Finding Joy in Simplicity

These days, everywhere we go it seems we’re plugged in, turned on, and firing on all 8 cylinders, all the time. But this is a recipe for burnout, and perhaps we know it in our hearts. Never before in history has a craving for simple pleasures been so strong, or so important.

Do you find that simplicity manages to escape you, even on those days when you swear you’re going to indulge your senses in a grounding activity?

Do cherished pastimes such as crafting, getting out in nature, or spending time talking face to face with those who mean most to you, end up taking a backseat to the Call of the Computer, and your frantic life?

Maybe you decide you’re going to do a hands-on project. So you log onto the internet in search of instructions. Instead of reveling in the task at hand, you find yourself hopping from one link to the next, and before you know it you’re overwhelmed and distracted.

How do we manage to pry ourselves away from the electronics, so we can once again indulge in the simple tasks that offer us relaxation and enjoyment while helping us focus?

One way to keep it simple in our everyday dealings is to lower the bar of our own expectations.

No, you’re probably not going to be the next Martha Stewart or Pinterest Mom of the Year. Or, are you?

If you do tend to be an overachiever, maybe “keeping it simple” really has to do with just allowing yourself some time to think and ponder.

For some people, simplicity might be about calming that urge to out-perform yourself, or be and do everything to everyone.

In today’s exercise, we’ll practice giving thanks for simple pleasures.

2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

JOURNAL EXERCISE:
Keeping it Simple

What types of activities do you relish in the name of keeping it simple?

It could be writing personal musing in a diary. Maybe it’s creating a beautiful painting of an outdoor scene.

Or how about something even simpler, like just taking a slow walk around a quiet pond on your lunch hour? With the birds singing in the trees above, branches softly rustling in the wind.

Take this time to write down the simple things that you can do, one small thing each day, that will ground your spirit and bring you pleasure. Make a list of possibilities.

Below, are some suggestions.

Do you have a pet that you enjoy spending time with? Give yourself permission to take a technology time-out so you can offer your dear dog, beloved cat or other cherished pet a nice belly rub, scratch behind the ears, an afternoon walk and a treat.

Love to read? Reading is a simple thing you can do each day. Just a few pages will do, or aim to complete a chapter a night if that makes you happy and satisfied.

What about a craft? Some enjoy knitting and crocheting. Others do needlepoint or latch hook. Perhaps you find pleasure in penning calligraphy letters on a clean white page in bold, black ink.

If you can’t think of any task you’d be good at immersing yourself in, why not return to childhood?

What did you enjoy in your youth? No shame in revisiting old talents to see where they take you.

Today, write down the simple things that gave you a few moments of pure, unadulterated joy. Make it a priority to enjoy them again, tomorrow.

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