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Choosing Something Simple for 2014

by Judy Stone-Goldman on January 5, 2014

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I have decided to opt for the simple in 2014.

The classic New Year’s resolution is reinvention and transformation. Big goals. Dramatic improvement. Visions of a new life. I could be tempted, of course (who doesn’t have the occasional fantasy of a grand rewrite of one’s life?) but I’m drawn in a different direction this year. I’m drawn to the simple.

But what does SIMPLE even mean?

Is simple brief?

Is simple inconsequential?

Is simple unidimensional?

Is simple surprising?

Is simple easy?

Is simple boring?

My first goal for 2014: to explore what simple means in my life. Care to think about simple along with me? As always, questions and prompts are below. At the risk of going beyond simple, I’ve also added an additional activity, just for fun and variety. Simple doesn’t have to mean “always the same.”

Questions for Reflection: What comes to mind when you think of the word “simple”? How would simplicity enhance your life? Could something simple helpĀ  you feel more balanced, more grounded? What would you like to make simple in 2014?

Writing Prompts: “To me, simple is ______” (then keep writing); “I long to have simplicity in ______” (then keep writing); “My life would be much better if I could simplify ______” (then keep writing); when I envision my life as more simple, I see ______” (then keep writing).

S – I – M – P – L – E: Come up with a simple pleasure for each letter. (I’m starting with sunset…)

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen-Marie Silverman
Twitter:
January 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

Good for you, Judy. Choosing to live simply, a simple life, puts one in touch with life as it is, the only time/place we can relate to it with skill and joy.

That’s what I have found the practice of mindfulness does for me. The practice I follow rooted in Theravaden Buddhism and enhanced by my exposure to teachers of Tibetan Buddhism allows me to draw down from excessive thinking, or “living in my head,” and experience first-hand life as it is around me and inside me. I wrote about this to some extent in a book directed toward those who wish to resolve their stuttering problems or help someone do that, “Mindfulness & Stuttering. Using Eastern Strategies to Speak with Greater Ease.” And, “yes,” my practice of this approximately 2,500 year old practice, now approaching 17 years, has helped me, as someone who has had a stuttering problem, speak with greater ease and enjoyment.

Whether practiced as I did or through Zen or MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), or some other structure, being mindful will encourages and support the healthy choice of living simply. Perhaps, you already have discovered this.

Best wishes to you as you actualize your intent to live simply in 2014.

-Ellen

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I always learn something from your comments, Ellen-Marie. I agree that mindfulness brings us to our present, which is – by definition – a small moment and a simple moment. To be able to appreciate those moments is such a gift. I am going to look up MBSR, as I’m not sure I’ve seen this particular system. Wishing you a mindful and deep 2014.

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Deanna Heiliger
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

Judy, I think this is a neat way of looking at the new year. So many goals really can cause anxiety because there is little or no follow through. Simple to me means Real and Genuine and not Complex. Get back to the basics of living and loving. Thank you for the thought-provoking post!

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 10:44 am

Deanna, I like the word “genuine” so much – and even moreso when attached to simplicity. So much excess is false or unnecessary. Thank you for adding your perspective to my post!

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Gloria Miele, Ph.D. (@GloriaMiele)
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

Oh, Judy, if it were so simple. This is one of my great challenges: to simplify my message, my business, my life!! I tend to go about things with a fire hose instead of a syringe. I keep working on it. I’m going to try those writing prompts!

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hi Gloria – If simplicity were easy, we’d all have a lot less cluttered energy in our lives! Wishing you well with all aspects of your life – business and personal – and may simplicity strengthen for you in 2014.

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Nat Couropmitree
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I like simple but I’m aware of how I can make things complex. It’s really interesting because we often ask for the simple solutions but when we receive them, we don’t believe it can be so simple so we look for other more complex solutions! :-)

This year for me, simple means doing what works for me. It means listening deeply. It means trusting that who I am and what I have to offer is enough.

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Nat – Your comment made me smile :) It’s SO true how we complicate things and have trouble trusting the simple. Great plans for new years – to listen and trust, to believe in yourself. Hope your energy flows readily!

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Angie K. Millgate
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I’m with you, Judy. SIMPLE for 2014, for sure! And I love that your first goal was to explore what “simple” means to you. Great place to start!

