Simplicity makes room for pleasure
Day 201/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
For most of my adult life I have been engaged in activities that drive my passion. I consider that a stroke of luck.
My work life has been almost entirely in service to others. Without that deeply felt sense of caring delivered to others on a daily basis, I don't know how I would have managed to get through my life.
The only time that deviated from that passion was a soiree into the commercial world to learn about business and money. Once that mission was accomplished I stayed over. And I stayed way too long. Long enough to experience the boredom and soul destroying monotony of working for money alone.
Returning to work in service to others saved me. I made a commitment to only spend my time doing what I loved.
Nowadays I make time for pleasurable pursuits. For my love of textiles and paper crafts, I've fallen in love with altered books. Fossicking in book stores for preloved gardening and cooking books I'm enjoying up-cycling them into creative journals. With fabrics and lace, ribbons and exquisite papers, and all manner of ephemera, I'm covering, lining, shaping journal cards and creating secret corners and envelops. For the first time I feel inspired to write my memoirs, record my dreams, jot down my perturbations.
Calving out time to enjoy more of the pursuits that bring me pleasure initially required a commitment to ferreting out the best suppliers, purchasing the craft items and figuring out a system of making them accessible at a moments notice. Now that my craft is mobile in two magnificently practical trolleys purchased from Ikea, I can wheel them into position at my kitchen table and sit down to a couple of hours of crafting. Tidying them away before going to bed is a synch. Loving that!
Mastering watercolour, and photography are on the agenda.
My garden loves my attentive hands that pull weeds and test for moisture on a daily basis.
To live simply and abundantly is a conscious choice. It's not a worthy lifestyle in the eyes of some, and my penchant for pleasure is frowned upon when shared with those closest to me. So be it. A life without these simple pleasures is not one I want to spend time in. For me this is what living is about.
When life became too busy with responsibilities, it was time to rethink my choices. I chose the freedom of simplicity.
Life will distract you from your pleasures in so many fundamental ways. Raising children, working for money, house-keeping, and more. All these are choices we make in life. If you can possibly consider them as your life choices, you'll be in a good position to take the first step to ensuring that the way you engage with them will bring your pleasure.
Choose pleasure. Make time for the things in life that bring you joy.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.