Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

Nicole Chess

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

   The older I get the more I realize that peace comes from the simple things. I am relishing in the simple things and this gives me great peace, excitement about my life, and hope for a positive future. A smile from a stranger, opening the door for someone, or having your last coin in your wallet be the exact change you or someone else needs to buy that cup of coffee are a tiny grain of sand in comparison to what is out there in the world of simple things for All of us to hold on to and relish in order to add peace to our day.
      As I reflect on another year gone by and another Christmas yet to come, I am grateful more now than I ever have been. And it’s not because I have more. In fact, I have less. I am beginning to see the peace in minimalism as well but that’s a different topic. I have less, but appreciate the simple things so much more, that I am beginning to look for them and to call them what they are in time for Christmas.
    I recognize these simple things as PRESENTS. These simple things or presents are real and full of life and love. They are even more real than the presents under your tree because they can last in your heart for eternity. For example, these simple things are a hug from a co-worker when you need it the most, or the gleam in a child’s eye when you tell them how proud you are of them, or a book a friend lends you because she is thinking of you.
    These little blessings or presents are actually big in comparison to the presents under the tree (those are nice too Santa). These presents are bigger because they are the life force that sustains us.
      Now more than ever we have access to communicating but how many real human exchanges are actually going on or have we missed because we are focused on other things or not focused at all? We could be missing out on the simple things drastically. But how will you know you are missing them unless you try to find them? At the very least there is one of these simple things or “present” given to us a day. Would you agree? Even a simple sunset can count! But how many times would you say you missed them because you weren’t present for the presents?
     If your heart isn’t in the state or condition to see, or look for them, then they go missed and unwrapped. These simple things or moments want to be noticed from us that is why they are there to reflect back beauty and love. If you are too wrapped up in the internet, or the next thing you have to do you could miss that first time your baby takes his steps, or the funny joke your colleague makes to give you a much-needed belly laugh.
      One thing is crucial, presents need our presence in order to receive or give them. You may be in the habit of missing your simple things but just like with any habit they can be changed with your effort and all it takes is to remember to open your heart.
      Even though we have had the worst day or in a dark place in life, we CAN still see the beauty in the world and get “presents” (simple things) to bring feelings of peace. If we allow our heart to anticipate or look for the simple things by being fully present and we train our eyes to see these simple things more often we can have peace every day. It’s kind of like faith. It’s there but you can’t always tell.
     Simple things- these “presents” are there although you may not be able to see them. They require you to open them by opening your heart to receiving the present and then giving gratitude for the simple thing. Then we can give our presence to others and let others experience what we have experienced and then they in turn do this for others and the whole world is better off for it.
     You know those warm fuzzy feelings you get on Christmas? You know, those wonderfully magical feelings you get on Christmas, the good news is if you practice the simple things you can have those magical feelings of Christmas everyday all year long and it doesn’t cost a penny, just your heart to be willing and it’s so simple. So please do what you need to do to get your “presents ” and look for those simple things!
      In fact, I want to keep this article simple so I am going to stop there and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. And remember to unwrap your “presents” everyday by preparing your heart, by giving others your presence and you will start to enjoy the simple things more and you will be more peaceful everyday of your life.
     Start today and every day and your Christmas presents will start coming early this year and every day to come! Remember to KISS- Keep it simple, sweetheart.