A New Moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.
What nine months of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings will do
for your gradually growing wholeness.
— Rumi from The Essential Rumi
Your life is an overflowing closet. You know it is. There are sweatshirts folded up in a corner of your mind where your children’s birthdays should be stored. That worry about the rust on the car is taking up the space that you had reserved for a slow cup of tea in the morning. I know how you feel. And guess what? There’s a way to get stuff back where it belongs: let go of some of it.
Living lightly is not just about the stuff we accumulate, and it’s not just for people in the second half of life. It’s about an attitude of living with fewer burdens and encumbrances, whether you’re twenty-one or sixty-five. When done with honest self-awareness, the journey toward living more lightly has moved me to realize that I am blessed by less. Less stuff and worries have opened space to live with more contentment and meaning. Living lightly reminds me that my existence is more than accumulating possessions and status. Ultimately, I am on a spiritual pilgrimage.
As I continue to strip away the unnecessary stuff in my closets and mind, I’ve been able to see more clearly how much is enough and how much is more than enough. It’s a delicate dance to balance my own genuine needs with those of others. The spiritual paradox is that the less tightly I cling to my stuff, my way, and my concerns, the happier and more blessed I feel. Once I have enough, less is more.
— Susan V. Vogt excerpted from Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly
The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as one, two, three and to a hundred or a thousand. We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.
— Henry David Thoreau
A Simple Prayer for Lent
Constant Companion, who walks down every path we take,
Slow our hurried steps and steady our anxious souls in these moments. We seek your guidance us on our Lenten journey. Help us to let go and carry only what is needed. Turn us to face ourselves admitting our tendencies toward greed and pride. Relieve our condemnation of others transforming our hearts with understanding. Restore our common communion. Illuminate our paths with the life giving words of those who walk in the ways of the One who is above us, within us, beneath us, behind us and beside us. Amen.
— Janet Salbert from Simple Prayer
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
— Camille Pissarro
To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.
— Barbara Brown Taylor excerpt from An Altar in the World
Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
— Albert Einstein
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry