The Beauty of Simplicity

After a conversation yesterday about the complexities of life and the beauty of simplicity, I thought today was a perfect day for checking this one off my list. I have a list of blog topics that come to mind at random times and when there are no “pressing” topics for the day, I work my way through the list. My list contains topics that I find myself facing on a daily basis – random challenges specific to my experience, or delights which come out of them.

The beauty of simplicity is something I have learned from several sources in my life. Having grown up in the country, my siblings and I learned to amuse ourselves with nature and our imaginations rather than being bombarded by technology. Since then, my experience with a brain injury provided setbacks which in turn allowed for the development of a unique perspective – literally “dialing it back” as I learned to walk and talk again at the age of 16, acquiring more subtle social skills into my 20’s. I have come to a new appreciation of the efforts made to do seemingly “simple” tasks in life – things we take for granted. These tasks are important but often unaccounted for in the average persons life: planning meals, buying groceries, prioritizing time for a shower, brushing teeth, adequate driving time and sleep.

One of the techniques we are taught in learning to deal with our challenges is improved self-awareness. As mentioned in previous blogs, a more thorough self-awareness amounts to more effective life choices. I likened my teachings in cognitive behavioural therapy to the guided enlightenment of the yoga practice. I had been instructed to participate in yoga as a part of my physiotherapy program, however I found there were many many more psychological benefits as well.

There was something that my yoga teacher would say that has always stuck with me. She would encourage us to “notice what you notice” as we moved from one pose to another. She was literally teaching us how to be aware without actually saying so. She facilitated the awareness experience in a way that made it automatic after a few classes. And soon I found myself “noticing what I noticed” about everything in life – the colours of the world around me, the sense of alertness after a restful sleep, the crisp feeling and fresh smell of the air on a cold winters day.

All of those experiences bring my awareness back to the beauty of simplicity in life – the warmth of a genuine smile, the awe of a child learning a new skill, the appreciation of the sound of silence. Despite all of the challenges and frustrations in my life, I have come to use my awareness practice – recognizing and acknowledging the beauty of simplicity – to bring balance to my life. The neat thing about it is that the awareness allows for a more positive outlook and attitude which helps to actually enjoy the happenings in the day rather than just going through the motions. This inner joy brings meaning to life which then spills out and effects the happiness of others, which in turn reflects back! I find myself in a better mood, surrounded by positive, empowering people, and even more enlightening experiences. Simply put, it’s beautiful.

…this is my life…

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