Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Says Henry David Thoreau
Clearly, what I say to you all is what I need to hear.
Whether it’s through teaching, writing or coaching, the words I discover coming out of my mouth are exactly the words that I need to hear, to keep moving forward on my pathless path.
How wildly cool is that?
As I offer solace to you, I give it to myself.
As I look with you for the energetic breadcrumbs to move forward, I, too, am guided onward.
Dear friends, we are in it together.
As the I becomes the we, everybody wins.
I find myself these days telling anyone who will listen to keep it simple.
Obviously, I need to consider this for myself.
What does that even mean, keep it simple?
Within the complexity of my mind’s interpretation of the moment, the great brilliant Aruni-narrative of- the-moment (which is often based in lack), there is a place of great stillness.
Within the swirl of all I think/I know/I am positive I SHOULD BE DOING, there is emptiness.
Within the confusion of the rush of feelings within me, there is silence.
Okay, I understand this. I can write about this. I can teach about this.
How do we live this?
How do we live into this?
How do we lean toward it?
How do we, within the intensity of the many, many intense moments of our day, gain access to that place of solace, that place that always exists, that place of homecoming?
How do we return home, you guys?
How do we get back?
First and foremost and forever and always, let’s remember the breath.
In its biologic brilliant, breath literally shifts gears metabolically for us, moving us out of the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze), through the vagal nervous system, into the place of rest and digest, the parasympathetic nervous system.
The best intervention lives within us.
We just need to remember to breath.
Set your phone.
Find an app.
Every few hours, take a breath-break.
Practice accessing breath.
Find a prompt.
At every red light, take three deep breaths.
At every subway stop, breath.
Weave that sacred pause into your day, literally prompted by reoccurring externals.
Second suggestion—find solace.
Practice going to that place that feels so wondrous.
Whatever takes you there—and the range of possibilities is exquisite—like Rumi said, there are a hundred ways to kiss the earth:
- Cuddle with your cat
- Take a hot bath
- Meditate on the sunrise
- Become one with your morning tea
- Listen to the sound of the wind
- Rest-yes, America, it counts—friggin’ REST.
Do it consistently. Commit to it. Write yourself in your own schedule.
And here’s the final suggestion, looking around, looking at your life:
Change it up.
Lighten the load.
Do one less thing today.
One less errand?
One less phone call?
One less task?
After writing this today, I had a little time between clients. I thought, oh! I can go for a fast bike ride! And I felt my excitement building. As I thought it through, I realized the time crunch that ride would create.
Realizing the cost of that ride, I decided not to go, to simplify, to lean away from my habitual pushing toward busy.
To sit on the porch,
To feel the sun on my face,
Eating a banana.
It was a major victory.
We expect too much of ourselves.
We think we are super-beings.
Yes, we are wonderful-beings.
Yet, we are overworked, over-involved, over-responsible, and probably over-committed.
Is anybody identifying yet?
There! Three suggestions, like a good coach, STEPS, two internal and one external, to keep it simple today.
And this video.
I have over-thought, over-considered, made-complicated my choice/or not to offer it to you. Thoughts plagued me.
Is it too commercial?
Do I believe it?
Do I even like it?
Then I remembered the topic—keep it simple, Aruni.
Here is India Arie, with I am Light:
Thanks, Mr. Thoreau, out there at Walden Pond.
How did the video land for you? What phrase did you relate to the most?
How might you simplify, lighten your day today? Just for today?
What about you? How are you, as autumn lands softly around us?
Please do keep I touch—always! I am firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the moment,
With grace and ease,