by Joseph Barker, 35, Graphic Designer, Melbourne

I enjoy simplicity.

When I read something put simply, it is incredibly powerful. When I see a drawing that is simple, it touches me inside. It has a sense of strength. It is clear, direct and easy to understand. So why is it I have let my life get so complicated at times?

I have been working on my CV recently. It’s tempting to say so much – to lie or reinvent. It feels like this is because of fear, a fear of being rejected. To say ‘here I am’ in clear daylight seems risky. What if I am not ‘enough’?

I’ve realised when I am vulnerable and keep things simple, I feel like a true man: it’s not toughness or a roughness, but a simple strength of expression, a sense of being me.

When we speak simply there is no room to hide and that’s what I admire. When someone accepts a marriage proposal and simply says “yes”, that’s the most touching moment. If they said “well potentially, according to the time of day and how I feel in the morning and if subsection c of paragraph b of the marriage arrangement is met”, it would not be the same.

When I talk with other people I notice things get very complicated. It’s like I am scared to say “no”, so instead it becomes “well maybe another day if its possible, not that I don’t want to, you understand”. This is a game of politeness I play to keep things comfortable and safe. It’s a way to hide from other people’s anger and from feeling that I’m alone. But does this game actually stop me feeling pain? In my experience it does not. In fact, it causes all the strife. It stops me connecting to other people and gets in the way of life.

Is it possible we are scared of simplicity because it brings reality? Not to mention, responsibility and accountability? Is there something we are hiding from?

What if our life is simply a result of the choices that we make?

You can write a million books and speak a thousand words, but I have found a simple sentence can contain much more wisdom.

I feel life is simple. I’ve always known this in my heart, but it was not until I heard a presentation by Serge Benhayon in 2010 that I claimed this to be true. Through his simple presentations I’ve learnt that when I let my body speak, life gets simpler again. Just like a child when you ask them if they want to go to the pool. They don’t say ‘”let me get back to you, I may have time but you see I have a meeting in the sand pit planned and my schedule is fairly packed”. They just say yes or no. So it is with me. My body says no to alcohol. It says yes to being warm. It says yes to sharing how I feel and no to holding it inside.

Simplicity is a great indicator for me. It’s not a kind of perfection or an austerity, but a natural way to be I am learning to embrace. Complexity is always there waiting to come back in. But as I simplify my way, I find more joy comes along.

When I come to write how I feel about life, it really is simple. All the stories fade away. It all comes back to love and honesty – and being me today.

Simple eh?

428 thoughts on “Simplicity

  1. I too now love simplicity Joseph, but most of my life I have played the politeness game, when asked my opinion I would talked in a round about way which only complicated things, by trying to avoid offending or causing a reaction, it was such hard work, and so dishonest, now days I simply can answer a yes or no, and I am aware when the urge to explain more, to justify myself tries to comes in.

  2. I love Joseph how your post on simplicity is so real and relatable; the simple yes or no keeps things clean and clear; what great inspiration this is in how to live our every day.

  3. “It all comes back to love and honesty – and being me today.” how simple is that, when we learn to be truly honest and loving, life simply is being lived.

  4. ‘But as I simplify my way, I find more joy comes along.’ That’s what I experience too Joseph and while reading your blog I could feel how much games I have played to avoid the simplicity (and the Joy) like anxiousness, politeness, giving my power away to others and all this was and is a killer for simplicity

  5. When writing as with most other things in-life it can become convoluted, which is a distraction from that child-like-ness that is being shared and thus we can therefore look towards an old adage like KISS Keep It Simple Student! So we deepen our awareness of that connection to our essence or child-like-ness and thus feel our-self being connected first before we move and express Konnection Is So Simple.

  6. The more honest we become the simpler our communication gets and the easier life flows, although not necessarily in the direction we would like. When we keep it simple there is more space for things to unfold and come to completion.

  7. To bring the simple we also bring reality, I agree with that. But sometimes we shun reality because it reveals the play we all part-take in. Life in many ways is a stage where we all play our part even though we can feel it is not it. So when someone speaks the truth we get a bit squirmy because we get exposed living this manufactured reality we then call life. Let’s be inspired by those that hold on to their truth and may we overcome our unwillingness to not be exposed, because the truth is much more enjoyable and full of beauty.

    1. Well said, we squirm because we know we are not living the truth of what we could live yet know that if we saw the truth we would have to do something about it… and there is the rub.

  8. Yes this is very simple indeed. I wonder how much complexity we create to push away the simple truth, we know so well and have felt deeply at times. How much effort do we put in to achieve that? And how much does this shows us what power that resides in us to actually stand and live by our truth!

  9. ‘..when I let my body speak, life gets simpler again.’ I know my body is speaking to me and when I am willing to be honest and listen to what it is saying to me life does get more simple but when I close my ears and first want to do ‘my own thing’ whatever that is, life gets me and it start to be more and more complicated.

  10. I love your blog Joseph on the importance of keeping things simple…. the mind loves complexity whereas the body thrives on simplicity.

  11. Simplicity is the movement of transparency; it is a pattern of movement of someone who is willing to be honest about life and who understands that the only way forward is to deeply honor us in our beauty.

