It drives me nuts when people interchange the words "simple" and "easy". I also understand why people do it. Before I started this blog, I never really thought about the difference, either. But there is a difference -- a difference so great it defines the very basis of what it means to live simply.
Let me explain.
My definition of simplicity involves the removal of all excess, all superfluousness, in favor of the true essentials. The world we live in today means that most of us have a lot of excess in our lives. We have an excess of possessions, an excess of information, an excess of commitments and an excess of distractions. We live in a society of too much and too fast.
For those of us that have made the decision to simplify our lives and therefore live more consciously, a lot of our time is spent identifying the excess and getting rid of it. Anybody who has spent an afternoon purging a closet or making phone calls to end various commitments knows that it's not easy. Simplifying is hard.
Simplifying your life will lay you bare. It's easy to hide behind a mountain of stuff or point to your packed schedule and say, "I would follow my dreams, but look!" When you begin to peel away those layers of fat, those layers of excess, then the true person underneath has nowhere to hide. What if you aren't smart enough? What if you aren't brave enough?
Being laid bare means eliminating what society has told you to do, to become, or to desire.
You become you and most of us really don't have any idea who that person is.
And most of all, it's certainly not easy.