Upon first look one may not notice that I took time or made an effort to “dress” myself. It’s hard to see when my presentation of “dressed” is a tee shirt and jeans. That’s if I’m lucky. More often its a tee shirt and yoga pants. Perhaps it is because I am from a rural town where fashion doesn’t seem to matter much or that I like a laid-back look but, despite my efforts, getting “dressed” is always a trial. This past New Year I set my resolution to “overdress” determined to mediate this ongoing journey in my life, and almost immediately failed to maintain this resolve.
My mother has always said with fashion, less is more. My mother is a very well dressed woman, always looks great. Everywhere she goes people compliment her on her sartorial charms. Style icon to many of my friends throughout my life with an effortless ease and timeless attire. For my mother, the less is more rule has always worked.
In “dressing” myself I have taken the less is more rule to an extreme state that, as I have already noted, I struggle to liberate myself from. However, this rule applies to so much more than fashion. In fashion the idea is too much distracts from the central focus, the person wearing the clothes. Too much distracts, frays attention, and creates discordant confusion. The rule of less is more translates to all walks of life. To art, work, relationship. Less can even be more when it comes to food, and money. Of course, less is not more if simple basic needs for survival are not being met, but there is such a thing as enough. We experience that every time we take a deep breath. The breath in fact is a beautiful guide to our awareness of enough. When we start to think we need more, more, more, we can take a deep breath and try to suck in more, more, more, and realize somewhere in there we had enough…which amounted to less.
It is a part of the nature of the human brain to have many different things to focus on. However, there is a state where, like the breath, overthinking is too much and as a result a mind becomes congested, fragmented, confused, and frayed. For the mind less is also more. And while less might often be synonymous with simple it does not necessarily translate to easy, it just means less. It means working smarter, not harder. It means being more clear. It means moving toward elegant effortlessness. It means surrendering more, for enough.
On the yoga mat, less is also more. It is common to bring so much with us to our yoga mat that we forget what we are doing there. We forget what our motives are, where our intentions are rooted, what our purpose for the practice is. When we come to the mat with too much on our minds a lack of focus not only disconnects us from having a deep and potent practice, it can and does lead to injury. Taking the less is more approach in our practice enables us to focus and turn attention in, get quiet with our mindstuff, and enjoy the bliss of being.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote ““In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity”. In the simplicity of less is more is a freedom to enjoy more time, more ease, more peace, and more heartfelt joy. And although my struggle with fashion continues I persist my adherence to the less is more approach on and off the mat. Because while it may someday bring my fashionable expressions of myself up to a more elegant state of grace, it more importantly continues to bring me peace of mind and peace in life.
With Love, Always, In All Ways, For Giving, In Joy,