  12. I have deliberately been complicating the things I say so that the potential power and richness of what I can say in a few words is lost. There is an authority and strength and it is actually our responsibility to keep life simple and let out the power of our expression.

  13. I can so relate to going into complication when talking to people. I would be checking up on whether they are understanding me, agreeing with me etc. and it is like as if I need to say more to justify my case, and in that I can feel I am diluting what could potentially be so powerful.

  14. Reading this blog you can’t help but feel the beauty of simplicity, a simple yes or no, or someone saying exactly the right words and you’ve really put into perspective for me the relationship between simplicity and trying, or effort. Life is simple when we’re not trying to be anything else, it gets complicated when we try and be more than we are, or less than we are rather than simply saying this is me – take it or leave it.

  15. This is delightful and I love the examples of how a child would express in a complicated way – it just doesn’t make sense, so why do we complicate our lives so much. Simplicity is definitely the way.

  16. What a delightful blog Joseph. I loved reading the part about children, and its so true, they do respond with a simple yes or no, and not, let me get back to you, or let me first check my agenda….etc. Life is simpler when we express from our bodies rather than our heads – where all the stories come from!

  17. Thank you Joseph, simply beautiful, there is so much ease and clarity in simplicity when our body speaks. When our mind gets in the way, complication sets in bringing with it dramas, frustrations and tensions.

  18. It is very freeing to feel we are enough and don’t have to please people because we need to be recognised and liked. It can have a strong hold though and it needs practice and deep love for ourselves to stay true to ourselves.

    1. Very true, Lieke, that the desire for recognition and to be liked is very strong pull to compromise oneself, however with self-love and practice it is quite amazing how the need for external recognition diminishes.

  19. I love this Joseph, simple and sweet. I love simplicity it’s so absolute, it can draw so much to the surface to feel or it can offer a surrender that we know so well.

  20. This is a great point to explore in life – how simply do we answer questions, I can totally relate to giving a more complicated answer because I don’t want to create an uncomfortable situation by just saying no. But how much more powerful, and how much stronger do we feel when we simply express the truth.

  21. This is very beautiful Joseph as you speak of a how a loving relationship with our body is what guides us best to live in connection to a quality that represents our true strength and our true way of being. And when we live our truth, we live the simplicity of who we are, which is magnificent in nature and real in every way.

  22. Simplicity lets you see the humanity in all people because it takes away the cloud of chaos that can disrupt our view of each other. When you simply see another, you see a person, flawed and learning just like yourself. So simplicity and humbleness are the greatest of friends.

  23. ” It feels like this is because of fear, a fear of being rejected. To say ‘here I am’ in clear daylight seems risky. What if I am not ‘enough’? ” But its a trap , see, we can never be enough for another person, if what they want, is for us to fulfill their needs. For if one tries to fulfill another’s needs, that only creates more the feeling of emptiness in the other and so more need is built up and therefore more to fulfill for the other person. The truth will always be, ” we are all enough “, but unless we live that enough-ness, we will never prove that truth to ourselves and therefore we will fall into neediness.

  24. When I am living with simplicity everything flows, life is easy and I can feel the subtle flow of the universe. When I bring in complication emotions can set in, things take longer and I can feel a drop in energy in my body. For me it is really about appreciating the simplicity when I allow it to be a part of my life, because I absolutely love simplicity. Yet there are moments when I bring in complication to simply avoid what is next in taking a greater responsibility in the world.

  25. It takes a while to unravel the complexities we create in life – the drama, the emotional entanglements, the complications, the anything-but-straightforwardness – and at first simple can equate to ‘boring’… or so we think. Like you Joseph I am loving the simplicity with which I now live and don’t miss the drama and complication one iota. It takes a while to get there, with more simplicity to come, but boy, is it worth it!

  26. ” Simple eh? ” Yes this is true, but its only simple when one knows there is only one truth and lives this one truth. This then becomes a simple way of living.

    1. Good point John. The way that we have lost the understanding of the fact of absolute truth and embraced relative truth as being truth serves us not and brings in layer upon layer of complexity, whereas the absolute truth has a beautiful simplicity to it.

  27. What if life is inherently simple and complication is just us as individuals trying to add our own bit to it?

  28. When we connect to our simplicity we can feel we are one and the same – we only use complexity to cover over the simplicity… but nevertheless the simplicity remains. Hence, we are here on earth now to return to the simplicity we know and detach from all the ill complexity previous sought and chosen.

  29. Complexities leads to overwhelm and we don’t hear our body’s.
    Simplicity leads to flow, stillness and a body that knows exactly what is needed.

  30. When we feel our body – we actually know what goes on in our body.. This can be a simple signal of going to go to the toilet on the moment your body needs the support of you choosing to go there and pee. Or the way we move and talk with another; are we justifying ourselves? Are we stuck in looking at the past? And how are we moving? (Slow, hard, quick or present and attentive) great signals and point for us to look at.

  31. Simplicity is the talk of the soul where complexity is the talk of the way ward spirit in it’s attempt to keep one away from the simple truths of who we are.

  32. I am someone who loves simplicity, yet I have created much complication in my life at times to take me away from this connection and the joy experienced when I live this.

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