Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Live Simply

"Tis a gift to be simple; Tis a gift to be free..."

These are the words of an old song; I believe Quaker in origin. I love them. It is a gift to be simple.

Our confusion comes in thinking about the word, "simple." Simple doesn't mean short on intelligence. Simple doesn't imply an inability to understand. Simple is...well...simple! It teaches us to be uncluttered and unencumbered in this life.

Why uncluttered? Because one of the most pressing anxieties we have is our attachment to "things." When we desire something we create an attachment to it emotionally, physically and spiritually. Often our attachments keep us from fulfilling our truest self. For example, I love chocolate ice cream...alot. If I continue to allow my attachment to that object, I suffer. Emotionally, I berate myself for my lack of will power. Physically, I feel unwell and my body is in a state of ill health. Spiritually, when I give myself over to that attachment, I create a barrier between me and my higher self. All of this attachment encumbers my life and disallows me the freedom to simply live.

So why is this on my mind now? Because life is becoming over-cluttered and over-encumbered and I'm feeling the effects of it all. The stress of an encumbered life does a number on you. And as I look back over the years, I've allowed myself to become further buried under mountains of attachments: education, finances, tragedies...things. And all have worked together to put me in a place of stagnation. Stagnant is certainly not a place of growing. And we all must grow to live...if not, we're dying.

I look around my house and there's stuff everywhere. I've never been a cluttery sort of person, but here I am in the midst of stuff that needs to be done. I've neglected my physical self for so long that I struggle to do the most mundane of tasks. I eat poorly. Sleep poorly. Exercise poorly. It's no wonder I feel the way I do. And all of it affects my spiritual well-being beyond measure. So what keeps me in bondage to it all? Me. Just me. I am responsible for my life.

We've gotten away from personal responsibility in recent years. If you're unhappy, it's your mom's fault. If you can't keep a job, it's your boss' fault. Ad infinitum. No. All things are under your control. True, you cannot control what "happens." Happenings happen all the time. What can you control? Your response to them all. My response to them all.

So, in response to the stressors in my life, I buried myself under mounds of objects and food. But there comes a time when you face yourself in the mirror and realize all is not how you expected it to be. Life is a chore. And that's when it hits you...simplify. Take control and simplify life so I can truly live.

So, today Goddess speaks to me of simplicity. I'm being urged to clean out the clutter, organize and do away with many of the attachments in my life. I am compelled to care more about myself and my health. And I know deep in my heart of hearts that by doing so, I will set my spirit free, as well as my mind and body.

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