As the world we live in and create for ourselves via thought and experience becomes ever more complex, it is easy to get swept away. So much information like a chorus of noise going on around us and inside us. What I don’t want you know about me is that this was a battle earlier in my adult life so extreme it became paralysing, it brought me to my knees. I had an overload of stress, depression and anxiety, which became regular panic attacks.
If you could watch a movie about my life you would assume I would have been a happy person. I had experienced a joyful and exciting childhood growing up in 3 different continents. I lived in a nice home and had a beautiful family of my own. I could have been happy, but I wasn’t.
In that time I often felt an oppressive darkness that followed me everywhere. I would try and hide from it and even trick it into leaving me alone by distracting myself any way I could. The sensation was a feeling of deep sadness and dread, like the joy had been sucked out of everything I once loved. All the colour would be washed away and my world became monochrome. I remember listening to an album that I had always loved and in those moments something was wrong, it felt like I would never be able to enjoy it again. I experienced this with many things. Places I loved, food I loved, movies I loved, and even relationships and people I loved. Typically this feeling would pass but would creep up again and tap me on the shoulder when I least expected it.
I had over complicated everything in my life and at the heart of all this was my thinking. I would overthink every situation and every experience. It was like slowly drowning in my own thoughts.
Perhaps it was partly related with the design work I was doing where I would explore every minute detail of whatever I was designing. Looking for flaws and imperfections to fix. But this complex exercise didn’t fix me and I didn’t actually need fixing. Nobody does.
Over the years I had accumulated an impressive collection of self help books all proudly promising that if I just followed the authors complicated 10 step program I’d be happy. You know the kind of instruction that you have to keep referring back to. At some point I thought, do we really need all these self help books to unlock the innate wisdom of our soul?
Simplicity is something we can misinterpret as not taking something seriously enough or to skip the important details in life. In my own experience reconnecting to my true self meant that simplicity was where my soul wanted me to be, there is peace and happiness there. I’m kind and compassionate to myself, I’m silly and playful and I’m grateful. I’m definitely not serious there.
It’s also where I get to love myself more and whenever I do that I find that things in my life move and transform with no real effort, because I’m back in touch with the simplicity and joy of my soul bird.
“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu