The quality or condition of being plain or natural.
When I read the word "plain", I must admit a part of me reacts adversely, draws back, even pushes back in rebellion. "Nah," an inner voice whispers, "I want to rise into the full vibrant nature of life, the elaborate and multi-textured pulse of existence!" Somewhere along the line I came to view "plain" and "alive" as contrary, yet to no surprise, I am experiencing again and again how intricately connected and integrated they are.
I think it's safe to say I am a master of complexity, particularly at the start of the creative process in which I weave visions so full of possibility, so full of options I can barely see through my own web. In truth, I love this aspect of the creative process - the energetic bubbling up of inspiration that is given life through uninhibited expression, whether in movement, writing or drawing. There is a FREEDOM, an exuberance even, to express and create without censorship. In many of my studies, this is a step that is emphasized, even upheld and honored as essential...this process that FREES us from form ~ that frees us from limitation ~ that frees us from habitual patterns and ideas of "right-doing" or "wrong-doing".
To express and create without censorship indeed frees AND leads us to places beyond what we already know. Beautiful and vibrant in nature, this seeming chaotic mess is often the base and springboard for breathtaking creativity. And yet, for me, I cannot arrive to this place nor bring any of these seeds to fruition without an equal amount of silence and simplicity.
Otherwise known as pure and effortless, simplicity is a place free of pretense and complication. It is often the reason we come to the mat, to the earth, to the dance...to shed the cobwebs that obscure awareness and simply arrive to that which is essential. It is often within this quiet simplicity that inspiration is born ~ where the creative impulse informs us. It is also within this simplicity that a profusion of creative ideas can be refined and distilled to the most fundamental and potent of forms.
We are each artists. The canvas is our lives. As we create experience upon experience, how often do we allow the plain and ordinary aspects of simplicity to inform us? How often do we take a journey toward the kind of ease and naturalness that is not bound in time? How much freedom do we offer ourselves to move back and forth between simplicity and complexity, to allow the two seemingly opposite poles to infuse our movement and our lives with greater depth, color, and potency?
Movement Exploration: To begin, SLOW DOWN. Rest and root into the Present. The incessant chatter of mind may continue ~ do not resist. Simply observe and redirect your awareness to the sensations in your body, the sound of your breath, the feeling of your weight on the earth. Rather than rushing into movement, pay attention to the movement of awareness. Notice where it settles. The simplest things are the most extraordinary. Let them reveal themselves. From this place initiate movement. Start small. Explore how subtle your movement can be. What is most essential? As the impulse to expand intensifies, follow that. See where it takes you. Expand into the fullness of movement, the freedom of possibility. And then...again...slow down, simplify your movement. What do you notice?
Elegance is achieved when, having discarded all superfluous things, we discover simplicity and concentration; the simpler the pose, the better; the more sober, the more beautiful. --Paulo Coelho