Simplicity – A Desert Wisdom Card for Reflection, Art, and Practices


Simplicity – A Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 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

A search of the desert floor reveals a simple flower, the Mexican Golden Poppy.

Only four petals on this flower. Simple, yes, but there is evidence of a sense of grounding, of balance, and the cycle of life, on this small bit of the earth.

“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 work and play, solitude and relationship. It is about letting go of thoughts which rob you of valuable brain space and time. Simplicity encourages a re-thinking of commitments so that one has the time and energy to focus on the most essential of priorities.

It means cleaning up loose ends – old promises, unfinished business, a recycled to-do list – things that may be important, but linger in the 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, daily practices:

  • Journal reflection: What 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 while offering kindness to self and others?
  • Begin a simplicity practice. Schedule open spaces into your day, times blocked off for pauses, daydreaming, or creative thinking. These moments of quiet fill the well, re-charge your energy, give your brain a boost.


Bo Mackison is the creator of the Desert Wisdom Cards, a 56 card set in 3 series that feature a Sonoran Desert theme – its myths and stories, cultures and heritage, and the desert’s inspirational stark beauty. Each card has a desert photograph and a word for contemplation.

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. Simplify and declutter seems like a great idea.

  2. Sometimes the only time I get to be alone and not working is on an airplane. And that seems to work, too. Nice photo of a beautiful flower.

  3. I’m all about it, Simplicity. However, it’s not as easily done as one might think.

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