Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Walk... Don't Run Towards Simplicity by Eileen Koff, To The Next Level . Excerpts by Brook Noel
I am not a simple person. The old wives tale says that we are born 'simple' with basic needs of food, love, shelter--but I don't know if I believe that. I think I was born complicated. When I was eight, I wanted my mother to explain to me what the purpose of life was. I came into this world complicated - and I have remained complicated - until recently.
When the simplicity movement burst on the scene a decades or so ago, I'll be honest--I laughed. I thought simplicity was for people who 'couldn't keep up with life. or those that REALLY loved Birkenstock shoes. I didn't realize then, as I do now, that simplicity was for people who wanted a better way to live. I, like many of us, had bought in to the hype that the more I had, the more I did, the more I squeezed into a day - the richer my life would be. When I read about the simplicity movement, the thought of 'giving something up' made my stomach churn. I had worked so hard to amass and acquire - why would I want to give it up? It wasn't until recently that I learned that happiness and true joy aren't discovered in the fast lane. You might find exhilaration and excitement that propels you forward - but you won't find the joy, happiness, contentment and peace we all so desperately crave.
'The problem with the rat race is
that even if you win... you're still a rat.'
The idea of scaling back and letting go scared me. What if I missed something? I liked being at the 'head of the pack' because I believed I had the best view. What I learned was that I could see in front of me - I could see what was coming, but I couldn't see or enjoy what was happening in the moment.
As I looked deeper and confronted my own fears about the simple life, I realized simplicity didn\'t require living in a tee pee, getting rid of electricity and eating food I had grown and cultivated by hand (although for some people simplicity might involve those things)... simplicity meant deciding that I would run my life, getting off the treadmill, living consciously and deliberately-- making decisions that brought joy. Simplicity means trading in 'busyness' for meaning, trading in confusion for clarity, trading in the 'rat costume' for personal peace. Simplicity is about spending less time chasing and more time enjoying. It is about spending less time acquiring and more time experiencing. Simplicity is about spending less time managing life and more time living it. Getting off the treadmill isn't easy. We have to combat the many messages we see and hear every day and learn to believe and trust ourselves. Instead of 'buying-in' to our commercial culture, we 'opt-out' and forge our own path. The reward for those who accept the challenge is great. Instead of living a life on autopilot, you live a life designed by clear decisions that align with what brings you and those important to you, true joy.
Eileen Koff CPO
Certified professional organizer
Excerpts by Brook Noel
name: Eileen Koff