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Inner Simplicity

By on January 7, 2007

Simplicity discussions often address topics such as, gaining control of your time and money, and identifying and focusing on what truly matters. Frugality and simplicity often overlap, but it’s important to acknowledge that they are not the same.

Although, simplicity often encompasses paring down and takes consumerism into consideration, it’s more of an inward focus on time and joy being the true wealth. Frugality and simplicity do run parallel, as far as consumption is concerned, but simplicity tends to be more mindful overall.

Have you ever been consumed with thoughts of getting ahead or having an “I’ll be happy when…” attitude? Life gets moving so fast forward, that sometimes, you never take time to actually enjoy much of anything.

Inner simplicity can be like decluttering inside your heart and soul. You can sort out all the useless rubbish that you have been hanging onto for far too long.

Consider the last time you just inhaled, breathed deeply, and felt your own heart beating. Inner simplicity is living in the now. It’s getting to the core of your place in the world and finding clarity with your values. There’s harmony when you’ve tapped into your authentic self.

Many start their path to simplicity by decluttering their homes. You can broaden the scope of simplicity by pruning your life.

Learn to say no.
Cut ties with toxic relationships.
Create a network of people that are encouraging and uplifting, and ditch those that drag you down.

You’ll have more energy when your mind isn’t dwelling on things that are out of your control.

There’s a point where enough is enough. Do you own your possessions or do they own your life? There isn’t true fulfillment with outer possessions. Simplicity allows you to remove chosen complexities, so you can live more purposely. Much like frugality, it’s not about deprivation. It’s about prioritization. Simplicity is scaling down on the unneccessary, so you can spend time on what is more meaningful to you.

There’s sometimes the misconception that simple living is choosing laziness or sacrificing. Simplicity is a tool that reminds us we have choices, and teaches us to exercise that freedom of choice. The emphasis is on freedom and recognizing that time is a luxury. It helps us to redefine our needs versus wants. There’s a difference between having what you want and wanting what you have.

Inner simplicity is a lifelong journey. It starts with identifying your life purpose and redesigning your life, so that your actions are more aligned with your values. It’s measuring wealth and happiness in a new light, but it’s a quality within that has always been there. Just be.

If you can’t feel greatly blessed and enjoy what you already have…what point is there to it all?

8 Comments

  1. Ryan Marle

    1/8/2007 at 12:14 am

    Sara,
    This is a great piece that really paints a good picture of what it means to live authentic. No more no less.
    I’m reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin right now where he talks about the post-consumerism society where we have access to and the ability to get anything we want or need, except time. Learning to say no to what is not inline with our values is one of the most valuable things anyone can do, albeit hardest.
    I was also inspired by reading about Scott Bedbury, the guy who was responsible for the wild success at Nike then Starbucks. I talked a little about how he had to turn down multi-million dollar deals because they weren’t inline with the values and vision of the higher goals of the company. That takes guts, but made all the difference.

  2. Kathy

    1/8/2007 at 12:57 am

    Striving for the simple life is a goal that I have reached. I have looked deep inside of myself and I have found that saving time for family, walks in God’s beauty and just knowing that there are things to do that don’t cost money give me a feeling of being free. Being simple and frugal makes people think that we are doing without. We don’t and they just don’t get it. I bought into consumerism for years and I am so glad that I came to my sense early on and found that simple pleasures are always the best…Decluttering our inner selves is the key to real happiness. I know that it has made me a better person to live with now that I am at peace with myself.

  3. sushil

    1/13/2007 at 5:07 am

    The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
    Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
    Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
    Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

    Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

    If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

    Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

    When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

    There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

    People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

    Emotion ends.

    Man becomes machine.

    A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

    FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

    SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

    A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

    A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.

    To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

    PlanetSave

    EarthNewsWire

    sushil_yadav

  4. Florian

    1/28/2007 at 8:29 pm

    Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog 🙂
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day 🙂

  5. Marie78

    2/18/2007 at 5:16 am

    I am striving towards inner symplicity. I gave up on consumerism about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I try to live my life with a purpose, and I have realized that my purpose was not to buy and try to buy more! I make a list of things I think I “need.” Nine times out of ten I either find what I wanted for free or for almost free, or I realize I don’t want the item anymore. I am happy with what I have, and I am trying to work on decluttering a little each year. It helps me feel a little more free in this world of “things.” I have to admit, my family and friends don’t understand me, but I like knowing that I am beginning to understand myself a little better, and I think that’s more important in the long run.

  6. mom23boys

    2/18/2007 at 10:50 pm

    I need to find my inner simplicity. I have a hard timje saying no. I often find that I am overwhelmed with all the task I am committed to. This is something I have tried hard to work on. Some days are better than others, then I find myself right back where I started, overwhelemed.

  7. Maggi

    2/19/2007 at 12:20 pm

    Lately I’ve been overwhelmed by all the medical and finding a way to pay it off. I was stressed everyday. Today I have to say I’m happier and have some inner peace. Every morning I wake up, I do a little mediation and I pray. I listen to Andrea Bocelli music and I feel relaxed.
    I have allot to work on. But I know I will be ok.

  8. emily_hope

    2/21/2007 at 1:04 pm

    This sentence in your blog: You’ll have more energy when your mind isn’t dwelling on things that are out of your control. So true. I have had to really work on this. I am a worrier. I am learning to tune things out and to try to live more in the moment and not worry about what MIGHT happen or worry about things that I can not do anything about. Just accept it and move on.

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