The topic of this month’s Senior Seminar, “Downsizing,” brought to mind many of you I’ve spoken to these past months who related you were using the time to sort, disperse and cull out the extras. One person was actually sitting at her dining table sorting through things when we visited! I need the motivation and so, together with your stories and the hope of a more simplistic life, I am researching steps to simplicity.
Turns out simplicity is one of the spiritual disciplines according to Richard Foster in his book, Spiritual Disciplines. Foster talks about the reasons simplicity is difficult in our society and also highlights the joys of embracing it. He doesn’t provide a nice succinct way to get there. But here are a few ideas from an Internet search about bringing simplicity to your life:
- Stop adding stress to your life, or as a Facebook meme put it, “Don’t add drama to your own drama.” To do this, ask your- self: Will this matter in five days? Will it matter in five months? Will it matter in five years?” Or perhaps: “When I faced other problems has God been faithful in my life?”
- Make your home simple by getting rid of clutter. If you don’t absolutely love something or if you haven’t used it in two years, take a picture of it and then get rid of it. The picture-taking works especially well if it is a “keepsake.”
- Cook more food than you will eat. This cuts out much clean-up and simplifies your life by having convenient nutritious food ready to go when life has “cluttered” your day.
- Eat slower. Put the fork down between bites. Savor.
- Look for the simple pleasures and enjoy fully. The sun, the sight of the trees blow- ing, the color of the flowers, a laugh with a friend, the taste of the coffee.
- Make notes. None of our memories are perfect, so writing lists, thoughts, ideas down helps to clear and “simplify” your mind to enjoy God moments and His peace.
- Practice gratitude. Focus on not what has broken along the way but what has come together in love.