“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hoffman is one of my favorite artists. You know him?
T’was he and my uncle who first taught me how to simplify my art, simplify my work, and in turn, simplify my life.
Here are some ways that may help you find solace and peace in a hectic, modern, busy world and go back to a simple, holistic, and natural way of being.
Each stroke means something.
Hans Hoffman is a master at punctuating what he chooses to communicate through his paintings with just a single upward stroke. What power and efficacy, what talent and self-awareness to be able to choose where, when and how to move up, when the rest of the canvas is moving down!
Think about the big picture.
Open your mind, wide angle and zoom out, far out. When looking at the entire painting as a whole, you see the whole. Zoom in too close and the image becomes limited and distorted. When looking at the full visual, we see that in fact, each placement of color, the speed in which the brush traveled to strike the canvas and the motion and angle in which the hand was held was deliberate and not a mistake.
When what is trying to be conveyed is simplified down to a basic intention, there is so much space for personal creativity and expression, where each stroke can actually mean something. If Hoffman went for each piece without an intention, he would have ended up with incoherent and messy noise of chatter versus real and engaged dialogue.
The heart is the direct route.
Rumi says, “Dwell fully in the cave of your own heart.” So many spiritual teachers, probably every single one, talks about the heart. The heart, the heart, the heart. This beating, pulsing, activating, pumping machine in our bodies that really, is the director of everything here.
When the heart’s job to pump blood is done, nothing works anymore. The show stops. Perhaps the heart could be a metaphor for the Source or epicenter of it all. And by all, I mean whatever your definition of all may be.
When we’re steeped and centered within the domain of our hearts, our lives immediately, by cause and effect become simplified, become more true. The mind is the root of misunderstandings, misinterpretations, judgments, overanalyzing, over thinking, anxiety, stress, worry, doubt, and fear.
You think these habits stem from the heart? No way. The heart’s too wise to hold such limiting emotions and feelings—all of that comes from the mind. Get out of your mind and into your heart.
Simplicity —> Empowered life.
Living a simple life leads to clarity, ownership, consciousness, embodiment, grounding, stabilization, and connectedness.
Why? The lines from energetic seed to manifested form are clear and direct due to a simple, uncomplicated, untangled and straightforward circuit.
Living a complex life leads to miscommunication, blurriness, ambiguity, obscurity, vagueness, entanglement, obstruction and twisted coils of unclear lines of delivery and transmission.
When you can simplify everything down to a core nucleus and have all your your work, your relationship with the self, your relationships with others and thus, your entire life—it can be a direct manifestation of what that centralized essence that you hold is for you.
The fundamental architecture of how you'd like to set up your entire life comes back to this. Simplify, simplify, simplify.