The slow, whisper in the air.
The dawn chorus of birds emerging from the trees.
The fresh smell of rain on the grass, struggling to grow and work its way towards to sun.
The beckoning of your heart, inviting you to listen, to take that first step and bask in the glow of the dreams and needs which have brewed over the years.
A new season is emerging — a new place of sanctuary and rest. A place of quiet, stillness and simplicity. A season of being instead of doing.
Less than three weeks ago I was racing through finishing my degree, training for a marathon and preparing family members for their adventures. My time for stillness and solitude were limited, and my mind and thoughts were centred upon multiple things. But the still sweet reminder of simplicity and the positive effects which reverberate throughout my life still were present. It beckoned me in and enveloped me into the rich, affirming world of intentional simplicity.
Over these past few weeks, I have sensed a change in the direction of my usual thought patterns and lifestyle. I am a typical Type A, who struggles to be still, to sit and to focus on the present. Always worrying there is something else which I must do to be… To be what? Seen as Successful? So people would like me? Because that’s just what you do? This was the turning point.
Simplicity has been central to our lives now for the past six months, and despite it being a part of most areas of how we choose to live, I still hadn’t been able to simplify my view of the future. I wanted a specific and detailed five and ten-year plan, which directed me until I had reached where I wanted to go. The problem was that I never knew exactly where I wanted to go.
As we have become more minimalist in all aspects, my contentment and gratitude have increased beyond recognition. My happiness is no longer dependent on external things, the affirmations from others, and purchasing things to fill the void. Instead, I have found a sense of peace and fulfilment which has transcended all of the mess of trying so hard. Through simplifying our surroundings, I had managed to simplify my mind, soul and emotions. I was happier to be in the moment instead of wanting something else, striving for perfection — content at making just the next decision insofar as possible opposed to this five-year plan I concocted.
The rush sweet giggle of my boys, their games they conjure with their imagination, time spent with Mr M, has become enough. It has clarified some of my dreams and needs, tearing away the expectations of myself and others. I simply feel happy. Without the fuss. Without the detailed plan. Without the rush to get there. The more I slowed down, the more I found contentment in the strangest and unusual places.
My mum came to stay last week, and it hit home how much I had lost myself in the bid to be seen as perfect, successful and capable. My worries and anxieties no longer reigned over my life and paved the route which I chose. Instead, through tears, she commented on how happy I seemed. How much better I appeared in myself, in my parenting and my relationships with others. It consolidated what I had begun to learn, that intentional living does not take away from your life. Instead, it brings a depth you never even knew existed. It brings into focus your desires and needs and provides space for those to become a reality.
As I am learning more and more, minimalism, simplifying, decluttering, whatever you want to name it, has so much more depth than what it seems on the surface. It brings clarity to situations and places emphasis on the things which bring the most joy to your life.
My next season has been chosen because it is the right thing at this moment. It isn’t the long term goal, but it is right for this moment in time, and that’s ok. Instead of fear emphasising all that is wrong with this route, simplicity is bringing into focus the positives of this season — finding joy and gratitude in the opportunities that will flourish and grow.
I encourage you to not gloss over the importance of simplifying in more profound terms. Although reducing possessions is excellent, the effects which reverberate from the simple act of simplifying your life is immeasurable. No longer am I locked into living for the future, a future which was unreasonable and out of reach, instead I am exploring deeply what it means to live for the moment. To make decisions based upon are current needs as a family and where our focus is currently.