Doing it simply


According to what Leonardo De Vinci claimed 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication', many would be in agreement with regards to creativity but doing things simply across all areas may be possible.  Preferring straightforward solutions, avoiding complicated tasks and embracing the simple can take a weight off and show us what is actually meaningful and important.

We often hear 'keep things simple'.  People take more in when explanations keep a basic format, for example bullet points rather than long repetitive paragraphs.  Diagrams can demonstrate in a way which a series of words cannot.  Simplicity speaks volumes - yet remains discreet, subtle and in the background.  In dark contrast complexity can confuse, be hard to grasp and work with.

Taking complexity out of the equation altogether is impossible as it can have itself rooted in daily life - as much as we want to take a train journey, if there is a strike or malfunction then the result will be no train journey.  Getting from A to B is problematic.  Say, you made the train journey and it breaks down half way interrupting plans, time schedules and such then you may well think that the problem should have been identified in advance. 

Can simplifying support us with stressful situations?  Simple techniques are taught for when situations feel out of control like counting down from five, focusing on the breath and naming what you can feel, see and smell.


Certainly feeling grounded and in touch with the reality of the present moment can help.  Along with a quick assessment of ourselves and the situation - how do I feel? Calm? Overwhelmed?  What can I do to protect myself and deal with things?  A shift of perspective can happen by thinking through the possibilities, solutions and outcomes.

Events outwith our control cannot be changed, such as the pandemic, a cancelled flight or even losing a loved one - but our reactions can be so strong that grasping on to our grounding is hard and support may be needed.

We can see all around us the appeal of simplifying, from blog titles claiming '5 simple steps to....' and the minimalist theme to 'decoration'. This attracts people as it is non - complicated, it does not clutter our thoughts with loads of information that we do not really need.  Is there an 'art' to living simply?

Our individual ideas, taste and preferences can reveal 'a hidden treasure' aspect to living which can be applied to our spaces; we may have houseplants to help with toxins, book organisations which remind us of our achievements or photos of special people and places which can bring us right back down to earth with a gentle thud

Sometimes the simple and complex can go hand in hand - an example may be I.T. where this complicated piece of 'tech' makes life easier in the long run, with next day orders, information at the touch of a finger and social media.  All this can feel toxic at times where we may crave fresh air and a break to refresh us.

A useful acronym may be SIMPLE: sum up, identify, measure, protect, live, easy

*sum up the self and situation

*identify triggers/feelings

*measure the extent of anxiety/fears

*protect yourself, embrace calm

*live out the obstacle/situation

*easy steps you can follow eg. breathing techniques  

Paula Smith   

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