Perhaps I am just overly skeptical as the reason I so often overlook the simple. Surely if it is simple it won’t work, do as good a job or even be worth my time. It’s funny how I chide myself in thinking how I could consider a simple answer over one that requires much more time, money and energy investment. The skeptic in me lives by hardness of lessons well learned it seems.
It is a simple example and yet so representative of my stubbornness for what this looks like in my life. I decided one day to try a natural detergent for our laundry. I bought a bottle of the natural stuff and a bottle of my regular stuff, just in case. At first I just went about using the regular stuff afraid of trying this natural detergent. It sat there for months in fact because I kept telling myself I would try it on something that didn’t matter. The truth is with a family we do a lot of laundry so it all seems to matter and getting it done as quickly as possible is important to me. So my experiment waited and waited.
The day I did it, as in did more than just open and smell the natural detergent, I was going to wash one of my quilts. It takes a lot of work to build a quilt, hours of my time, expense in fabric and threads. I don’t consider myself a guild blue ribbon quilter but it is still an investment to make one. It was probably the worse thing ever to experiment on but I figured since I wash them on gentle with baby detergent soap that a natural detergent might be alright. I listened for the chime to tell me the wash was done and went to check my quilt. It came out clean, it smelled good and it didn’t get ruined. Ok, maybe this natural detergent was going to work.
The truth is I let my inner skeptic influence me to the point I was afraid of trying something new. My faith in believing something simple, without toxic chemicals and skin irritation ingredients would work was crazy thinking back to that now. Why wouldn’t it work? What did people wash their clothes with before Tide anyway? Exactly, they made their own detergents, they used natural ingredient, plant based products. Their clothes were clean, probably cleaner than mine had ever been. Yet my faith in believing that simple was worth it held me back.
I have since grown more comfortable with natural products all over my home and in my personal care. They have come to represent not only my family’s movement to natural over chemical but also my constant reminder about what simplicity looks like. What I mean by that is I think it represents my personal movement to also bring back simplicity into other areas of my life as well, including my job, relationships and life in general. All the areas of my life that bring stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, worry, fear and anything that doesn’t feel good I challenge myself to find a simpler solution. It has been a test of my faith in simplicity for sure.
Back in the spring of this year, I had a period of panic and anxiety attacks because of what was occurring at work. My health was being impacted by what I did every day to support my family financially. I was needing to take an anxiety medication to help. It was a difficult time and I was struggling. It however was the simple act of washing my face with my natural cleanser that reminded me that the answer to this problem was in looking for simplicity. Once again the story of the detergent came back to me and I realized my own stubbornness was kicking up again preventing me from seeing the answer needed here.
The simple truth was it was just a job. I let a job take from me the peace of rest and sleep. I let my job consume my thoughts at 3AM and impact my health. I let a job come between me and living naturally well. It was only a job and there are a million more like it. Some better, some worse but there are others out there. I didn’t need to put up with what I was and I deserved better. I deserved simplicity in my work to allow me to focus on my family, my health and my life. The job has a purpose and I needed to reset what that was in my life. Making just that connection allowed me to stop seeing myself as the victim and begin to define how to change that situation.
It would be several months before the anxiety attacks stopped but they did and I found simplicity in my work at least for now. The perspective of simplicity empowered me to have faith that life didn’t need to be this complicated. I was smart, talented and good at what I did. If one place didn’t want to respect, treat me well, support the life I wanted to live then another would. It also paid me more too and that was rewarding given I had not received a raise in a couple years. Simple.
My faith in simplicity has grown to one of appreciation. I still catch myself fighting it but time and again it has proven it does work. When we stop fighting so hard and just let it be simple, the decisions get easier, the stress stops and life feels better. We start to see what we can control and do what is right for us. Our faith in ourselves builds and we can take those steps forward to improve how our life looks and feels.
If you are ready for simplicity in your life, check out my upcoming Master Class schedule at dragonspitapothecary.com