Raze The Temple

Simplicity

I’ve been thinking about destruction. Sometimes before we create something new and beautiful, we have to annihilate what’s taking up space.

“If I am what I have, and if I lose what I have, who then am I?”

Erich Fromm

When we plant a garden, for example, we remove the existing plants, upturn the soil, add fresh medium and then plant anew. When we rid ourselves of what’s there, we launch into new terrain (pun intended).

Recently, I talked about a curious storm, which turned out to be a harbinger of several others. Phrases like lives were destroyed have been repeated like mantras. A few actual lives were lost but lives were destroyed was generally used to describe the loss of accumulated possessions and of course, people’s homes.

debris pile htx 2017

Those who experienced these losses remark on what they’ve gained: The outpouring of support by friends and strangers alike; a sense of excitement as they contemplate how they will remake what their lives are about; a renewed faith in their fellow humans; and a needed break from political happenings, to name just a few.

A buddy and colleague of mine who’s starting from scratch said “This is an amazing place to be in my life!! I’m very grateful.” This, after she and her husband lost their beloved home of many years, their cars, their cat and virtually everything else they owned; after being helicoptered (I can’t even – the dangling in air) to a quickly appointed area shelter and spending weeks sorting through soggy, molding debris. They still have a long road ahead to rebuild, but seem struck with a sort of giddy anticipation in spite of it.

“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness, possesses you. And in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.”
Mildred Lisette Norman

Many of us are realizing that who we are isn’t about what we have. We are deciding to just say ‘no’ to the rampant consumerist mindset and yes to fuller lives with less to bog us down. We are also concluding that the new generation is way ahead of us and truly doesn’t want our stuff either. There’s a lot of momentum and inspiration if you want guidance, want to find like-minded people, The Minimalists can help you light the fire.

If given only minutes to decide, as so many of us have these past few weeks and months, what you cannot do without, how heavy is your load? You serve as the beast of burden to your accumulated belongings. Consider shaking them off and running free.

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Division Is Tearing Us Apart

Uncategorized

pass it on

To be silly, and because I adore a good truism, a term which purportedly was coined by the clever Jonathan Swift, i.e., May You Live All The Days Of Your Life;

I posted the statement Division Is Tearing Us Apart on some of my social media accounts. It stirred something in many people, and one, even got the haha I had intended when I wrote it – or did I? Maybe my defense mechanism, humor, kicked in by way of this axiom, to reveal the frustration I was feeling very deeply.

In the U.S. and around the globe, the divide is growing at a voracious pace, consuming our sanity. The safety of our online distance, the protection of the automobiles we ride in, seem to have the effect of removing our common decency. We’d almost never attack one another in person the way we do sitting behind our keyboards or steering wheels. The Golden Rule, which exists in every religion in some form, or the guidance of a good elder as we are growing up, teaches us decency, civility, manners – or at least that’s how we have created workable societies.

We are not only disagreeing anymore; we are figuratively ripping out one another’s throats. I’d like to blame the media or the leaders but we take their bait, we drink their kool aide. When we choose for entertainment, abhorrent subject matter, and imbibe it so often, we lose every standard of decorum. I have a test I put things to in my mind/heart: Would I say/do/watch this with my grandmother? If the answer is no, well, it is not aligned with who I am or who I aim to be. No exceptions. This said, I am far from practicing what I preach here. It is more of an ideal for me. The fight or flight response can be strong and physically and literally dumbs down one’s brain. Learning meditation or other ways of operating more often from one’s Parasympathetic Nervous System instead of the Sympathetic Nervous System, a breath or moment at a time, is a start.

So, help me spread this truism Kindness Never Hurt Anybody, in the hope that it will take hold, become a “thing” and help us become our better selves.

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I leave you with the best truism, from one of my favorite writer/humans, Sir Master Knight McSweeney Pirate Dave Eggers

You Will Not Be Disappointed. Unless Of Course You Are Always Disappointed.

In Which Case This Will Be Yet Another Disappointment For You.

I use this Eggerism with absolutely no permission but with the urgent request that you tattoo it on your chest, immediately.

 

GIVE ME STUFF! MORE AND MORE NEAT THINGS!!!!

Mindfulness, Uncategorized

control

One of the great gains a simpler lifestyle brings, in my opinion, is increasing your sense of social responsibility.

When we buy less, we often buy items of greater quality when we do buy. We realize that the initial cost may be more than that of more common, readily available, cheaply mass produced items.

Once we get past that, we find they are also more likely to be (1) of better quality, (2) ethically sourced and manufactured, (3) more durable and lasting than less expensive ones and maybe, hopefully, are made and sold in ways that (5) make our world a better place.  Using business models like these companies is a good start. They not only help by providing better working conditions and, of course, the livelihood that goes along with it but while promoting their wares, they can even raise the quality of life for people.

Another practice to consider is being more conscious when you accumulate new things. Bring your own reusable bag(s) and give feedback to companies that overdo their packaging. They want you as a consumer and more often than not, will appreciate your input.

Be more aware in many areas of your life. I work for a law firm a few days per week, notorious for eating trees (using paper), and manage to keep things digital whenever possible, we use paper on both sides, recycle much of what we do generate, and use reusable mailers for document delivery/return.

If you’re reading this post, I may be preaching to the choir (Amen, Awomen) because you’ve got your reusable bag(s), water bottle, coffee cup and perhaps cutlery! I love you, Man/WoMan. People are taking notice as you move and groove through life and adopting these habits is infectious. You wise soul, you.

Sometimes less is more and sometimes more is more.

For me, personally, I get more time because I don’t have to replace items very often;

I have more money because I rarely buy on impulse;

I have more resources to give to causes I care about;

I have more worthwhile experiences because doing more things trumps constantly shopping; and

Lastly, I have more contentment because I live as I choose and choose as I live.

Applying Mindfulness is always a good practice and remember, it’s all practice; remember to stay malleable.