The Challenge of Finding Abundance in Simplicity

So. Many. Choices.
As I make my way down the aisle of the grocery store, I my brain begins to feel sensory overload. The boxes lining the shelves create a multi-colored tapestry of product options.
The abundance ought to create a feeling of gratefulness. The variety of packages testify to the number of individuals whose livelihood is connected to them. Furthermore, I can choose cereal according to my exact expectations: taste, texture, color, sweetness, ingredients.
But instead, I find my mind paralyzed by the varying fonts competing for my attention. How do I make a decision?
I am reminded of my time in Sweden.  As a college exchange student, I observed as well as breathed in the cultural differences.  Simplicity dots the landscape. Small stores may limit choices but not the quality of life.  Each trip is infused with intention. Intention gives birth to creativity: How can you make use of what you have? And Community: with whom can you share your resources?
Life is simplified.
Recent research suggests that choice overload can contribute to anxiety. In fact, many children’s discipline issues may be related to our desire to be surrounded by abundance. Parents are urged to minimize activity and toy choices for their children.  “Too much” can be “too much.”
But I don’t think it’s only kids that could use a new approach. 
Think about how long it takes to decide on a restaurant with a group of people or make a choice from an overflowing menu?
Perhaps, we challenge ourselves to identify what staples are necessary from the grocery store this week and create meals only from them.
Perhaps, we challenge ourselves to eat from a limited amount of restaurants this month and choose to eat something new from them.
What might we learn about finding abundance in simplicity?
This post was written for the Five Minute Friday Writing Community. Come join us!

6 thoughts on “The Challenge of Finding Abundance in Simplicity

  1. heartbeatoftime

    Thank you for your thoughts on how simplicity actually enriches our lives. Your reflections on your time in Sweden reminded me very much of my time in Lithuania! The simplicity of that life allowed me more time for reflection and a deeper appreciation for the vividness of the life experiences I was given there. I really appreciate your insightful reflections!

  2. pourcettetemps

    ‘how can you make use of what you have?’ yes..this question is key
    Oh there is so much overload. I would love to be in a simplified space where i wasnt taking in so much visual overwhelm but it is an emotionally and mentally exhausting task. I suppose small steps are better than none
    Joining up with you for the fmf prompt


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