Simple is not the same thing as easy. Sometimes doing the simple thing is really hard.
My favorite example comes from my music experience. I sing in a chamber ensemble. Lots of times we pick hard music, and as you would expect, we have to work hard to learn the notes, follow the dynamics, add the expression and follow the director.
But sometimes we pick simple things, like a Shaker tune, for example.
Simple melody, traditional harmonies. You’d think it would be easy, right? Well not exactly.
You see, we need to do lots of things to get simple music to sound really beautiful.
We have to unlearn our bad habits – which means we have to learn to recognize them!
We have to change our vocal style – which means to do something different than we always do.
We have to relearn new elements well enough that they sound and feel natural.
We have to stay focused and vigilant, so that we are true to the new simplicity. Because with simple things, any deviation really sticks out (and in simple music, that’s not pleasant to the ear.)
Music is just one example. There are so many examples of “simple” things that get passed off as easy, but we know that they can take a lot of hard work and determination.
Rehab after an injury.
Doing the right thing.
Of course, sometimes simple is easy. But simple can be really hard work. And totally worth it.
And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love and light, Maggie
Great post, Maggie. I love the music example, which makes the distinction so clear. That really resonated with me. It also makes me realize how much I love simple, including the hard work that comes with it. Because as you say, it’s “totally worth it.” And once you put in that work, simple does ultimately become an “easier” way to live. Less drama. Less clutter (of ideas, emotions, actions). More space and time. So, thank you for putting it out there so clearly. You’ve given me something else to feel good about.
I thought about you when I wrote it!