Simplicity – A Desert Wisdom Card

Simplicity - A Desert Wisdom Card

Simplicity in the Desert © 2013 Bo Mackison

Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more. ~ Jon Kabat-Zin

An intimate portrait of the desert floor reveals a microcosm.

Rocks, sand, dried bits of plants, shallow roots which disappear into the earth and then reappear a few rocks over, and delicate flowers sprouting the tiniest of blossoms. Simple, yes, but in this square foot of the earth there is a sense of grounding, of balance, and the cycle of life.

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity is not only about making space in your living space for living.

It is about making space in your life for your important work. It is about letting go of thoughts which rob you of valuable brain space and time. Simplicity means re-thinking your commitments so that you have the time and energy to focus on your priorities.

It means cleaning up loose ends – old promises, unfinished business, a recycled to-do list – things that seem important but remain in a circular file in your brain, stealing time and cluttering valuable space.

. . . choosing simplicity whenever possible adds to life an element of deepest freedom which so easily eludes us, and many opportunities to discover that less may actually be more. ~ Jon Kabat-Zin

SIMPLICITY offers questions/reflections for journal writing, art activities, calls for action:

  • Journal reflection: What time robbers or brain drains make it difficult to nurture the activities which support you, feed your soul and spirit, allow you to focus on the projects which serve you and others?
  • Begin a simplicity practice. Schedule open spaces into your day, times blocked off for pauses, daydreaming, or creative thinking spurts. These moments of quiet dwelling fill the well, charge your energy, give your brain a boost. If necessary, pen them on your calendar and respect them as you would any important appointment.
  • One more commitment often leads to another commitment, and another. Counter this chain reaction with chain art. Create a paper chain as a simple reminder of simplicity practices. Cut strips of paper approximately 1″ by 5″. In bold letters, write a message on each strip to remind you of the importance of simplifying your days. “See less, see more.”  “Simplicity = Freedom.” Add several phrases of your own. Then staple or glue the strips into a chain and hang where it is easily seen. A chain art reminder!


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  Bo is creating a deck  of Wisdom Cards. The first set, the Desert Wisdom Cards, feature a Sonoran Desert theme – its myths and stories, cultures and heritage, and the desert’s remarkable natural beauty and resources.




About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I love that photo Bo! I’m also a devotee of simplicity.

  2. Wonderful photo, Bo. Another perfectly timed (for me) card. I have blocked off some time for myself this week for a little at-home retreat. Plenty of time for daydreaming. 🙂

  3. Incredible. I’m speechless.

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