Did you know that next Friday, 12 July is National Simplicity Day?
I’ve been a fan of simplicity for a long time, believing that we as humans – and certainly myself as an individual – can have a great tendency to overcomplicate things.
I think this is at least in part due to our brain’s negative bias – its need to always be on the lookout for things that could potentially do us harm. As a result, it comes up with all sorts of scenarios of what could happen, or why something is happening or why that person is looking at me that way… Our imaginations run riot with complex and convoluted permutations – not just one, but several for each scenario. It’s no wonder that we think life is multi-layered and difficult to understand!
But when we relax and go with the flow, it usually turns out that things were actually much easier – and simpler – than we’d thought. At the very least, it means that there is only one way in which things play out, not the many possibilities that we’d imagined in our heads.
So I’m all for getting back to simplicity!
I love Nature and what it can teach us about keeping things simple. On the surface it might look complex, but in reality it’s often a simple pattern that repeats itself many times. The deeper we look, the simpler it becomes.
Animals too can help us, because they generally live very much in the present, concerned with the basic needs of eating, drinking, finding shelter and the continuation of their genes. They don’t worry about tomorrow or last week or about what their herd or pack mate is thinking about them. They mostly go through their day just Being. This allows them to be mindful and grounded because their minds aren’t distracted by anxious thoughts and worries.
Of course it also means that they aren’t as creative as humans and our brains obviously have an important role to play in this tapestry of Life, but I think we often get too caught up in thought patterns that don’t support our wellbeing and so it’s a good idea to take stock from time to time in order to check in with how we’re feeling and to make sure that we’re keeping a healthy balance.
This is some information I found on why this National Day was started:
National Simplicity Day was founded in honour of Henry David Thoreau, who was born on July 12, 1817. Thoreau was an advocate of living simply and wrote a number of well-known books on the subject.
In the complicated world that we inhabit today where mobile phones, laptops and other modern day gadgets mean that we very rarely experience true peace and quiet to gather our thoughts, what better excuse to leave the technology at home and experience the feeling of truly being in the moment.
Synchronously, earlier this week I came across a post on Instagram that really resonated with me:
The simplicity in simply being is quite complicated.
But not really complicated at all.
It simply is.
But isn’t at all.
I wish you a beautiful Simplicity Day, and hope that you can take the chance to get outside and appreciate the wonder of simply being present.