Exploring Simplicity

How would you define ‘Simplicity’?

Easy, effortless, uncomplicated

There are many ways in which we can define simplicity but how do we achieve it?


IMAGE: Male client rests on a rocky outcrop looking towards the lighthouse at Wilsons Promontory.


In MedEx classes this week, we were invited to explore the theme of Simplicity through meditative exercises. Asked to define the word, I explained that Simplicity to me, is the stripping away, the unburdening of the busy mind, the state of being uncomplicated with a single focus. We were then instructed to walk across the room, one foot in front of the other. Sounds simple right? The catch is we had 40mins to cover 4metres.


Simplicity to me, is the stripping away, the unburdening of the busy mind, the state of being uncomplicated with a single focus.


It is interesting the narrative our minds play in this situation. What feelings arise; what judgments come up to distract us from the present moment? Is there an element of boredom? Frustration? A busy mind? Perhaps, you consider using the time to plan the day ahead or drift off into daydreams.


These moments when practiced mindfully have the ability to teach us about our avoidant behaviour and the opportunity to practice stillness to reduce stress, build resilience, and improve our general wellbeing.


Walking is an autonomous exercise, meaning that we don’t need to consider and instruct our bodies on what to do. This allows our brains to function on other tasks, more often a creative solution will arise when you take a walk. However, in this particular exercise, it was to practice maintaining focus in the room more mindfully.


IMAGE: A mindful walk along the boardwalks approaching the Cape Otway Lighthouse, Great Ocean Road.


Walking is an autonomous exercise, meaning that we don’t need to consider and instruct our bodies on what to do. This allows our brains to function on other tasks, more often a creative solution will arise when you take a walk.


Eyes closed, the first 10 mins I felt quite frustrated at just how painfully slow I was moving. Inching my toes along the floorboards then suddenly I experienced a shift. Intent on the sensations that would anchor me to this experience; the gentle movements, the hard boards under my feet, and my cyclical breath, it was as if everything fell away. A melodic sound bowl grounded me in the warm room, and the smell of essential oils hung in the air. The other people in the room were only known to my senses by the sound of their breath.


A chime rang out and the instructor announced that we had completed our session. My eyes opened; I was surprised to find that none of us had reached the other side of the room. After group discussion, we all shared the same sentiments of deep relaxation and surrender to the practice. I felt lighter.


We often overcomplicate things as humans. We overthink, overanalyze, and self-sabotage in the process of doing so. By stripping away the should, unburdening the overactive mind, and simplifying through sole focus, we have the ability to gain clarity, relieve tension and live a healthier happier life.


Meditation takes many forms. Walking with centered attention, particularly outdoors, invites the walker to immerse their senses in the natural surroundings. Clearing the busy mind is achievable when we tune into the sights, smells, touches, and sounds around us.


IMAGE: The simple life. Tent set up along the Great Ocean Walk hike in camp.


Meditation takes many forms. Walking with centered attention, particularly outdoors, invites the walker to immerse their senses in the natural surroundings. Clearing the busy mind is achievable when we tune into the sights, smells, touches, and sounds around us.


The simplicity of hiking, one foot in front of the other, is akin to meditation. There are certainly elements of a pack hiking trip where you are invited to sit (or walk) with certain uncomfortable feelings; be it a river crossing, carrying a pack, sleeping under the stars, and gives way to the opportunity to discover what the fear is behind these beliefs or assumptions. It is these situations that teach us resilience, and confidence and promote well-being – by getting a little out of our comfort zones.


If you’re keen to explore the simplicity of hiking, check out our upcoming events. Each of our guided hike experiences is fully supported by both Shannon and myself, with the supply of your lightweight gear- so no investment is needed. Experience the thrill of adventure by simply booking, we will do the rest!


A & S