After more than a week of (beautiful but constant) heavy showers, storms and rainy drizzle, we have woken to a beautiful sunny day in Brisbane. The weather is warm and the sun is out. A good weekend for washing, mowing the overgrown lawn, and in the case of our home – baking.
My husband and I have had a hankering to make authentic, from scratch biscuits this weekend. As we were drafting the shopping list, we were happily debating the method and ingredients we would need to use.
I have written about how I am not a particularly confident cook, however my skills in home cooking are far more advanced now than they were a few years ago, thanks to practice, patience and a little elbow grease in meal planning and preparation. However, often the temptation for a fast or easy solution (in the case of the biscuits – I am talking about packet mix) is tantalising. Goodness knows I have found some wonderful packet mix cakes and biscuits that can be baked in a flash. However, this weekend we both wanted to do it ‘the old fashioned way’. The quaint way. With fresh flour, brown sugar, and chocolate chips – the works.
So as we were planning the grocery list, with this old-fashioned baking plan in mind, I found myself saying to him – “Let’s not allow any more interference in life!”.
What I meant was, “Let’s skip the preservatives and stabilisers and even the quick thrill of using packet mix, and just keep it simple, slow, authentic – without added complexity in the ingredient list”. However, as soon as the words had left my mouth, I realised that what I had described – minimising the interference – could be applied to any number of situations or circumstances in our lives.
I have written about my love for minimalism as a path to a simpler life.
I have often reflected that words like ‘excess’ or ‘clutter’ are associated with reasons to embrace minimalism, with the goal of achieving simplicity in our minds, hearts and homes. I believe there are steps we can take – and are taking – to achieve a simpler life. Steps like de-cluttering, simplifying our schedules and slowing down. However, there was something about framing the excess as a form of interference that really resonated within me – that allowed me to see opportunities for continued simplicity in my own life.
Interference brings with it a natural connotation of negativity which I think can be put to good use. This interference with your natural wellbeing or your ambitions for a simpler life can come in the form of noise, activities, relationships or anything that creates a barrier or resistance to you living the version of simplicity that is authentic to who you are.
What is a simple life will look different on everyone. Minimalism as a value system will look different on everyone. But in reflecting on interference, and the power it can have in distracting us and keeping us from our path, it helped me to clearly identify areas for continued focus and growth.
When I first began my journey into minimalism, and once the big physical clutter had been somewhat tackled, I found it a more challenging transition to identify what else could be changed or adjusted within my bigger life to align me with this new value system of simplicity.
Let’s face it – simplifying your possessions is an easier starting point. What about simplifying your schedule? Your mind? Your relationships? Your living situation? Your finances? Perhaps framing things in terms of interference can provide an opportunity for clarity to arise within you about where to take your simplicity?
As a practical exercise, I simply took a minute to reflect on what came to mind when I thought about ‘interference’ on my path to simplicity. I would encourage you to do the same. More than likely, a handful of things (objects, situations, people, circumstances) will jump to mind. Write them down and then make a plan (or plan just a first step) for addressing those things.
I believe there are opportunities for our subconscious minds to tell us what we may not consciously know, and certainly this exercise has shown me that no matter where you are on your own journey to a little simplicity – your own self has an intuition about what you need for your circumstances to get there.
There will be challenges, ebbs and flows on the path to a simpler life, and there is no end point. We are all called daily to make a series of decisions that can result in our happiness or our continued discontent. If we can be mindful of the interferences – the things and situations that block our path to simplicity – we can take the steps needed to start moving them out of the way.
As for the biscuits – they turned out beautifully and were delicious. When all is said and done, we enjoyed our little afternoon baking session done the old-fashioned way – with a dose of simplicity, a dash of contentment and a pinch of real.
Until next time – simplify, focus, pursue, and count your blessings.
Photo Credit: Emily Morter