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The Art of Simple Living

Life guard tower at sunset
Photo: Life in Ceremony

In the past week, I have had the wonderful opportunity of simply spending time at home and out in the world with my husband. We’ve spent time at the beach, both for sunsets and for nonchalant morning picnics after the farmers market. We’ve taken day drives up the coast only to find random landmarks we never knew existed and pick up $5 breakfast burritos at a casual roadside Italian restaurant…? We indulged in our newest favorite to-go curry from the local Thai food restaurant down the block, and we've walked through our neighborhood (which still feels oddly new after almost 6 months) in the warm light of the January sun en route to the pier where we spent time watching the surfers below and commenting on the fisherman stationed high above the sea. All of these things so simple, yet oddly and incredibly pleasurable.

Often I feel myself uncomfortably anticipating the ways that I will be productive and “get things done” for the day. Everyday is a new opportunity right, so what are you going to do with it?! There is a constant need and push and pull sense of staying busy and being efficient with our time in today’s world. It can become so overwhelming at times, the big question of how do we balance it all…how do we have it all when theres so much pressure each day to DO.

But the true problem here is how we could have possibly forgotten to leave space for simply BEING.

Our days are filled with to-do lists, meet ups with friends and colleagues, birthday parties and baby showers we are obligated to fulfill, our daily exercise regiment, and all the while always staying on top of your finances, goals and plans. A full calendar thats highly organized and pristinely executed. Who the hell has the mental capacity to keep all of these elements in balance every day of their lives? It's enough to drive you mad, and it certainly can. Where else do we think the majority of our worlds anxiety ridden populations stem from?

I for one am no stranger to this feeling. I often experience the push and pull of goals and presence, accomplishment and being at peace with who I am, of constantly creating and seeing the world from a creative point of view and enjoying the simple things in life for exactly what they are. We are told to be all things. To see from all sides. But you simply cannot be in both states at the same time. And the truth is you have to pick and choose your moments in order to truly find a sense of balance in your life. In order to not create burnout in your life.

This is why this past week, I have chosen to surrender my time and my presence to that of being. To spending uninhibited time and energy exploring the world we live in with the man I love. To finishing each day feeling warm and full regardless of the lack of “productive” actions and tasks I completed towards my business or my financial worth. Sometimes you just have to choose NOTHING. You have to choose to move forward into your day, into the unknown, with a willingness to set accomplishments and goals aside. To allow yourself to surrender to the day and get back to you, to who you are in the stillness. The person you are without all of the daily tasks and schedules, plans and actions. Because there is a soul and an individual in there that exists even without those things, and it has to be nurtured, not forgotten.

I used to think that a day without some checkmarks on my to-do list was a day wasted, a day spent poorly. Then I asked myself, “Well, what do I want to accomplish today?” and was shocked when the answer that arose was “Nothing.”. I didn’t know what to make of it. Was I just lazy or lacking ambition and motivation? But we can’t spend each day checking off boxes. That life leaves no room for play, no room for the unexpected or magic to emerge in your day. And that is no life I want to be living. So today I choose nothing. Perhaps tomorrow I will choose creation. Thats the beauty of it. Your life is constantly evolving, day to day, as it should. And only in that space, does complete presence and beauty reside.

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