“All is flux, not one thing remains.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus
All is flux. Nothing remains in stasis for long. While all is change, that is not to say that there is one singular type of change. To my mind, in fact, there are two; intentional and unintentional. Chances are, and if I were a gambling man I would bet on this, you have encountered one of these in the past week.
However, for all the change we experience, are we growing in a positive, meaningful, curated way, or are we more like a rambling rose? There’s growth alright, rapid and sprawling, but without order and discipline our lives become increasingly entangled and harder to manage. Like last years Christmas lights we almost invariably end up a mess of knots. Quite chaotic, but worst of all we become stuck. Are we growing by design, or by default? What would life be life if it was live in a less chaotic, but more curated way?
Business and hurry are essentially forms of violence enacted against our most precious resource: time itself. Often our default is to dash madly around playing at spinning plates. There may be movement alright, and lots of it, but rarely is momentum perpetuated beyond a single effort.
What if there were less plates, with a greater focus and intentionality levelled at the care of each one? What if it was possible to approach each plate with greater clarity and sense of its purpose within your life? What if instead of being discontented by business we found contentment in effectiveness in the areas of our life that matter to us most and that we find most meaning in? How would your life be different if you pursued simplicity over ease?
Over the past month I have begun stripping out the superfluous in my own life in favour of simpler practices, gentler rhythms, and greater meaning attached to each of those things that still remain. You may not agree with all you read, but that’s okay! I had become discontented with the ‘noise’ I felt my life was making and the ease with which I was living.
But where did this begin? Like many of the best things, it started with two simple questions:
- Does ‘this’ belong here?
- Does ‘this’ give evidence to what I say I believe?
These two questions have since been joined by a myriad of other questions that now act as the filters through which I now make many of my daily decisions, from how I order my week and prioritise my time, to how I choose to spend my money. You might well say that this all sounds incredibly complicated, but what I am finding is that simplicity can often be quite a complex thing. After all, simplicity and ease are not common bedfellows. These are explorations Towards Simplicity.