Shadow and Light

IMG_2686I was thinking this morning as I was listening to Joel talk about SimpleREV 2015 and
walking Buttercup in the crisp clean November air, that I want my posts to focus more on the spiritual aspects of what I get out of simplicity, in addition to the day-to-day advantages of less clutter. And as I turned my calendar over (three days late) to November and read the new month’s quote by Rumi about lying under the tree of awe (You must have shadow and light source both. Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe), the universe reinforced this for me.

The world is a wonderful and mystical place filled with beauty and cruelty and despair and miracles. It is a never-ending mix of shadow and light and never is this clearer than at this time of year. When we turn the clocks back, no longer saving daylight, we are suddenly more aware than ever that everything is dark clouds and silver linings.

In commenting on my previous post, “But Now I Need It,Emily Torres told me about The Minimalists’ rule of 20/20 (I like them, but sometimes it’s clear they aren’t mothers winking-face). Reading that post led me to think about whether it was actually the cost of the items or the availability of the items which was truly keeping me from letting go of them, or wishing I had hung on to them. And then in looking back on it, I realized that wasn’t really the point. The point was why am I stressing about it in the first place? It’s just stuff. They are just tights. And then in reading the Rumi quote this morning, it occurred to me that getting hung up on the needing/wanting is what blocks me from letting go and focusing on the shadows and light.

Shira as LinkClean garage, cluttered garage; is either way really that important, especially if I don’t plan to park there anyway? More important, does a clean garage/kitchen table/spare bedroom better represent the person I am or who I am trying to become? It goes deeper than “what will people think about me when they see my awful garage?” It’s closer to “what does this say about who I am and what I think is important?” How I felt when I didn’t have the tights available when “just in case” became a reality [her costume worked out great, by the way] is more a symptom of my own brand of self worth. I should have kept them. I should have known that some day I might need them. They weren’t taking up that much space. Again, that’s not really the point. The point is really that I didn’t need them in that moment, or potentially ever, and I let them go into the universe where someone needier can use them.

Shadow and light, giving and receiving, letting the spirit of generosity flow. That’s what it’s really about. And that’s what I will try more to focus on going forward. Does that object give me joy? Maybe. Will it give someone else more joy? Yes. And that’s the answer I was looking for. That’s what I need to keep in mind. That living in simplicity is also about living in generosity–a truth that isn’t always easy for me to remember, but a truth that in the remembering will make it far more possible to lay my head under the tree of awe.

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