of life) that had caused 'simplicity' to become trendy. And it's more than just 'clearing the clutter'.

      Simplicity use to be the norm, and still is in many countries, but in much of the western world, we've lost the plot!

      And simplicity doesn't necessarily mean lack of possessions or beautiful things, it's all about 'balance'.

      I think it is most definitely an 'inner thing', but most people are trying to gain it from the outside, in.

      Just a few thoughts from me... :) xx

  2. Balance! What I'm always searching for. xo Yes, it did used to be the norm, didn't it? You are right, Lynda, and the remark about trying to gain it from the outside in is interesting. It is not the best way to change or the most "natural", but it can work for those who persevere. But not everyone can do that, can they?

    1. I think both inner and outer need to work together. I know if my surroundings get too clutter, so does my mind, so I try to keep my home clutter free to some degree, and also colour free, because too much colour tends to 'unbalance' me.

      But just minimising and downsizing my surroundings is only part of the solution, it's not the answer, so I need to work on simplifying my thoughts too, which for me is so much harder than just clearing the external clutter :) xx

  3. The older that I become, the more I learn to love simplicity and the peace that comes with it.

    1. The older I become the more I know and understand what gives me peace and so I go with my inner direction rather than that of society. xx