Okay … I’ve been thinking about this one for a few days now. I don’t feel the same way about it that I even did when I wrote the title. But I will say this – simplicity is layered.
Simplicity is something … that has the purest of intentions, the clearest of executions, but in it’s development, is as fking complex as they come. I mean my god. Whenever you think of something – think of something now… something that you think is simple. Something that you might say oh that looks so effortless.
Can you grasp it?
I’ve got a few things…
A white dress
A black dress
The sand on the beach
Did you ever think about how many colors make up the color white? Every SINGLE color. Every single one of them. Black? Absorption of EVERY SINGLE color. How many grains of sand does it take to make a beach? So many that a number probably can’t even describe them. And a snowflake… well if you ever zoomed in on a snowflake you would see that the symmetry and the unique pattern, as unique as our fingerprints in that every single one is different, their intricacies are infinite.
What about this one? Wow they really make that look easy.
Have a think about that….
A professional athlete
What we see is a snapshot in a journey of a lifetime. That’s what we see. It looks easy to us because we can’t possibly imagine or witness the eternities that have been spent on achieving simplicity. This really, and truly, blows me away.
And what blows me away about it the most… is how much I value seeing snapshots in the process where things aren’t so simple yet. What blows me away is seeing a moment of layering, where the intention becomes just that little bit purer or the execution a little bit clearer. What blows me away is realizing that this is what it takes to achieve something that can be simply received and understood as simple.
I mean my god, it actually makes so much sense to me now. In order for something to be delivered in its purest form, it must be known to the nth degree. The process or contents must be completely clear. So how can you expect for something to be simple to you if you don’t practice the hell out of it right?
But here’s my issue… when I was a kid – everything seemed simpler. And I thought it was because I didn’t know as much as I did now. Now… I sincerely question that notion. I think I knew everything that I know now and everything that I will ever know in my life. I knew it then. I can’t help but wonder if every single one of us is like that. We know it all from the moment we begin to exist. Because we know ourselves. And what this journey reveals to us, to some more so than others, is what we can discover by seeking that knowledge from the inside out.
Simple right? HAH.
But it really is that simple. Seek and you shall find.
There’s something else I want to share. This is what has really sparked something for me about simplicity. This past week… I had to ride the subway 3-5 times a day. And I was terrified. I’m not sure how this has developed, but I have become extremely anxious in certain situations regarding travel and enclosed spaces. Over the past few months I have become increasingly anxious on planes, subways and elevators. I’m not sure why.
2018 started and I had a training schedule that required me to be in 2 different places in the city everyday, requiring me to take the subway to each one and from one to the other. Loads of trains. So freaking many. And every single one was terrifying in it’s own way. I kept talking to Erris about it, and she kept asking me, what is it that makes you most afraid? I said “getting stuck”. I was afraid of getting stuck. Why? She asked me why. So I asked myself … why?
I really asked myself- WHY? Why am I so afraid of getting stuck… well that lead to – If I get stuck, what am I afraid is going to happen? Then that lead to … something bad will happen to me… and so on and so forth until I came to the simple fact that I am terrified of dying.
Afraid to risk my safety because I am afraid to die.
Well as soon as I figured that out, each time the train stopped (and it happened a lot – because there seems to be a whole traffic system down there hah – duh….) I went right back to that. That I am afraid of dying. But then I was able to recognize that this probably wasn’t the time for that…. aka death. It calmed me. Slightly. A layer peeled away. There was increased clarity and purity. It’s becoming simpler. Being distilled.
The distillation has given me space inside. Space enough to find a method to tolerate subway travel. And now I am on my way toward recovery. It is becoming simpler. So if someone came on to the train and looked at me they wouldn’t even know how much I had to go through to be able to sit on that train as calm as I was. You know? Because it’s that simple. But it isn’t really.
I think simplicity requires a process. I think we are born knowing it so deeply, the simplicity of life, because maybe as we grow, for me anyway, we become farther removed from it. But because we know it so deeply, we can distill our lives and hopefully, become simpler.
Simplicity is humanity in it’s deepest form, a representation of all of the colors that make up white; a formation of the grandest snowflake in the sky, a collection of billions of grains of sand on the beach. Simplicity, is the complexities of a human who is in touch with the deepest parts of themselves. Who is cycling, revealing truths, shedding layers. Damn, it’s unbelievable really. Happy Sunday y’all.