[success]Harmony is one phase of the law whose spiritual expression is love. ~ James Allen[/success]

What’s the difference between simplicity and minimalism?  I’ve been reading a lot about both lately and I must say it seems to mean different things to different people.

Hey, we’ve even reached the stage where we have magazines based on simplicity and minimalism.  It’s become mainstream…and yet, strangely, I found myself swimming against the tide.

I’m definitely not in the same category as one of my friends, who was perfectly happy with a room, some books and his weights.

On top of which, I would never have made a pioneer woman, travelling the countryside in a conestoga…I always loved my hair dryer too much.

So there was me, and there were those who took to whatever their version of simplicity and/or minimalism is, like a duck to water.

The challenge I had, was that neither of these words resonated with me.  I couldn’t get a feeling to connect to them.  I got the intellectual concept, the idea of less clutter…yes please.  Or the idea of slowing down…especially if that means lounging around in a hammock with one of these teeny cocktails in my hand.

It wasn’t until I connected simplicity and minimalism with harmony that my soul sang.

And the concept of simplifying my actions from the point of view am I operating from fear or love was the icing on the cake for me.

I finally got it.

I know, I know, there are times when I don’t always fit in with mainstream thinking and there are times when it takes me a while to get to the essence of why something is so popular.

Sometimes I never get there, and I’m okay with that too.

But now that I’ve discovered the core of what simplicity/minimalism means to me ~ I like it.

It all boils down to energy.

Doesn’t everything?

Whatever it is you desire…it isn’t the thing itself that matters, it’s the feeling that’s generated by having the thing, the essence of why you want it.

Those who embrace simplicity or minimalism are probably, like me, choosing harmony in their life.  Probably along with a little peace and contentment.

sai baba8

It’s all good.  There’s nothing right or wrong with any of these words of course…they’re just words that conjure up feelings within us.  And since we’re for ever speaking ourselves into being it’s probably a good idea to choose the words that feel good and in harmony with our deeper selves.

Find the essence of what it is you want and go for that.  Doesn’t matter much what we call it…it’s just a label after all.

So if it’s simplicity and minimalism for you…I applaud you.  We’re all creating our own symphony as we dance to the music of our life.

Words have different energies, my consciousness interprets harmony in a way that’s…well harmonious to me and once I connected simplicity and minimalism to harmony, woohoo.  By George she’s got it.

Which brings me to Ubuntu.

I first heard about this via David Icke and this is from his website:

An anthropologist proposed a game to children of an African tribe.  He put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the kids that the first one to reach the fruit would win them all.  When he told them to run, they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat down together enjoying the fruits.

When asked why they ran like that, as one could have taken all the fruit for themselves, they said “Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?”

Ubunto is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am, because we are.”

I had a greater understanding of the place that ‘harmony’ has in my life. It is about simplicity and minimalism, not just in surroundings but in us.  It’s about our beingness, about living in harmony with our world and everyone in it.

According to African tradition each of us have love as a natural internal state of being.  To experience other than love takes us out of harmony with ourselves and leads to our own unhappiness and that of our world.

This love within us manifests itself in good deeds, in sensitivity to one another, to caring and being compassionate towards each other and in being kind and generous and forgiving.

Well hey, of course that leads to happiness in our world.  Think of the vibration of energy we’re surrounded in.  Pretty high on the scale of power versus force.

Bishop Tutu puts it this way:

“Hey, so-and-so has Ubuntu. Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours. We belong in a bundle of life. We say, a person is a person through other persons.

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are treated as if they were less than who they are.”

We are all interconnected, living in a matrix of mutual benefit.  We are all one in the truest sense of the word.  What affects me, affects you albeit indirectly. What affects you, affects me in the same way.

Our reality is totally interrelated.  And if we all do even a little bit of good every day we are like twinkling lights stringing good together all across the world and the world becomes even more beautiful.

If we allow ourselves to be guided by the values of Ubuntu we are living in harmony with everything, measured solely by our actions, which stem from our intentions.

Together we can all be what we are meant to be…our greatest and most glorious self.

Now that floats my boat.

Let’s never be to busy to be able to practice the love and compassion of Ubuntu.

Anyone with me?

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Elle,

    Great message. I just love how you brought out that concept of the fact that we are all “interconnected, living in a matrix of mutual benefit. We are all one in the truest sense of the word. What affects me, affects you albeit indirectly. What affects you, affects me in the same way.”

