I sat down to write today about Beauty and Living Lightly. I was so excited as beauty and love are my core values. Beauty and love are what inspire me, what I am searching for, what I spend my days hoping to create.
In this post I wrote that I am passionate about Luxurious Simplicity as opposed to Simplicity as it reminds me to embrace the beautiful, and that infusing my life with beauty is of itself a crucial part of my happiness.
When I say beauty, I do not just mean aesthetic beauty, but the concept of beauty. I am trying to convey THAT feeling, you know the one? Where your whole body is flooded with sparkling soothing warmth, your mind is suffused with radiant clarity, your heart is full to bursting. Whether you are watching a sunset, or finally holding hands with that-barista-who-you-have-been-smiling-at-flirtily, or delivering a project you have poured yourself into, or conducting yourself with grace in a challenging time. Any success big or small, any moment of pure connection, of natural wonder, of everyday gratitude. It is Love. It is Illumination.
Unable to find the words.
I cannot articulate this Beauty but I know it is what drives me in all that I do. It is what is driving me to Live Lightly. Beauty is why I am pouring myself into this project, and shining it out into world. I have been searching and searching, delving into my mind, my self, exploring the world, connecting with incredible people, creating, working, experiencing, creating space and releasing all sorts of junk, just all so I can Find.These.Words.
So, this morning, perplexed by my inability to locate these words, I struggled to type up a beautiful article, and create an infographic, quirkily illustrating my Living Lightly path to embracing beauty. And in idiosyncratic izennah style, I channelled this creative angst into a flurry of activity. I yoga-ed (to calm my mind), I tidied, sorted and organised (to create a sense of soothing simplicity), I attended dutifully to emails and fixing technological web thingy-majigs (a sense of efficiency and productivity achieved), I prepared a beautiful lunch (mustn’t be hungry when writing), and then I sat down to refine the philosophy of Live Lightly.
Creation. A journey of scribbles. Torn pages.
And by the philosophy of Live Lightly, I do of course mean my own personal philosophy, which has obviously been evolving and refining itself, consciously and not so consciously for 26 years, and will continue to do so as long as I am dancing along this delicious path. Why then did I think that today, unable as I was to find the words I needed to write about beauty, the centre of my belief, I would suddenly have the keys to unlock this huge, unwieldy, amorphous thing that is my understanding of the Universe?
When I finally looked up from a big page of scribbles, arrows, underlines, lists and more underlines, I giggled to myself, as I once again found myself at the bottom of my own Living Lightly slippery slide. And as I sat dusting myself off, I re-remembered, again, for the 192,789th time, that this experience is the heart of learning to Live Lightly. It is also at the heart of design practice.
Illuminating in mindfulness.
Living, learning and design are processes of iteration. Oscillating between creation and observation, immersion and reflection, dreaming and action. When I am immersed in action and creation I cannot see the concept, my WHAT, my WHY, I can only follow threads as they appear.
When I step outside of the creative waters, observing, reflecting and dreaming, I am disconnected from the sparks of kismet that allow my philosophy to evolve. It is here that I reconnect with my conscious purpose. WHAT I am doing? WHY am I doing it?
I step back from the painting, I can re-sketch the outlines of my creation, I can tilt my head and see that the balance is off, the colours too loud in some areas, too soft in others, but the paint is dry. It is only once I dip my paintbrush and lose myself in the momentum once again, that creative intuition allows serendipitous artistic leaps to be made.
As I learn to Live Lightly or grow as a designer, this oscillation between creation and reflection occurs more naturally, the divide softening. The expert designer is able to immerse himself in the creative flow, while maintaining a reflective helicopter like view. In life this is called mindfulness. To live fully in the present moment of reality, while maintaining conscious awareness.
Living Lightly. Embracing the adventure.
In learning to Live Lightly I am cultivating mindfulness but forever losing myself in the inertia of life. I am guided by my values, but more often than not, I am subtlety steered or knocked off the track entirely by any number of things: unconscious thoughts, implicit memories, limiting beliefs, habits, external drivers, challenges, surprises, Universal curve balls, you name it!
Each time this happens, it is an opportunity for me to sweep my fringe out of my eyes, reconnect, decide on my next step and jump back in. In practicing mindfulness it becomes less of a conscious effort and more part of me.
Living Lightly is about creating Beauty in the world.
Those are all the words I have for now. They are enough.
Because I am off to play on the swings, watch the sunset, hang out with my mum, and revel in that feeling. You know the one?
I would be delighted to Tweet you!
I would love to hear about a time where you have found yourself tied up in knots in the middle of a creative project, any type of creative work at all. How did you get through it? Have you found yourself feeling confused on your path to Luxurious Simplicity? Do you find that Luxuriously Simplifying is a process of gently peeling away the layers?