Here are my SIMPLE pleasures:

S’mores
Imagination
My daughter’s humor
Playdoh
Laughing from my belly
Energy Healing work

OH! That was FUN!

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Beautiful, Angie! Your list made me smile and I’m getting ready for the next belly laugh that comes my way. Oh yes, playdoh! :)

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Karo
Twitter:
January 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I love simplicity! And the more I practice it, the more adept I become at it. So on the material side of things, I don’t have special/ more fancy dishes for special occasions, since I think every day is equally beautiful and important. When we moved from our large rented apt into our tiny cottage, we got rid of lots of unnecessary things as well. Oh, and I sold my books and now buy electronic versions only, so they do not get dusty! On the spiritual side, I am clearer on what my needs/wants/desires are, so I can actually pursue them, rather than get distracted. And we don’t own a TV or watch show that clatter the mind but are not very useful to the mind. :)

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Kate Lindsay
Twitter:
January 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

What a great feeling I get even contemplating the word “simple”. Doing just that really can lower my heart rate all on its own. I was once one who tried to do it all and acquire the “right things” along the way. Looking at the world from that perspective made me tired and a bit sad. I am still a student of living mindfully in my now moments but I have learned time and time again that the simple pleasures change me in the biggest and best ways every time.

Share a Smile
Imagine
Me Moments
Play time
Laugh
Enough

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Kate – Isn’t that the most wonderful meditation – just to contemplate the word “simple”? Love your list — especially Laugh Enough! That works as two individual items and as one phrase. I am so grateful you did that prompt and shared it!

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Nell Tomassen Reboh
Twitter:
January 11, 2014 at 2:12 am

Synchronicity is such a beautiful thing! Browsing around in blogland lately, I notice many are choosing S I M P L E as a theme these days. A wonderful way to circumvent “complexities” by rational, left brain, separatist thought patterns, and instead be in touch with what truly matters, coming from the heart, allowing both parts of the brain to interact.

I love the questions you share, some of them quite provoking. Boring? Foreign concept in my realm.

What would I like to make simple in 2014? How about everything? Yes, everything! Been working up the nerve for quite some time now :)

In my last blog post I shared how I simplified holiday traditions. It turned into the most stress free, enjoyable, and according to my kids “best Christmas ever”!

Surprisingly
Intelligent
Multi-dimentional
Playful
Love based
Experiences

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 15, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Neil – A stress-free, simple Christmas would be the envy of many. Very much enjoyed your list – starting with “Surprisingly”!! Thanks for sharing.

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Nell Tomassen Reboh
Twitter:
January 11, 2014 at 2:16 am

Thank you Judy for this interactive way to reflect on a theme most worthy of exploring! Brilliant!

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 15, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Thanks for your comments, Neil. Sorry, for a bit they were hiding from me! (They needed approval – for some reason I didn’t get notified.) You are now “approved” and shouldn’t stay hidden with any further comments.

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Emma Herbert January 11, 2014 at 3:38 am

This is great and something I too strive for. Since I’ve simplified my life I find that stress has been relieved, I am happy just enjoying each moment!

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Anything that reduces stress is wonderful, Emma. That is motivation to strive for simple. Best to you – in each moment!

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Jennifer Sanders
Twitter:
January 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Dear Judy
To me simple means keeping things easy and stress free. Making life more and more enjoyable and letting go of difficult and situations that are not fun!! Here are my simple pleasures:
Sexual love
Indigo coloured things
Mum
Parties
Love love love
Eggs!
Hope that’s ok to share that ;) lol lots of love Jennifer xx

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Jennifer, More than ok to share! I thoroughly enjoyed your list, especially “Indigo coloured things,” which was very evocative. Enjoy ALL your simple pleasures!

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Susan Wright-Boucher
Twitter:
January 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Simple — oh, that would be marvelous. So, to use your writing prompt… Simple is clarity. Getting at what’s most important and letting go of the rest.

Thanks, Judy. I’ll be thinking about this for the rest of the day.

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Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Susan, I love the simplicity of your comment! Thank you.

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Elaine January 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm

For me simple is taking a step back and asking “What/Where is my focus?”
Story telling
Individuality yet inclusion
Moments in time
Pretend play
Love and laughter
Ever evolving

Reply

Judy Stone-Goldman
Twitter:
January 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Hello Elaine, How nice to see you here! I love your list – and I know you are good at pretend play. :) Hope 2014 is starting off wonderfully simple.

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