Saturday, March 22, 2014

Minimalism


           There is a spiritual body of work,  called “A Course in Miracles” – fundamental tenant for which states we are all one at a soul level. So yes, you may be a banker and I, a writer…You may be male, and I female, but beneath the personas (i.e the faces) we present to the world, at our core, (read: underlying soul level) we are all the same: sharing same needs for love and meaning, sharing the same longings and desires, though our life paths and lessons tied thereto may appear vastly different.
            What this also means is that when I have a thought or something nudging at me,  odds are good it’s not all that unique. I'm just tapping the universal vibe. When I face a concern, well, you are probably facing it too, though it may show up in various ways depending on where our individual life paths may lead, but bottom line, we’re all in this together.
            I make mention of this because, here of late, I’ve been noticing how many of my conversations (with no forethought or preplanned outcome) have circled back to two timely topics: namely “I’m overwhelmed” and this concept of “Minimizing”.
            Little did I know so many people were feeling it too. I mean, yes, we’re Americans. Yes, in living the dream we’re each questioning the dream when it arrives (or when we fall short). We’re absorbing so much non essential data (be it in junk we buy we didn’t need; tv shows we watch, that are bland; or commitments we commit to, that are far from uplifting, but rather drain our very life’s blood….(But we hang in anyway, because, hey...that’s what everybody else is doing…At least we fit in somewhere.)
            Mixing business with pleasure (when you run your own shop, you get to do this) I had dinner tonight with two friends whose life paths are about as different from my own as night and day. “They” are happily married. “I” am single, (albeit it, happily so). “They” haven’t a money worry in the world.  “I” struggle to keep the bills paid. “They” are contemplating “How do I simplify” while I am …Wait! I’m trying to simplify too! Keep peeling those onion layers and you’d be amazed to find how much you have in common with folks whose lives appear to be lived in 180 opposition from your own.
            After dinner I share my newfound research on “Minimalism”…I mean, Could we do it? Could we really scrap our 3000 square foot homes (theirs, a bit o’ bit larger) and our acreage of land requiring constant maintenance (which magnifies and multiplies when you’ve got to pull weeds to keep your plants growing). I mean…for all they could afford, and all I aspire to complete…we found ourselves (no. our Souls found us) honing in on this common topic of “How do I simplify as to make more time for my soul?”
            Bottom line: our similarities were identical at the level of soul. They too, want to simplify. To offload the excess. To make their days more meaningful. Mine might include cleaning a garage while theirs involves selling off property, but at the soul level, our wants and our internal compasses were all pointed toward the same North Star.
            It’s in moments like these that I am reminded that everyone who crosses your path comes bearing a gift. Some days you may have to dig for that gift. Other days, it plops itself right there on your plate of fajitas as you ask “OK. Are you serious?” Today’s gift was one of perspective. Of thinking “You guys have reached great pinnacles of career success, while, I still dream of mine.” Of realizing “You have your challenges too” (how often do we assume rich people could buy their way out?) While cross-checking my own radar with a prayer that says, “Here’s where life places me now God—now what?”
            All to say, there’s merit to great teachings (be it the Bible, be it the Tao, be it ACIM)…
            Each is a roadmap…a way to get to Paris.
            Some go by rail. Some go by plane. Some take the long road and walk their way there. But as Jesus himself pointed out, “He who is not against us, is for us.” (Luke 9:49)
            Here’s to finding your own path… (Personally, I’m now more convinced than ever, we’re all one, and as such…all in this search together…and that, more than anything here of late, (next to puppies) brings me the greatest of  peace.)

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