Since moving into my one-bedroom inner city apartment 12 months ago I have been baffled as to how to best use the limited space available. The moment one walks through my door it's impossible not to notice the clutter. One can almost feel it. And yet I want both me and my guests to walk in and feel light and energized by bringing a sense of openness and simplicity into my new home. Suffering, however, from a severe case of ‘too much stuff and too little space’ achieving this seemed to be anything but simple.
Recently, a friend came over to drop off a book. After offering my usual apology for the ‘busy’ state of my apartment, my friend took one look around and kindly said, “You’re not using this space as well as you could be.” I wondered what she was seeing that I had yet too. For a few moments she quietly assessed the space, taking note of every nook and cranny. In a matter of minutes she was pointing out to me the abundance of space that was yet to be utilised. Under my desk, cupboards, drawers, boxes. Spaces that were out of sight and unfilled. Suddenly I could see my apartment open up. A simple change in perspectives was all it took for this transformation to occur. I had been focused on content, my friend was focused on space. It was so simple!
Occasionally I hear someone say, “Relationships are so complicated.” Or they might attach another area of their life to this idea of complication. Certainly this may be true some of the time but is it always the case? It is the complexities of life that give it is richness and depth. There are times when these complexities can overwhelm us. That is when we need to allow the simplicity to find us. Sometimes we can look too hard for too long at something. We miss its true essence. We make things complicated when we don’t need too. We fill up the spaces of our day by trying to simplify what is already simple. This keeps us occupied and feeling important.
But what if occasionally we were to take a different perspective? In the same way I came to see my apartment through a fresh set of eyes. Sometimes that is all we need to do with life. By taking a step back, walking away and coming back or even calling on a friend can help to get a new, fresh perspective. What we once saw as difficult and complicated can become simple and easy in a moment. The answer we were searching for flashes before our eyes. As if it we were looking at it the whole time.
As the saying goes, the simple things in life are often the best. Feeling the warmth of the winter sun on your back. Kissing. Plunging your hands into a mound of dirt. Crinkling up your toes in the sand. Smiling. Standing under a hot shower after a long day. Diving into a warm, delicious bed. Laughing. Talking to a good friend. Looking back through old photo albums. Dancing. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. We only need remind ourselves of its simplicity. Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspectives. It’s that simple.