Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

The longer we live, the longer our potential list of “certainties.”  Through our unique experiences, we unconsciously accumulate “stories” about all aspects of our lives.

 

Imagine you were given an empty bag and every time you chose to adopt a “certainty” or a “story,” a small pebble was placed in your bag …

 

At first, carrying the bag would be a minor inconvenience, but over time as the bag became weighed down by more stones, it would prevent you from doing certain things.

 

So … what are some of these pebbles we have placed in our bags?

We tell ourselves stories about ourselves that limit our ability to stretch and grow:  “I have never liked exercise and I know I never will.”  “I have to have a closet filled with shoes.”  “I’m too fat.”  “I’m too skinny.”  “I’ll never leave this community.”

 

We tell ourselves stories about other people and set up roadblocks some people are not allowed to pass.  The other day a friend with a southern accent told me that her customers up north treat her as if she wasn’t very bright.  I have also heard comments about “pushy Yankees” as if that were a given for all folks raised above the Mason-Dixon line.

 

We develop beliefs about the way the world works that blind us to any information that doesn’t fit our story:  “If you give homeless people money they will just drink it away.”  “All big businesses are corrupt.”  “If I go to a good school, I will find a good job.”

 

And so some of us bumble along without realizing we are limiting our ability to respond to life because we are dragging a heavy, lumpy sack of stones behind us.

 

Not everyone though. Read More »

Posted on 12 May, 2010 in Balance, Happiness
Digg  |   Del.icio.us  |   Stumble    

Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

I constantly have to fight my own personality.   I tend to be a perfectionist.  My family is probably laughing as they read this, because they think that even this is an understatement!

 

However over the years I have been trying to step back … and understand that being a perfectionist actually prevents achievement in many instances.  For example, never starting a project because we cannot envision the end result … or convincing ourselves that the idea isn’t “good enough.”

 

All too often, many of us we are striving for our version of perfection.  We are looking to create that perfect document, play the perfect song, grow the perfect garden … or some other perfect expression of our creativity.

 

It’s understandable. We all want to do things well.  But does it make sense that we are aiming for perfection?  Should we be aiming for something else?

 

I suggest another perspective … aiming to be diligent. Read More »

Posted on 23 April, 2010 in Balance, Motivation, Productivity
Digg  |   Del.icio.us  |   Stumble    

Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Most of us always seem to be in a hurry … rushing to get everything before the day is done.  And every so often, we see someone who never seems to be in a rush, is usually relaxed and not stressed … and yet always seems to accomplish all the things they need to do throughout the day.

 

This presents a question – Is it possible to never hurry, but to get everything done?

 

It seems at odds with our modern world, where everything is a rush, where we try to insert as much into every minute of the day as possible, where if we are not busy, we feel unproductive and guilty.

 

As a matter of fact, the busier we are, the more we tend to wear it as a badge of honor.  I have a five hundred resumes to review!  Really?  I have 2,000!  The winner is the person who has the most insane schedule, who rushes from one thing to the next … because obviously that means he’s the most successful or important.

 

Right? Read More »

Posted on 6 April, 2010 in Balance, Career, Productivity
Digg  |   Del.icio.us  |   Stumble    

Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

If we’re not busy, we feel unproductive and lazy …

 

That’s what we’re taught in this fast-paced, cram as many things into each day as possible world.  The modern world where everything is a rush.  Moreover, we compete by trying to show how busy we are … and the winner is the person with the most insane schedule, because obviously that means he’s the most popular and successful.

 

Well, maybe not. Perhaps the modern world is wrong.  Perhaps the speed and sheer volume of doing is not as important as what we focus on doing.

 

Perhaps we need to slow down … so that we don’t miss out on life with our constant rushing.  Slow down, stop rushing, and enjoy life. Read More »

Posted on 7 March, 2010 in Balance, Happiness, Making the Day Count
Digg  |   Del.icio.us  |   Stumble    

… It calls us home and reminds us that life is good, and that we need to be still and quiet.”

 

Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

A few months ago I wrote the following words to my wife, Mary, in an email:

 

“When we move from the lake, my hope and prayer will be that whatever and wherever it is, it will be a step toward radical simplicity.  A step towards making time for relationships, yours and mine, as well as with others, and a lifestyle that is enriched by doing what we love, and not what we feel like we have to do.  I don’t know what all of that means, but I like to dream of it.”

 

And so my simplicity journey began. It was a step, a beginning, a stirring, a calling to walk a new pace.

 

In Richard Foster’s book, Freedom of Simplicity, he states that simplicity is rooted in the spiritual.  Simplicity is not about becoming an ascetic and hating material possessions.  It is about understanding that happiness through owning stuff is limited, and our peace, joy, and inherent value comes from God. Read More »

Posted on 23 February, 2010 in Balance, Simplify
Digg  |   Del.icio.us  |   Stumble    
Search Site