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How I went from daily chaos to simplicity

education fomo overcomplicated road less traveled robert frost simple simplicity striving Apr 24, 2022

How I went from daily chaos to simplicity

I used to have an aversion to the word simple.  I loved the Robert Frost quote, “I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference.”   Less traveled equaled complicated to me. I had a vision of a brambly overgrown road that needed a machete to hack my way through.  I felt more accomplished if I overcame chaos.  It was worth my effort when it was a 15+ step process.   I felt like I deserved rest, not that I took it, but it gave me complaining rights that I was deserving of rest and didn’t get it. 

As a result, I stayed in a place of overcomplication for a long, long time.  It looked like perfectionism for me in that I was striving and striving to get life just right.   It got comfortable with making everything more complex than it needed to be.   I was reactive to events.  I moved extremely fast, too fast.  I hardly ever paused.  I ended up far, far away from the type of life I truly wanted.  

I didn’t trust simple. My parents, and two elementary school teachers, raised me to value education and pressed me on the importance of learning and growth.  I love these values, but I twisted it to mean that learning and development needed to be complicated.  It needed to challenge me in a complex way for it to be worth my time.  If it was simple, I got suspicious.  I didn’t see simplicity as a way to show alignment to my values but as evidence that I wasn’t working hard enough or stretching myself to reach my potential.  So I kept pushing anything that seemed simple aside.  I even turned down a job promotion because I felt that I had come by it too quickly and that I was too young.  It didn’t match up with my complex timeline for professional success.  

But as you can imagine, discontent grew inside of me.  I initially saw discontent as the problem.  I needed to learn to be satisfied with my life which looked great on the surface.  And then there was the fateful rest stop in the middle of Montana with signs stating “Beware of the Rattlesnakes.”   And finally, it clicked; the discontent wasn’t the problem.  It was simply a warning sign, the proverbial rattle.   The real problem was my striving, overworking, and overcomplicating my life.

There are several additional twists and turns in my life, but I want to jump ahead to the present and how I have completed 180 and now embrace simplicity.  It is at the very center of my coaching.   Now I realize that Simplicity is a superpower.  You have inner strength when you can operate from a place of clarity and enoughness in the present moment.  That extra strength calm doesn't overestimate threats or underestimate resources.  And the most fantastic thing is this peace of mind that some from simplicity is portable.  It can go everywhere and anywhere you go. 

When I was overcomplicating my life and moving at sonic speeds,  I was trying to avoid being left out or locked out.  I had FOMO before FOMO was a thing.  And the deep irony, of course, is that the more I complicated my life, the more I became overwhelmed, which resulted in me missing out on life.    

I moved from overcomplicating my life to embracing simplicity through small internal shifts.  There wasn’t a need for significant external change.  In fact, in many ways, my life is still the same.  I am still swamped, but it’s not from fear but a place of connection.  Choosing a path of simplicity has ironically also allowed me to be more compassionate to the complexities of others.   It has also allowed me to be more open and tolerate complicated emotions.  It’s almost as if I went from simple to go complex. 

I created this diagram to explain my coaching business better.  I offer many different offers, but they link back to the Simplicity.   The three areas that support this are the following:

  • Peace - when you honor your capacity, you will experience peace everywhere
  • Release - when you release old stories, you will be able to live aligned with your values and pursue your passions.
  • Permission - when you trust yourself fully, you know that self-compassion is a gift to yourself.

When we feel exhausted, we have exceeded our capacity in more than one way.  We have energetic, mental, emotional, and physical capacity (plus more).   There is a finite amount of energy each human has for living.  This isn’t the same for everyone but rather an individual factor that makes us unique.  Exceeding our capacity is a quick way to overcomplicate life.  However, operating within our capacity requires boundaries.  However, finding that balance will result in a level of peace you never dreamed possible. 

And now, as I present the framework for my coaching offers, I get the response “that seems too easy.” which lets me know I’m doing it right.   My goal was to take the complicated, twisted path I took from Overcomplicated to Simplicity and deliver it in a process that skips the unnecessary parts and only focuses on the key elements. I'll be able to help you see blind spots (And they’re called blind spots for a reason – we can’t see them. So we need others to help bring them into our awareness). This will cut down on time it will take you to reach your goals.

Before you start setting goals to seek simplicity, I encourage you to clear out obstacles (often in the form of stories we tell ourselves) and blocks so that you can make goals from a place of growth and abundance, not from a place of striving.  This will start you down a new and different path, one that is much less complicated—and ironically, much less traveled than the path of complex living.

What would you say if I told you that spending 5 minutes per day supporting your mental wellness could improve your gut health? And 5 minutes per day helping your gut health could improve your mental health?


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