July 12th is National Simplicity Day, it was founded in honour of Henry David Thoreau, who was born on July 12, 1817. Thoreau was an advocate of living simply and wrote a number of well known books on the subject. Although sometimes irrational, Thoreau wanted a life that was more closely connected with nature in comparison with the rapid industrialization around him.
In the complicated world that we inhabit today where mobile phone’s, laptops and other modern day gadgets mean that we very rarely experience true peace and quiet to gather our thoughts, what better excuse to leave the technology at home and experience the feeling of truly being in the moment.
Here are a few ideas for living a simpler life:
S - Slow down, be aware of every single step you take today and notice what is around you. This could be the start of making simple changes to every day life.
I - Imagine how your life could be if you were to take steps to make it more simple. Spend some time imagining this and creating a vision of what this will be like.
M - Look for meaningful, moments in every day tasks that you do
P - Make time for some playful activities everyday, things that you love to do that bring you joy and make you smile
L- Limit your screen time today or switch off your technology all together for a day.
I - Immerse yourself in activities which you love and you lose all sense of time when you are doing them.
C - Connect with nature as much as you can during your day to day life. Spend time outside in your garden if you have one, go for a walk, stop and notice the beauty of nature around you.
I - Identify things in your life that don't energise or motivate you and see if there are any of them you can let go of to bring more simplicity into your life
T - Trust your intuition and let it guide you into a simpler way of living.
Y - Give yourself permission to let go of thoughts that hold you back from leading a life that you love, and have the courage to say no to things that don't leave you feeling good about yourself.
This month in our Fresh Air Fridays sessions we have been talking about self belief. The conversation started by considering what we say to ourselves about ourselves, recognising the inner chatter that goes on in our heads and what it is saying to us.
If you’ve never considered this before you may be wondering what do we mean when we say the inner chatter or self talk. This is what we say to ourselves when we are thinking about something. The voice could be a cheerleader saying things such as ‘you can do it’, ‘keep going’, or it could be a critic making comments like ‘I’ll get found out soon’, ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘what will everyone think’, ‘you are so stupid, how could you think you can do this’.
We all have periods in our lives where we experience doubt in ourselves and others where we feel confident and able to take on any challenge. It can sometimes feel like we have more than once voice inside us, one is encouraging and the other is trying to stop us. When the critical voice is silenced or the various conflicting voices feel in balance, then we can get on with life.
If you regularly have a critical inner voice this can hold you back from many things such as putting yourself forward for a challenging project or a promotion. It might also stop you doing things in your personal life.
Body language is also important in how we feel about ourselves, it is helpful when you are out walking to roll your shoulders back, keep your head up and walk with a good pace and rhythm. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, has researched the impact of body language on how we feel about ourselves. Here is a link to her ted talk on this subject:
Amy Cuddy - Your Body Language Shapes who you are
Through noticing the voice and softening the way you talk to yourself, you will notice your confidence in many areas of your life will improve.