In a complicated world of gadgets, time constraints, and the many demands of work, family, and home, we are running at a fast and unhealthy pace. Our down-time consists of looking at our tech for what’s happening now. This is a way in which we try to meet our need to stay connected to the world – we human beings are wired for connection and we have a deep need to belong. But to what? Who or what are we connecting to when we do this? How much is that connection really doing for us? Nourishing us? Giving us what we need?
I like simplicity – I consider it one of my values in life. But this life doesn’t necessarily support the ability to keep things simple, and in that, it’s easy to get lost in everything that’s required of us. Someone wise once asked me, “Why can’t we be more like dogs?” We humans are past- and future-oriented, yet dogs are present-oriented; they live in the here and now. I’ve thought on that question over the years – why do we humans struggle to be more present?
When I meet with clients, I frequently observe for disconnection in their lives – this comes up as depression, anxiety, loneliness, lack of meaning, and even a sense of emptiness. This observing will at times cause me to pause and reflect on that for myself; if I feel agitated, sad, or “off,” I may stop and think, “Where am I feeling off balance? Am I feeling disconnected in some way?” In an effort to connect with nature, with self, with other, with your belief system, how do you make the effort to connect with those things in the present moment? In what ways do you manage all of the demands in your life and hold onto simplicity as a sanctuary? When you visualize simplicity for yourself, what do you see?
To connect with the place I’m describing, it requires a moment of stillness, of focusing your attention on what is in the now. It requires you to be present with yourself and with the world around you. It’s observing the squirrels run up and around the tree; it’s enjoying the taste of a fresh, ripe fruit; holding a hand; feeling your feet against the cool grass; hearing the ocean roar; smelling the fresh air; laughing with a friend (and I mean a good belly laugh); drawing what inspires you; or meditating on what is sacred to you. It means – in all simplicity and at no cost to you – getting back to the basics of connection. It is filling one’s sense of emptiness with something that is simple, and kind, and authentic.
Whatever that quiet place of simplicity is for you, I trust you will find what is authentic for you to observe and to practice.