August! The last days of summer. Some of us are already in the throes of back-to-school shopping and pre-fall activities. Before we become too engrossed in all our year end work projects and school events, let’s take a moment to reflect on how we might want to approach the upcoming busy season. Last summer I did a series of posts on Simplicity – “Eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak” (Hans Hofmann). The posts that received the most attention were the ones I wrote on learning to say no. So this month, I’m reposting them in the hopes that we all learn to eliminate the unnecessary.
repost from June 10, 2014 Crazy Busy
As we delve into the topic of living a life full of simplicity, it’s time to address your to-do list. Those activities that keep you busy, busy, busy.
Brene Brown talks about wearing our busyness as a badge of honor. In her book, Daring Greatly, Brown suggests that our culture has become one which equates being busy with being important. “One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call crazy-busy… We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.”This fear-based strategy causes us to hide behind our active to-do list and not look too deeply into the inner recesses of our hearts. We are afraid of what we might see deep down there in our space of inner knowingness. We are afraid that we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not whatever-you-want enough. Are you too busy hiding behind the mask of activities to discover who-you-really-are and why you are here on this earth?
Is the focus of our lives to rush from one activity to another? To take our kids from one after school activity to another, every single day?
What happened to quiet time? Time to think, time to chill, time to quiet the mind and listen to our heart’s desires?
Try it. Try simplifying your life so that you have time. Time to breathe, time to notice the flowers in the garden, time to sit with an ailing parent, time to be present in your life.
Brené invites us to ask the following questions. “Are my choices comforting and nourishing my spirit, or are they temporary reprieves from vulnerability and difficult emotions ultimately diminishing my spirit? Are my choices leading to my Wholeheartedness, or do they leave me feeling empty and searching?”
My request to you this summer day: Sit on the porch with a glass of lemonade and just look around. Think of your to-do list; not with the idea of what you will accomplish tomorrow – no. Look at it as you ask yourself this question, ‘Is this activity nourishing my soul?
Bring to mind the quote from Hans Hofmann, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.“ How do you make room for the necessary in your life? We’ll learn more about the art of saying no in the upcoming posts, but for now, think about making room for activities that nourish your soul.