As women we tend to WANT and have this need to make our lives more complicated than they need to be. I see it in so many women who underrate the simplicity of small steps and being consistent. For me, the simpler life is the happier I’ve become and the more I am present and in the here and now.
When it gets too much, it’s likely it’s down to me making it complicated. I call this overcomplification-ism, and women do it brilliantly well me included.
We tend to get stuck in our heads and overthink, we can be prone to reading into what people have said or done and replaying scenarios. And get so stuck in our heads, we forget what’s in our hearts.
Do any of these sound familiar? Let’s call them head time stories.
Story 1: Reading into what someone’s said, so suddenly you’ve upset them and they’re annoyed at YOU. It’s all your fault.
Truth: Everyone in the world has more going on than worrying what you’re thinking, so let it go and get focused on YOUR day.
Story 2: Going into a panic when your partner leaves without kissing you, from that to the stories of living alone with dogs as he’s going to leave you and doesn’t leave you anymore.
Truth: He’s having some stress at work and is already running late for an important meeting, he loves the bones of you.
Story 3: Your colleague gives you a compliment about what you’re wearing, that you didn’t expect.
Truth: You go into explaining it’s an old top, you don’t wear it much and then think what are they after as I don’t believe them.
Story 4: You’ve gone off plan and eaten something you shouldn’t have done on your diet plan
Truth: You’re not failing, a loser, a failure, a greedy girl and it’s okay to slip up sometimes as long are you’re learning from it, understand the implications and make a different choice next time.
I’m a Simple Cornish Girl
When I coach my clients, the simplicity of the hacks and tips I give is surprising for some, but also what they fall in love with.
And for me I’m a Cornish girl who is still amazed by planes in the sky, so I love simplicity and the easy especially with something like neuroscience. Life feels good when it’s simple and like wading through made when we complicate things.
Here’s what I believe:
Heart = Our heart’s GPS guiding us, easy and feels exciting and in flow.
Head = Complicated, with endless scenarios and the fear you’ve done the “wrong” thing.
So take these together and you have the most powerful version of you, your heart and your human brain pre frontal cortex .. sorry geeking out for a moment.
It’s So Underrated
Simplifying the complex is perhaps one of the most underrated virtues of our time. We’re very driven by more, push, hustle and strive to achieve and show what we can do. For the achieving women I work with this is often drive by a need to feel enough and of worth. Life can’t be that simple can it?
Are You Numbing?
Indeed, Brene Brown talks about how exhaustion and busyness is used as a form of numbing to stop us having to feel how we feel. To not have to face into the truth of how we feel about ourselves and our lives. We even find a bizarre sense of righteousness in workaholism and being flat out. Like it justifies our existence and proves that we’re worthy. When asked how are you “Manic” and “flat out” are often comments that come back.
I work with a lot of high-achieving women who often do not consider a simple life a successful life, until we dig a little deeper. Then they start to see the happiness that lies in a slower and simpler life.
The truth is, simplicity is freeing mentally, physically and emotionally. It is our natural state. It’s how our brains were designed to work at that powerful best in a state of clarity.
When we strip our lives back to the simplest form that’s truly living in my mind. Instead we tend to fill our lives with clutter, both materially and emotionally, we lose the connection to our heart and what we really feel. Our resources — time, money, love, thoughts, even energy, are limited and that is stressful and a big cause of anxiety. Spreading them too thin does not serve anyone. Least of all you.
What Simplified my Life?
I know for me Cornwall time, is slower than anywhere I’ve ever lived. When I lived in Reading and had my gym, I seemed to live in a constant rush and panic. From a Noggin Knowledge point of view, I was constantly in my animal brain and lived in a world of stress that would send cortisol shooting round my system. That meant I didn’t see progress, I didn’t enjoy the little things like dog walks and I NEVER felt enough.
Now living in Cornwall I’ve created the freedom to slow down, I’ve created a business that gives me time and geography freedom and increasingly so financial. And I’m setting up my business to automate it where I can to be able to on/on and working hard or off/off and truly with my loved ones or working with clients. The country lanes, the beach and the dreckly approach to life has slowed me down for sure. And I can feel how much better my life Is for it.
