sim-plic-i-ty (noun) The quality or condition of being plain or natural.
I like to tell people I'm living the simple life. And the people I tell like to raise their eyebrows at me, especially if they've seen my to-do list.
I'll admit, trying to grow a fledgling yoga studio in the conservative and economically depressed Adirondacks, launch a personal training business, take care of a husband, two kids, two dogs and a cat, train for the upcoming running/triathlon season, knit, bake, plan a kitchen garden and spend time on my own yoga mat doesn't sound simple. I do feel a bit overwhelmed at times. Every now and then I want to crawl into my bed and hide until the world goes away.
Thanks to the work I've been doing with my life coach, I recently had a realization about the things that sent me diving for the cover of a down comforter. And it goes right back to simplicity.
Have you ever thought about what you value? I've thought about it quite a bit lately, thanks to pages of life coaching homework. And I have a pretty good idea of what's important to me.
When I live simply - naturally - I spend my days doing things that fit with what I value. When I'm overwhelmed, I'm trying to do things that feel unnatural, because they are out of alignment with what's important to me.
I'd really been struggling with some of the day-to-day mundane "have-to-dos." Things like paying bills and filing papers weren't in sync with values like "adventure" and "freedom." For the record, "I didn't feel like paying bills" is not an excuse the credit card company will accept, and monitoring the caller ID to avoid the credit card company does not create a sense of freedom. However, once I realized that financial independence would give me the freedom to pursue more adventurous goals, I made a plan to pay off all our debt except the mortgage within five years. Suddenly paying bills lined up with a value and I've been on top of that task ever since. I'm also free to answer the phone.
When each thing on my to-do list reflects my values, life flows naturally. And that's how to keep it simple, sunshine.