Amidst the confusion and overwhelming abundance of our times, where there is too much of everything, I often feel a strong call to the art of simplicity. It is a way of living that can leads us towards Christmas, bringing with us a good basket of essentiality and sweetness. Within the cold and the darkness, we have to work on ourselves to give space to the light of Bethlehem’s grotto, and to be present at the moment.
Living in simplicity doesn’t mean trivializing the world, or removing its beauty. Quite the contrary! Living in simplicity is a way to discover new and old worlds, flavours, relations, and different sounds.
The art of simplicity to live in the present moment
To grasp the beauty of simplicity, we must live in the present moment, be mindful, alert, and remain lucid. There are thousands of mindfulness courses and spiritual pathways that focus on being present. It’s the first step to overcome anxiety, both personal and collective: I stop for a second, I breathe, I feel my breath, I am present in what I am doing, I observe what is around me. To grasp the power of essentiality in life, it is necessary to start from a “presence within the present.” Each action, no matter how small, is going to be filled with meaning. Every small gesture will have a value.
The art of simplicity and the five senses, towards Christmas with a basket of essentiality and sweetness.
If we want to be freed from a tangle of thoughts, objects, complications, we must engage our senses. The art of simplicity involves sight: let’s stop and look carefully, let’s get used to appreciating one single thing, let’s train our eyes to get lost in the sky, in the snow, within sunsets and dawns. When it comes to hearing, we often don’t give it enough importance, allowing rivers of sounds to flow by and create even more confusion. To live with essence, let’s learn to actively choose the background noise of our days. Simplicity and smell might seem distant, but they are not. If we smell our food and our drinks before consuming them, we allow emotions to connect to our deepest memories and feelings. Smell is a great teacher in the art of simplicity.
I will talk more in depth about the connection between taste and simplicity in the next article. In the meantime, let’s learn to appreciate simple food, unprocessed, less industrial. A single slice of artfully made bread, with an exceptional oil, connects us with creation and the Creator. And let’s finish with touch: in a digital age, let’s caress wood, rocks, freshly fallen snow, sand.
The art of simplicity in interpersonal relations
Interpersonal relations are getting all the more complex – isolation, the virtual world, the invasion of visible and invisible advertisement don’t help to encounter my neighbours, colleagues, and friends in simplicity. If we try to engage with those around us in simplicity, doing something light or joyful together, like a walk or a coffee, that’s when we realize how simple and essential life can be.
Let’s reevaluate the importance of true smiles and honest hugs. Let’s bring our relationships to live essentiality, and we will be filled with sweetness.
Art of simplicity: towards Christmas with a basket of essentiality and sweetness
The coming of Christmas is always a unique occasion to exercise the art of simplicity and essentiality. If we fill our basket with essentiality and sweetness, we can bring a lot of serenity to those who are near. If we leave aside things that are too complicated and live the true value of people, situations, and things, we’ll be able to welcome the real light of Christmas. Sharing and essentiality can warm us all up. And maybe, for Christmas, let’s take care of every single detail in the outer and inner preparation, so that everything may have a real meaning.