Sunday, July 27, 2014

Living in Your Life

The Vacation, by Wendell Berry

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.

He went flying down the river in his boat

with his video camera to his eye,

making a moving picture of the moving river

upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly

toward the end of his vacation.

He showed his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,

preserving it forever: the river, the trees,

the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat

behind which he stood with his camera

preserving his vacation even as he was having it

so that after he had had it he would still have it.

It would be there. With a flick of a switch, there it would be.

But he would not be in it. He would never be in it.

I hope you are living "in" your life today. And that you are developing an awareness, a sense of what it feels like to be present there. If you want more, keep seeking and asking.  Sometimes our  inspiration is found in simple quietness, sometimes in Nature, at other times through reading.  Below are some reading suggestions:

A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy, by Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist.

Lessons from Madame Chic, by Jennifer L. Scott: ways we can learn from the French to make the most of life.  You may want to start with Part Three on living well.


Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me . . .  learn the unforced rhythms of grace. . . . Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.                                                                      Matt 11:28-30, The Message 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Well, I have obviously pared down my writing of any blog posts, eh?!  

I trust none of you out there have held your breath waiting to hear from me.  Surely you have found a plethora of other well-thought-out articles on simplifying life.

What I find for myself in this process of wanting to encourage you to pare down and enjoy life more is this:  if you simply look around, there are tons of people having the same conversation.  And I'm too busy enjoying my free time to want to re-write what they're saying!!

Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist often shares links to other people's writings.  I perused the handful he posted recently and wanted to share this one with you about what we accumulate:
For Many People, Gathering Possessions Is Just the Stuff of Life

I've particularly been noticing the question of what to do with all the books we collect that have meant so much to us.
Does getting rid of some of the books on your bookshelves mean that you are not well-read or that you are less smart?  Do you return to those books to seek out information in them?  Do you refer to all of them or just a handful?  If you move them out of the house, do you risk losing any of the wisdom they have given you?
Cleaning out and ordering our stuff can have a strong effect on us, empowering us to move on to some really big things.  Gretchen Rubin recalls the friend who told her, "I cleaned out my fridge and now I can change careers."

No matter where you are in this situation of owning stuff, it's good to consider it every once in a while.  It's good to take responsibility for what you own -- partly so that you don't leave a mess for someone else to deal with in when you're gone and also because it makes a difference in how you live now.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wow - another year come and gone in the wink of an eye.  I hope you feel inspired to tidy up, let go of some things that either aren't beautiful or useful any more.  If you need a little talkin' to, give me a call -- see if we can get you on track : )

                          "Ring out the old, ring in the new 
                           Ring, happy bells, across the snow            
                           The year is going, let him go 
                            Ring out the false, ring in the true."
                                                  English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thursday, October 31, 2013

One of the ways to get things done is to take baby steps.  You've heard of it, right?  Small steps will get you there.  If a baby step gets you, for instance, four inches across the floor, it has two effects.

One is the actual distance you've just covered.
But the other effect is almost supernatural.  It sort of doubles or triples itself.  It's the effect of creating hope, encouragement, a little fire in us.  A feeling of "Oh - this is not so bad after all.  I feel great that I cleared out the floor of my closet.  I want to work on the rest tomorrow!"

We are all prone to making excuses.  But, if we would stop making excuses and take a baby step, we would find we're moving clearly toward some of the things we want most.  (It's amazing how much happier a woman is if her closet is under control.)  What do you want to take a small step towards today?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Most folks these days have accumulated more keepsakes than we really know what to do with.  To figure out how to deal with all those precious memories and treasures, read this article published by Houzz about editing with confidence.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, I decided to post about getting stuff done and feeling better about life.  However, as I searched the web for images on the topic, I came across two great articles that said basically that same thing.

Check out this article about 'chunking' your to-do list by Jennifer at Teach Good Stuff.

Getting to (part of) the heart of this issue is the glorification of busyness, addressed by Ashlee Thurlow in her post about Ending Overwhelm.  Read on .  .  .  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Who of Us Can Not Worry?

Recently I read Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art Speech which he delivered as a commencement address in 2012 at Philadelphia's University of the  Arts.  One part particularly grasped me, as I recognized it as a noose around so many of our own necks.
Gaiman relates  how, at the height of his success with Sandman, he was given some advice by Stephen King, King referring to the masses who were attending his book signings and his general popularity, "This is really great.  You should enjoy it."
Gaiman calls this "the best advice I ever got . . . . but I didn't take it."  Instead I worried about it.
I worried about the next deadline, 
the next idea, the next story.
There wasn't a moment for the next fourteen or fifteen years 
that I wasn't writing something in my head, 
or wondering about it.

And I didn't stop and look around and go, 
this is really fun.
I wish I'd enjoyed it more.
It's been an amazing ride.
But there were parts of the ride I missed,
because I was too worried about things going wrong, 
about what came next,
to enjoy the bit I was on.

That was the hardest lesson for me, I think:
to let go
       and enjoy the ride
           because the ride takes you
                  to some remarkable and unexpected places.

(from Fantastic Mistakes, by Neil Gaiman)