"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication"
- Leonardo da Vinci
"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication". Is an amazingly, simple yet powerful quote. Made more so, considering it came from the possessor of one of the greatest minds of all time, Leonardo da Vinci.
One of the most prized items of beauty and sophistication in the Pacific Northwest are the Redwoods and Sequoia trees. They are beautiful in their sheer simplicity. They are trees that reach amazing heights. Yet, they are simply a tree. They draw thousands of tourists to their groves each year, yet they are simply a tree. They have inspired poets, and national forests, yet they are simply a tree. Beautiful, tall, proud, trees that have stood for hundreds of years, glorious in their simplicity.
|Cathedral Grove Muir Woods|
So in a modern world where we are constantly marketed the latest, greatest, way to be beautiful, lose weight, be happy, be sophisticated. what if we took a lesson from da Vinci all just took a step back to move forward and simplified our lives by one less "thing".
To be happy we don't need "stuff". We need connections with family and friends, feelings of appreciation, hugs, smiles.
One less toy to pickup, one less calendar obligation, one less shirt in our closet to be washed and rehung (if we really even wear it at all?).
Okay great, simple is sophisticated. But, what is the plan? MY LIFE IS SO COMPLICATED.....
There are a million books with complicated organization and simplification methods and schedules.
What I propose is much simpler than all of those. Just de-clutter at least one item a day or one simple spot a day for just 15 minutes a day. Take a look around your house, your life. What can you simplify? Get rid of? You would be amazed at what you find.
What is the one thing that drives you crazy each day? That you waste incredible amount of time on?
For me it is Socks. The never ending search for them in the mornings. My children's socks literally walk away on their own, to a sock never, never land.
Socks, they are such a simple wardrobe item, that causes me so much grief. Essentially, they are just a tube of fabric with ideally, just one hole.
But they have to match. They come in pairs, and have a mind of their own. I tried the "everyone only wears white socks" thing. And it worked for a while, until the latest crazy sock fashion craze started. So now I decided to completely embrace the craze and tell the kids that with crazy socks the beauty is they "DON'T EVEN HAVE TO MATCH, HOW cool is THAT?!" They didn't buy it.
So my next tactic was to tell the family we no longer believed in socks and we were fully embracing living in California and our feet wanted to just live in flip flops. But, the schools make the kids wear closed toe shoes. Some rule about safety and kickball. Really? So that plan was doomed.
Joking aside, we are constantly looking at ways to simplify socks. For me, I work towards simplifying the sock situation in our house because once that is simplified I dream about the hours I would gain. The freedom!
In all seriousness and socks aside, clutter in our life is a thief. It steals our time and joy. Have you ever truly felt joy looking for a pair of matching socks in the morning as you are trying to get everyone to school on time? Or the scotch tape as you are running late to a birthday party because you couldn't find the scissors? No that is not joy, it is stress and I know when I am stressed I certainly am not looking sophisticated nor am I acting sophisticated! I am not looking like a regal, strong, beautiful me but rather like rabid rat crazily scurrying around. So I strive and crave simplification.
Because through that exercise of simplification we tend to rise, with great beauty towards the sky with a strength that comes from deep with in. A tall, beautiful, strong, glorious, sophisticated us.