...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Simplicity/Uncluttering: Need a Detox?

Becoming like a child in wonder and amazement is basic for the spiritual quest. We are overwhelmed by the clutter of too much. Many businesses use "clutter" consultants who will help you detox your living and work spaces- cars, offices, and homes- crammed with junk. My metaphor for this clutter are gatherings of single socks with no mates. Since I do the laundry most of the time, the thought of what do to with all this mismatched stuff is symbolic of all the energy lost wondering about it. And brain energy is not recouped in multitasking- instead, the process of refocusing our attention makes our brains "start over" continually.

To me, the virtue of the child we lose as adults is energy and learning. We clog our life reserves on clutter. Too, there's a cultural bias against being a beginner. Most managers need to know how to provide quick answers and to be able to explain things to people up and down the ladder. But if you can't be a beginner, then you miss what he child has to offer- the new eyes that leads to mostly unexpected discoveries! And one of the great gifts of the spiritual quest in Jesus Christ is the continual invitation to start new, fresh, as a beginner, to be recreated and renewed in God's image.

Practicing the habit of simplicity suggests that we do something that allows us to detox from clutter and for me, giving stuff away that is no longer useful to me, such as books, magazines, etc. Prayer/fasting is the recommended spiritual practice, appropriate, because fasting done right is known for purifying our bodies of unwanted toxins- clutter. But wherever you are with simplicity, the invitation is always there for us.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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