Keeping it simple…

July 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Serenity Space

How hard is it to keep things simple these days? Even here at The Calm Space, where Simplicity is one of our key values, we sometimes find it hard to keep things simple.

Complicated just seems to be the way of things, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be that way!

I’m a bit of a rebel (my kids have different words for it – they call me ‘weird’ and ‘hippy’… in a loving way, of course.) And when I’m being rebellious, it’s usually against the status-quo, against the ‘that’s the way things are done’ brigade. I like to do things the simple way. (And the natural way).

Copyright Karen Wallace 2008

Of course, sometimes even the best intentions can be subverted or complicated. And I accept that as part of life. Like the fact that our ‘simple’ home renovations last year haven’t ended yet. The painter disappeared before the woodwork had it’s gloss coat – we’re living with undercoat-only timber throughout the house. The books, good china, glassware, various childrens ‘stuff’ and most of the contents of my office are still stored away in boxes in our shed, at the mercy of the ravenous rats that seem immune to normal extermination methods!

You see? Rats, painters, various builders and the weather all conspire to complicate matters around here. But I am not deterred.

Simplicity isn’t about not having dramas.

To me, it’s about how you view those dramas. And how you think about them.

Simplicity is a state of mind.

Simplicity is about uncomplicatedness (if there’s such a word).

It’s about finding the easy way.

It’s about believing in the goodness of people.

It’s about attracting that goodness to us, always, no matter what.

Here’s five ways I find simplicity and joy, every single day:

copyright Karen Wallace 2008

Being Grateful

I live with gratitude. Wonderful people come into my life, and I am grateful for their love, their giving and their being.

Give thanks, every single day, and the world will give you more to be thankful for.

Keep a Gratitude Diary. Write in it five things you are grateful for, every single night. It will change your life. What are you grateful for, today?

Clearing Clutter

This one I am sure my colleague and friend, Angela from Creating Order from Chaos (and our superlative contributor to The Organising Space) would support me in. If you are surrounded by junk, things aren’t simple. You have to store the junk. Insure the junk. Dust or clean or ignore the junk. And whether you like it or not, the junk will take up a little corner of your mind. Can you afford the space?

Last week, we had one of those kerbside cleanups in our area. Everyone was able to put all the junk they no longer wanted (up to 2 cubic metres) on the nature strip, and the council sent someone to take it all away.

Driving through our suburb I noticed the quantity of junk piled up on the street. How long had this been kept in garages and sheds and cupboards (or even in plain sight)?

Are you waiting for the next kerbside cleanup? For the next long weekend? For the next total eclipse of the sun? Get rid of it today! Toss it, donate it, give it away… just get it out of your life!

Copyright Karen Wallace 2008

Clearing Space

There is a fine line between clearing clutter and clearing space… once you’ve cleared the clutter from your life you’ve done part one. The physical.

Clearing space is about not only getting rid of your old clothes, furniture, bric-a-brac… it’s about other aspects of your life too. Like clearing space in your to-do list. Clearing space in your diary. Clearing space in your relationships. Clearing space in your mind.

You know what I mean, and you know, intimately, what space needs clearing in your life. (Um, yes, I am talking to you. You only need sit quietly for a minute and you’ll realise it).

When you clear space – physical, mental, emotional, time, relationship – you create a void. Apparently voids are one of those things that nature abhors. Something always rushes in to fill it.

So you’re unhappy with a part of your life. It could be money. It could be love. It could be sheer busyness. It could be health or low energy. Once you clear out the old, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional ‘stuff’, you create a space. A void.

And the universe rushes in to fill that space… with the very thing you’ve been thinking about and dreaming of.

What are you afraid to let go of?

Could that be the very thing you need to jettison in order to create space for what you really want?

Living Now

Life was pretty simple when we were kids, wasn’t it? We’d do what we wanted, roam the neighborhood and hang out with our friends, and the only thing we had to worry about was being home in time for tea.

There’s a simplicity in living in the moment.

When we leave the past behind – where it belongs – and concentrate on now, suddenly the world is more colourful, more full of joy.

When we let go of our concerns for the future, and focus on what we can do, dream and be, right now – we open space in our hearts for beauty and wonder.

copyright Karen Wallace 2008

Back to Basics

Sometimes we let the speed of life take away our enjoyment of simple things. Getting in touch with nature can ground us and allow us to find joy in little things.

Take a walk in the sunshine, feel the wind in your hair, walk barefoot on the lawn, watch the ocean ebb and flow, get your hands dirty. Throw a ball for your dog, ride a horse or climb a mountain.

The photos illustrating this article are ones I have taken in the past month, in my winter garden. I am finding a whole new appreciation for nature when looking at her beauty through a lens. Have you really looked at Mother Nature in all her wondrous simplicity lately?


3 Responses to “Keeping it simple…”
  1. Joanna Young says:

    What a lovely piece Karen, reflecting many of the themes that are playing out in our individual contributions.


  2. Chris Owen says:

    Hmm Pity it’s so bloody cold down here in melbourne or I might just be tempted to go and savour nature like you suggest.
    Another thoughtful, gentle, reflective, calm and serenity-inspiriing piece Karen I do believe you’ve found your calling!
    And by the look of that exquisite orchid, your gardening and photography skills aren’t bad either!

  3. karen says:

    Joanna, thank you. There were many themes, and whilst I wrote mine before I received the rest of the contributions, I was intrigued at how they all meshed together in some way. Lots of common threads – whilst still each unique and precious – there this month.

    Chris – thanks for the vote of confidence. I too feel I have found my calling here. As to the orchid – it’s been sitting in a pot at the end of our verandah for a few years now, and usually gives us one or two flower spikes, but this year there are seven! It is the most glorious thing to behold, and I have been happily snapping away whenever I have a spare minute. This shot was taken after a rainy night, with the water droplets still shining on the flowers – and I was quite thrilled with the photo. Will share more soon.