I had the great privilege to write an article for the RI edition of Natural Awakenings that is featured on page 26 of the February 2011 issue that is now on news stands around the state. I am sharing the article here for those of you outside this great state who are unable to pick up a hard copy. You can also click here to view the article on page 26 of the virtual edition. I hope you like it.
Albert Einstein once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” He was a man with a tremendous mind for science but was able to find a way to balance what was very complicated work through the simple way he approached his life. He was led by the ideals of truth, goodness and beauty not by the ‘contemptible ordinary objects,’ as he described, of luxury, property and outward success. Those would have seemed empty, in his opinion. For a man more widely known and remembered for his Theory of Relativity, could he be on to something with this lesser known theory? It is fascinating to discover we share a common belief that keeping it simple is possible.
Simplicity begins with us and the choices we make. Finding the right balance of simplicity within our lives will be determined by those choices. Here are some areas that may be currently weighing us down due to choices we made in the past and ways to restore the balance of simplicity within our lives. Hopefully, they will help us make new choices.
Materially, make the choice to un-clutter. Start small and take one step at a time—like choosing a kitchen drawer or small closet and determining which items are needed and which ones are never used. By doing a task like this everyday, or at least once a week, we are simplifying our lives, keeping only what is necessary.
Letting go of harmful emotions. Holding on to ‘emotional baggage’ weighs us down and makes it harder for us to believe that anything good or positive is worth holding onto, leaving very little room for the truth. Maybe there’s an emotion related to a personal relationship that is weighing us down, causing us to feel out of balance. Write a letter about that relationship. Releasing those emotions through the writing process, whether mailed or not, begins the healing process and helps to transform that situation. Visualization techniques of throwing out this emotion that no longer serves us can help us, too. Seeing those emotions going out the window or into the garbage can helps to let it go and makes room for the good stuff.
Live from a place of abundance and gratitude, not lack. If we believe we already have everything we need, then what do we lack? The more we are grateful, the more we have to be grateful for. Try repeating this affirmation on a daily basis: “I maintain an attitude of gratitude.”
Making changes to balance simplicity within our lives may not seem easy. However, by doing so, we can make tremendous strides toward un-complicating our lives. We choose to make things complex or difficult when we don’t take a moment to step back and ask ourselves, in the wise words of Albert Einstein, “Am I making things as simple as possible?” Once we make a commitment to maintain a daily practice of balancing simplicity within our lives, there are no boundaries to what we can achieve.