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Some of you may remember the phrase “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

I looked up the origin of that phrase and it is states that it was a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The K.I.S.S. principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

I really love that concept – Keep It Simple.

When I was raising my children, I was a very busy full-time paralegal. My life was extremely chaotic in the sense that I felt like I was always “going 240”. My life wasn’t simple, it was complicated, but I didn’t understand that I was complicit in making it complicated. I felt my life was just how it had to be if you were a working mom.

What makes a life complicated? Is it trying to cram too many things into your day? Is it trying to please everyone? Is it trying to be perfect, whether as a parent or otherwise?

You could say that those things are part of the problem, but they don’t cut to the core of the problem.

There is a part of us that we have learned to listen to that pushes us to do things because it tells us that if we don’t, we won’t be successful, liked, or seen as special in the eyes of another. That is the complicated nature that exists in each and every one of us. It is a hungry ghost that when we let it be our guide, always leaves us hungry for “more”.

It is a lot to juggle being a working parent with young children, but what makes things complicated moment to moment is that we are constantly listening to a nature that wants to complicate every aspect of our life. In listening and agreeing to that part of us, it exhausts us because we have freely given it our energy through the use of our attention.

I remember back when I was a full-time working mom, my friends would often invite me out to dinner on Friday evenings. I always wanted to go, but I was often exhausted after the full work week. Even though the idea of staying home, relaxing and rejuvenating myself after a full week of work was very attractive to me, I listened to the part of me that told me that I would be missing out if I just stayed home.

But missing out on what?

Truthfully speaking, that complicated nature complicates things so that we miss out on real life which is always taking place moment to moment. If we aren’t present, which means we are caught up and identified in thought, we aren’t experiencing real life. We are simply re-experiencing the old. It literally steals our life and our life force.

How about this for keeping it simple – “Learn to want what life wants.” That’s about as simple as it gets. But wanting what life wants takes great effort in going against the parts of ourselves that want to make everyone happy, that want to be seen in a certain light, or want to believe that taking on more things to do proves our greatness.

If we truly want to own our own life, we have to go against those parts of ourselves that make us feel that they we will lose something if we do. We won’t. We will actually gain something - an unshakeable understanding that will not only stay with us, but will continue to build on itself the more we agree to do so.

When we work to be present and to own our own life, time isn’t time as we know it now, and it is actually incredible how productive we can be without becoming exhausted. To me, that is worth its weight in gold.

It takes diligent work but just as everything else in this world, it is its own reward. Fight for yourself.

Image courtesy of: Pexels

Exercise for the week: Do your tasks this week as present as you are able to be in the moment. Watch for interruptions when the complicated nature wants you to become frustrated or tries to tempt you to do something else. Instead, continue to be present and follow through with what you are doing, and simply allow those thoughts and feelings to pass through you as they should. Simply continue to observe yourself.

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