I have been studying the discipline of 'Simplicity' in a phenomenal book call The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook (Calhoun).There is a section of each topic called Reflection Questions and one of them asks, "When have you downsized and what was it like for you?" Before I moved into my last apartment I purposely got rid of all my furniture because I knew my next residence would be a house. I didn't want a lot of clutter going into my first home so I downsized my possessions; a decision I am glad to have made. When I first got settled in my house it was a blank canvas; white walls and all! Part of me began to rush and think,"What color do I want here? Where do I want a couch or chair? What do I do with this space?"As I began to actually live in the space, I realized that I had to allow it to shape itself. My downsizing came not in the form of material possessions but of a cluttered mind. I had to sit in my new home and breathe it in, live in each space and let it tell me how it needed to be utilized. Instead of stuffing each corner with an end table or lamp of some sort I just sat...listened...looked...and allowed myself to feel. Removing the notion that I had to have it all figured out was tough at first because that's how our society trains us to be. It says,"You have to know exactly how you're going to do it and when you are going to do it!!!" No I don't!! Simplifying my thought life has allowed me the freedom to rest in the unknown. Easier said than done because my generation is one of instant gratification; we ought to be called Generation Right Now. Do I have a sofa in my living room?No. Do I have brand new appliances in my kitchen?No. Do I have nice home decor? Not at the moment.
I have been here in my home for 3 months, that's hardly enough time to get it all together. And the reality is I will never have it all together, any homeowner knows that. But the simplicity piece comes in when I realize that I have been getting by with what I currently have and have not been in need for one thing. I have been doing more than getting by I have been LIVING and not just surviving.Yes, it will be nice when I accumulate more things to make my home more comfortable but right now in this moment...I am joyful!Downsizing my thoughts has granted me the freedom to focus on what matters most. My energy can be distributed more efficiently and not so sporadically resulting in a better quality of life.
Would I love to sip a latte under the sun of Paris or walk on the shore of the beaches in Brazil? Absolutely.But right now I am happy with the coffee from my Mr Coffee maker and the birds in my backyard. And that same sun that shines in Paris is shining on me right now.
The practice of simplicity has helped tremendously with my Artprize project. Initially I thought I was going to need all this money for supplies and marketing materials. I began to worry that I wasn't going to be able to pull it off. I remembered what Jesus spoke of in Matthew 6 and realized that God knew what I needed to complete this project and he would provide. He did exactly that!I have kept my costs down by only purchased supplies as I needed them and looking back I didn't even need as much as I thought.Working on the mural has forced me to take one day at a time and be engaged in the moment.God has shown me that through him I am capable of much more than I ever thought.