“For me, elegance is not to pass unnoticed but to get to the very soul of what one is.”
– Christian Lacroix
Elegance is not simplicity for the sake of effacing one’s self. Elegance is simplicity for the sake of showing only one’s self.
Before one can show only oneself, one must first know one’s essence and abide by it.
Knowing one’s self, one’s essence, is a never-ending process. It requires a certain effort to question oneself. Who am I, REALLY? Yet the more and more you question your self, the more you know what is essential to you – and what is not.
There can only be essential things if there are also unessential ones.
The important thing for you is to know which is which.
Face it. Not all of the things in life are essential to you. But what is essential to you is your responsibility to find out. It is imperative for you to know your self because in knowing yourself deeper and deeper, you discover the joys that come from what is truly essential.
Abiding only in essence – this is the beauty of elegance.
It is going to the core, to the fundamental, to the essential. It is the dropping of the superfluous, the secondary, the unessential.
Are you being elegant?
Or is there a lot of things in your life that don’t really go to your very soul?
Are there people you relate to that you aren’t really in resonance with?
Do you still go to places and events where you don’t really feel like you belong?
If so, why is it that you are keeping those things that are not aligned with your essence?
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
– Bruce Lee
Why be elegant anyway?
When you hack away at the unessential, your life gets lighter and lighter. Spaciousness becomes a reality. You create more space for the joy in which you dwell in the things that are essential. You create space in which you can breathe and express who you are.
This elegance does not just apply to your life in general, but to specific activities as well.
A martial artist and a brawler can be told apart by their motions. The untrained brawler has a raw strength borne of recklessness and ignorance. He wastes a lot of energy in his motion. The trained martial artist moves with a refined power borne of self-knowledge and awareness. All of his motions have a purpose.
To live more elegantly, be more aware of the things you do and how you do them.
What is essential and unessential in these activities?
Whether it be cooking, dancing, singing, driving your car, walking, talking, taking a bath, doing your school or office work, gardening, taking up a sport, etc., all can be seen for what is essential and unessential.
You have a limited time and energy, and so elegance preserves those scarce resources.
Self-knowledge and awareness of the essential leads to a purposefulness in your movements. No motion is wasted. Every movement becomes purposeful. Every thing becomes purposeful.
This is elegance.
Are you living an elegant life?