Four ways to come back to simplicity.
The older I get, the simpler I want my life to be. I also want less. Less drama, less stress, less overthinking, less clutter...
When I read these poignant and powerful words from Oprah recently...
I did an interview in the late 80s with a mother who had watched her son die and she said she climbed into bed with him, crawled into bed with him as he was dying, and his last words were: 'Oh... it was all so simple,' and then he smiled. When she said that, I got chills because I thought, 'Yes, we are going to take our last breath and say, 'Why were we struggling all that time? Why were we swimming upstream when all we had to do was just look at each other and accept each other for who each of us represents on the planet? Ah, it was so simple. I didn't have to fight that hard. It didn't have to be that hard.'
... my desire for simplicity hit home even more.
It's humbling what we realise at the end, what truths we allow to reveal themselves. Steve Jobs lived each day with the reality of death at the top of his mind driving him forwards. For him, death was a motivator.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
For Bronnie Ware, a respite care nurse, death became the source of inspiration for thousands to reconsider what was truly important in their lives after reading her five biggest regrets of the dying blog post.
Death, whether we like it or not, is a powerful reality none of us can escape; we are all united in that one day as we took our first breath so will we also one day take our last.
Coming back to simplicity, is the key. Killing off the habits, thoughts, and realities that frankly suck in our lives and focusing instead on the things we love regardless of what others and society expect of us. Then when we get to the end of the road, we can look back and say, "Wow, what a ride and I did it my way."
If you see living creativity as hard and a struggle let's change that now, let's bring back some simplicity to your life.
Remove hard from your vocabulary.
First things first is to remove hard from your vocabulary. Like I've said before and will say again and again, words are powerful, especially words with negative connotations like the word hard. As soon as you hear yourself about to say something is hard. Stop. Back up. Pick another word. A word that doesn't grip you by the throat or make you feel small like 'hard' does. Need more help around reigning in those words of yours? Take a look at the Five Steps to Falling in Love with Your Words.
Be clear on what you want.
Having a destination that you're travelling towards, is always helpful. It helps you make decisions and keep you focussed. Before you start, give some thought about what you really want in life. It doesn't have to be crystal clear, but you do want to feel connected to what you're working towards. As you set start taking steps, you will find more clarity. When you envision what you want, feel into it and create a visual representation (like a vision board) that you can look at every day as a reminder. Need a hand crafting a vision? Here is a simple guide to define a vision board. Or join me in She Change, where I'll help you define a vision and the steps you need to take to make it a reality.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind, always. You don't have to be a jerk to yourself because 'someone done you wrong' like in an old country song. We all believe we've been done wrong at some stage. Don't let you be the one who does you wrong. And be OK with any stumbles along the way. See a setback as an opportunity to pivot or perhaps approach your path in a different way.
Don't give in to the mind jabber.
Oh the jabber that can start when you set out. I call it jabber because it's like little jabs in your heart when your mind goes off-road. You're the one in control here sister. The jabs aren't true unless you make them that way. Again, use the #5Steps to get back on track.
Do you feel more confident in coming back to simplicity in your life? Maybe these last few words from Steve Jobs will help.
That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. 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.
Now, let's go move some mountains, shall we?