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Choosing Simplicity As A Better Life Guide

Simply choosing simplicity is as close to a life motto as I have.

I recently found these words that I wrote back in 2015. I had small children and had just set out on the journey of creating a simple beautiful life.

Reading it, I can remember the blissful moments exactly.

Current times are heavy for us. As a counterbalance, I challenge us to create more moments like these. If we see life as a collection of moments, we can create more beautiful moments. We can bring more peace and lightness into our days. We can control what we can, and let the rest go. Shall we agree to try more of this?

big sister kissing little sister
younger daughters

A Day In 2015

Yesterday I made the choice to simplify our day. And it was blissful. The girls and I spent a couple of hours playing in shallow pools the retreating tide had left behind on the beach. J went for a surf, and the girls and I came home.  We spread out a blanket and lay in the garden watching the sunbirds feed at our nectar feeder.

Slowing down is a tonic. The sound of the sea and the songs of the busy little birds was everything there was for some time.

In the crystal blue sky above us, a hawk hovered silent and motionless. Tiny sunbirds flashed iridescent green and bright red as they darted to and fro in the frangipani tree.

A paraglider launched off the mountain above us. We read. We snoozed. The girls were calm. I was calm.

And I will remember those few blissful hours for a long time to come.  

A day spent like this is a direct result of my choosing simplicity as a guide to our lifestyle. It is a result of choosing to slow down, and a result of the articles I have read written by minimalists. I am most grateful to them all.

a younger Genevieve
a younger Tim who is an old man now

Choosing Simplicity Now

My daughters have grown up a lot and the world has changed, a lot since that time.

We have experienced ageing, loss, love, sorrow, elation and a whole lot of typical human experiences. Throughout it all, simplicity has remained the guiding light informing the way we decide to live.

There have been undulations in the journey of choosing simplicity. We have –

  • gone through accumulation and decluttering bouts,
  • experienced chaos and overwhelm only to return to the lightness of less,
  • taken on too much and balanced it with a return to rest,
  • learnt to better handle life’s occasional onslaughts of suffering and discord, through intentionally choosing simplicity.

The common thread is that we have returned to simplicity over and over again. It has been a solid tool and a supportive crutch. It has eased our days and smoothed our decision-making.

simplicity beach dawn outdoors
a young day – dawn on our local beach

Evolution, Change, And Growth

Our lives develop and change and evolve. We are meant to grow and change.

Any guiding theme, therefore, is likely to get buffeted and swayed as we move through our days and years, but simplicity has remained a constant. It has:

  • become the underlying theme of the way in which we choose to live,
  • great value in being the quiet and every-present guide to our lifestyle,
  • forms part of the foundations of our daily choices and actions.

Our Simplicity

Simplicity informs our decisions, our arguments, our healing. Simplicity has overflowed into all areas of our lives.

  • We dress with less, to reduce morning decision fatigue.
  • Our meals are more simple, fairly healthy, and meal prep fits into our schedule of work, children and dogs!
  • Home is a good space, functional and beautiful enough.
  • Our lifestyle is centred around our priorities, simply. We spend time outdoors, and we spend time with people we love.
  • We are mindful of slowing down, of pausing, of creating spaces n our weeks to rest and assimilate the passing days events.
  • Simplicity has spread out to inform my spirituality. I meditate every day and I am more self-aware of who I am and my role in affecting the tone of our family.

Overall, we chose simplicity because we wanted to enjoy our lives and we believed this was the most likely path.

We have become more comfortable with the idea of enough, and we are grateful for all the good we have.

Choosing Simplicity and Stoicism

I was introduced to Stoicism by my husband and Stoic philosophy has joined our simplicity party. This seems common progression with a number of the Minimalist writers I have followed for years. There seems to be a clear parallel between letting go of our attachments (Minimalism) and accepting that we have very little control over external events (Stoicism). I have written more about life guided by Stoicism here.

It is a helpful reminder in times of pandemic, dubious political decisions, lack, loss and war, that we should focus on the present and be grateful for all we have and live our lives with the knowledge that nothing is guaranteed.

What Does Stoicism Offer?

My intention is not to sound defeated. Stoicism shows us a personally empowered way of living. The Stoics believed that life itself is not guaranteed. They offered us a system of learning to treasure every day we are given. Stoicism offers us:

  • more calm by releasing everything outside of our control
  • an invitation to see the best in everyday events
  • an opportunity to see the beauty in the world,
  • a path to treat people well and
  • a reminder to tell our loved ones regularly how fabulous they are

For more about Stoicism try the daily Stoic.

Your Simplicity

We made a decision to create a life based on simplicity and we have intentionally chosen this way of living. I could not recommend it with more enthusiasm as a way of choosing to live a good life.

Your version of simplicity will be your own and it will develop to suit your life and your needs. I believe choosing simplicity can help to support our creation of lives that we enjoy.

Simplicity can allow more peace and lightness into our days. Less stuff, stress, and cake can mean more health and more space. Fewer non-priority appointments on our calendars can mean more time with our loved ones.

If you are getting started on your journey of simplicity, I have put together a simple toolkit for you. You can grab it at the button below.

Here’s to choosing simplicity!

Thanks for reading.