    Beautiful expression of the thought. We are all indeed connected, and when we hurt one another, we all are hurt. When we cheer (or encourage) one another, we can all win. Beautifully done (as usual)! 🙂

    Have a wonderful week.

    • Elle

      Why thank you, kind sir. Now you are my big encourager and I love it. 🙂

  2. Elle,
    I’m totally with you!! And I love the message of Ubantu! I’ve never heard of it before today. I need to read more about it. Any recommendations?

    I can understand your feelings about simplicity and minimalism. For me they are two distinct things. I’m not sure I’d want to be a minimalist. I have so much that means something to me. And yet the simple things in life are the greatest, often it’s recipes, books, a piece of art can be simple yet profound. And of course the very simplest are love, touch, a sunset/sunrise that make up a wonderful contentment that money can’t buy.

    Thank you for the introduction to Ubantu and the reminders about simplicity. Love the quotes, too.


    • Elle

      Betsy you are so right, there’s so much that touch our hearts and souls and that’s the true essence of those simple but profound things you mention. I’m just a beginner myself…but as always the internet is a wonderful tool of discovery. 🙂

  3. Hi Elle,

    Love the concept of Ubuntu. I have not heard of that either, so wonderful to be clued into a new philosophy. I do find the concept of simplicity and minimalism interesting and try to work it into my life when I can, but definitely not a purest. More and more I am embracing letting go of things that I don’t need and getting rid of clutter. I don’t like to be overflowing with stuff. But it can be a challenge at times. I like to have my life relatively simple. Thanks for sharing!

    • Elle

      That’s the phrase Cathy, not being a purist. That’s exactly it isn’t it? I think you already live the philosophy of Ubuntu…what you do just hasn’t been called that. 🙂

  4. I have heard of Ubuntu – this was years ago when Sury had Ubuntu OS installed in his computer along with Windows. We had to look for something online and that’s how I came across the non-technical real Ubuntu 🙂 I love the concept of I am, because we are – because it packs up my life philosophy in this little sentence. Lovely post and quotes, Elle! Trust you had a good trip!

    Hugs, Vidya

    • Elle

      I knew you’d love it Vidya…the concept totally fits you to a T. 🙂

  5. This article which I have read twice and will probably read more than once again resonates. Thanks you so much for sharing how you define simplicity. I have expressed what that means to me in my blog. In a nutshell here is my definition:

    “Choosing to live the simple life involves severing attachment to things, clearing clutter from your mind and premises, and replenishing mindfully. Frugal living is making do with what you have. Simple living is about learning how to do more for yourself. Conscious living is choosing to have less impact on the planet. ”

    Thirty years ago my hubby and I had a dream. We wanted to move, build our own home and business and live a frugal life, free of debt. We are living that dream. We live a very rustic lifestyle in a semi-remote location by choice and there’s little doubt that the label voluntary simplicity fits. We draw water from our own well and chop waste wood for heat. Though we are on the electrical grid and have computers that where our luxuries end. There are no services where we live and that means we don’t have to “haul ass” to make enough money to pay for what don’t need or want. Wasting not and wanting not, rarely purchasing anything new.

    We have no expectation that others will choose to live the kind of lifestyle that we do and don’t
    project that on anyone. We love each other. We love where we live and we love what we do to make our living (pottery and art). We wish every living being on this planet well, for we are all interconnected and we are happy to be part of that oneness.

    • Elle

      That’s so wonderful. I love your story, sounds like you’re living your perfect life. Loving it all the way you do…it can’t get any better than that. Kudos to you and hubby. 🙂

  6. Well Elle put me on that list of never hearing about Ubuntu before. Thank you for sharing. I am really into letting go of things. Life is to good to clutter it up. I would rather enjoy the memories of the moment than the clutter we can gather.Thanks aain,

    • Elle

      It’s interesting Debbie how unique we all are in our interpretations of the simple things in life. Love to hear about it. 🙂

  7. I think “minimalism” would be taking it too far for me. I like my modern conveniences too (a shower is a must!) and it seems like minimalists are content with absolutely the bare necessities.

    I go more for simple. Don’t buy, own or keep anything more than you absolutely need to be happy.

    • Elle

      Hi Terry, I like your point of view. Reaching a time in life when I discovered that the whole point of desiring ‘stuff’ is not really about the acquisition at all but about the becoming and the qualities you begin to embrace along the way until the focus turns more to the becoming than the having and strangely enough, the having happens automatically. It’s always about expanding ourselves isn’t it and for some keeping things to the minimum seems to work best. 🙂

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