By Susan "Honey" Good
"Tis a gift to be simple, Tis a gift to be free. ‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be. And when we find ourselves In the place that’s right, twill be in a valley of love and delight." 19th Century Shaker Hymn
Reading this little poem gives me immeasurable pleasure. I reread it often; each time, feeling my body de-stress and unwind. I am embracing simplicity.
It would be dream-like to believe we can always ‘simply be.’ Nevertheless, this poem empowered me to re-examine my lifestyle, a mix of utter razzle and dazzle that often puts me into a state of utter frazzle.
I wanted to keep the razzle-dazzle and minimize the frazzle in my life style. And, being of this mindset, I have succeeded somewhat in doing just that.
Sometimes I think I am the most determined person I know and it has held me in good stead with my husband, mother, daughters and 24 Grands because I am determined to try and be the best wife, daughter, MOM and Honey to my 24 Grands. And to my close friends, there is nothing to stop me from being there for them in happy and other times.
To ‘simply be’ with my kind of lifestyle was very difficult. It was unnatural as I struggled with my habits and feelings. It is difficult at best to charter new waters.
Over the course of time, I was able to tune into my true inner self and I began to delete. I said ‘no’ to others, to organizations, to luncheons. I am more a yes person than a no person and I said ‘yes’ to myself. It was a breath of fresh air.
I changed my schedule.
I set a ‘definite’ time each day to write and a ‘place’ in my home that brought me joy. This created a happy and self-imposed discipline. It has become another breath of fresh air.
When I am at our home in California I take time to tend my little herb garden. I remember to play my favorite French music in my car and turn music on in our home that lets me ‘simply be.’ I love the sound of wind chimes and hung them around our home in California. I had a dwarf Olive tree planted at the edge of my small private patio because in my mind, it is God’s tree. I spend a lot of alone time with my husband, travel to see our Grands more often and take Orchid, my pooch, on daily walks. I have chosen, with some success, to change my lifestyle in ways that brings me joy, blending what I deem pleasurable ‘simplicity’ with the razzle and dazzle of my life.
More of my thoughts on embracing simplicity...
Clarity: By our age we know who we are and what is important! Take some quiet time to explore your inner self and what works for you.
De-clutter: Our home and our workplace should be our haven from the outside world. My little studio was not a haven! Papers! I solved this problem by learning to file my papers in folders on my Apple. I embraced simplicity by placing a limited number of cherished possessions on my desk. My favorite book: Gift From the Sea is next to my bedside and has been since I was twenty-five years old. My favorite paperweight in the peaceful color of blue; my favorite picture of my husband, Shelly, my favorite flower, an Orchid and four gifts from girlfriends, my favorite a gift from my girlfriend, Sharon, a lavender crystal angel are on view in my small office area.
Relationships: Step back from unimportant relationships and devote extra time to the important.
Health: By pursuing a simpler life you will become healthier. Be mindful of the moment by living in the present. Realize that less truly is more.
Gift Yourself: Take time to smell the flowers. Enjoy who and what you love; a husband or significant other, your family, Grands, travel, girlfriends, hobbies and alone time.
A Journal: I strongly suggest keeping a journal. Expressing your thoughts, in writing, is emotionally uplifting and a great discipline. At the end of the month reread your journal. You may live into many answers.
I want to leave you on this lovely Sunday with a few words of wisdom.
~ Living a lifestyle that allows you to ‘simply be’ is worth its weight in gold.
~ Replace the word ‘more’ in your mind, with the word ‘less’ because I have found that… less is more.
Take stock of your lifestyle. Keep what is marvelous. Discipline yourself to remove what is not.
Have a lovely Sunday.