I’m happy and living in my life, rather than rushing through it and living in a Groundhog Day existence.
And I’ve fallen in love with the simple things:
- A great steak for dinner that I’ve taken time to prep and eat consciously.
- Walks and cuddles with my gorgeous little dog, I can see his happiness and it’s infectious.
- Sitting down with my partner and sharing our days, whats happened and how he’s feeling.
- Choosing and watching a film with my partner, phone off and fully absorbing myself the characters and plot line.
- Only working on one thing at a time on my Macbook and mapping out my diary, in a simple and exciting way.
- Being at the gym 100%, phone off and getting a sweat on and appreciating my body and loving getting to know new people and hearing their stories.
6 Simple Ways to Simplify Your Space
So, if you’re living in a complicated world right now here’s some simple hacks and tips to get back to the simple life.
- Clear the Clutter
Simplicity and clarity doesn’t come to a cluttered mind, so before we can find that calm and peace it starts with decluttering. Think of it like this and your brain being like your computer with too many tabs open, so it’s slower to use when the brain clutter is there.
So, to start that declutter grab a blank sheet of paper and empty your head of all that you have on your mind. It doesn’t make sense just think of it like a mental vomit. This alone will help you come back to you and stop overthinking. Then I get my clients to make a peace of mind list, so what feels like it would help them most find and keep that peace of mind.
2) Clear your environments
And within your home, it’s great to declutter and clear your environment of what you don’t need or use anymore. The less I have, the more I love what I do have and enjoy it and the simpler my life is. Our environments determine how we feel, so the less clutter in your home the simpler your life will become.
2) Turn Off, to Tune In
As women, we care for other people so much that we want to be in constant contact. But this again adds another layer of constantly living on other people’s agendas… what our boss wants or our partner needs.
Our phones are amazing in so many ways, yet these amazing bits of kits we’re endlessly connected to the world BUT less connected to ourselves. So turn off your phone to tune in your life.
So, to tune in to yourself and your own opinions and views, turn off your phone and connect back to yourself … doing more of what you love and following your heart and letting go of the shoulds and the people pleasing. That will lead you calmly back to a simpler life again.
3) Listen to your Heart
When our minds are calm and clear, it’s much easier for us to listen our hearts are open and we can actually see/feel/hear our guidance and messages more readily. That is the simple, beautiful life right there.
We stop trying to manage our lives as an equation of being right and wrong, always being on, living for others and instead we can start to trust our heart and intuition so we join the natural flow and grace of life. The simple life
4) Find clarity in your values
The most powerful I teach and coach is bringing my amazing clients back to their values. When they live more and more in alignment with their values, life becomes simpler and decisions become clearer.
If you don’t yet know your values, think about what’s important to you and what values you feel good about living by. It takes time and it’s about listening to your heart and what excited you. It should feel like you’re coming home to yourself.
5) Slow Down and Check In
Look at your diary and look at what you can take out and how you can give yourself some more time back. And when you’re going somewhere start to leave more time thab you need, to arrive calmer and more relaxed and not add extra stress of rushing.
Take time each week to slow down, even if it’s over a cup of tea or writing in your journal for 10 minutes.
Slow down to feel more rather than constantly just doing things. Life doesn’t always need to be in doing and achieving more, it’s also in the slowing down and being more in what you’re doing.
6) Learn to Say No
Make sure you’re saying yes to what feels right and exciting for you, don’t overcomplicate your life with yes’s and obligations. The invites that mean you get to spend time with those you love, doing what you love and to stop over committing yourself.
Learn to say a polite “No, thank you” to invitations that don’t excite you or add to your life. The ones that don’t add to your life in some way, that drain you and leave you feeling rushed and over committed. Learn to love and protect a little space in your diary.
In my mind, the simple life is truly a heartfelt and happy life. When life is simple you can be truly in it and be present, living life fully through your sense.
This might all sound scary, if it does that’s okay it’s your brains way of resisting change to keep you safe. But it’s normal and natural, just start small and build from there.