Many simplicity bloggers around write so consistently and with such positivity that one wonders whether they are mere mortals.
Usually the better ones amongst them write about some struggles along the way, but nearly all seem to have burst through their difficulties when they write. Many a post’s fundamental sentiment is; ‘I used to…’ or ‘it is difficult when you start then it becomes easier’… or ‘then it all became clear…’ or ‘and when I gave up drinking and meat and breathing that’s when I finally started levitating’.
Damn them for their precocious simplicity ability and know how. What about the rest of us who merely see glimpses of the truth through the barrage of our day to day?
I started writing this blog because simplicity wouldn’t go away and I wanted to explore it more deeply and dutifully. By writing and thinking and writing and thinking (plus some more writing and thinking) in the public domain, I knew I would leave myself open to more criticism, fear and failure. Knowing myself as I do, I knew that at times my discipline would run up against it. Fortunately the blog has mostly coincided with being in Kenya, allowing me significant space to begin this journey. After all, I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with so the writing and the thinking and the being was easy.
However, in the last month or so as I’ve dived back into the ‘real world’ of London and Europe and began to power up again, I have been reminded how difficult simplicity is to maintain.
Not so difficult that I am in any doubt that it is of vital import. I remain convinced that simplicity is one of the sterling and most powerful tools at our disposal.
But thoughts of success, money, achievement and status have levered their way back into my consciousness. The noise of consumerism shrieks so loudly that it is almost impossible to ignore. The judgement of others much more potent than when you’re hiding, far far away. After a month in London I found myself pacing around and chomping, or is that champing at the bit with the same fervour as everyone else – if not more so to make up for lost time.
Then, thankfully, I had to return to Kenya, where I now sit, and find myself seeing things in perspective once more. I want to try to take some time to digest this roller-coaster in the meagre two weeks I am back – watch this space.
Simplicity, however much time and attention you have given it remains a significant challenge. It is only by continually reminding yourself what is important that you can make any progress. Sometimes, even with these reminders, you slide backwards and things become more difficult.
What these bloggers do is allow gentle reminders. I wonder if they even follow their own advice? Their popularity is perhaps because they turn the reader’s mind back to action – or should that be inaction.
Please don’t leave simplicity to an e-mail read quickly once a week. Help me out by reminding yourself as often as you can to at least think about what you’re doing as you rush around – and whether it is really the path to contentment.
When you see me rushing past doing three things at once, please feel free to remind me also – I need all the help I can get.