Monday’s Meditation: On The Chaos Of Life & The Key To Enjoying It
Over the last two weeks, I bought a house, moved myself and my belongings from my old house into said purchased house–while simultaneously moving clients into their new homes– flew to Detroit to stand up in my best friend’s wedding, and dealt with my mom’s life-threatening medical emergency.
I have spent one 12-hour block of time in an emergency room, changed my flight three different times, ordered three different sets of King size sheets to fit the new king size bed back in Seattle that currently has no size-corresponding linens (two of which turned out to be terrible and necessitated return) my cousin had a baby girl, my aunt’s dog died; I’ve looked at literally hundreds upon hundreds of bar stools online.
None of this, nor the combination of it all, sets me apart.
You, being alive, will undoubtedly have experienced your own grab bag of both monumental and trivial situations over the past couple weeks. You may have dealt with health problems, may have welcomed new babies, may have grieved loved ones and opportunities lost. You may have scheduled ten dozen appointments, run two thousand and thirteen errands, and kept track of infinity details.
Life is a lot for all of us.
This whole business of being alive is not a neat and tidy operation.
Being alive rarely, if ever, feels like participating in a perfectly arranged obstacle course, wherein a singular challenge or task is presented–and must be completed–before another curveball gets thrown your way.
Life is everything at once.
It’s life and death and florescently lit hospital rooms, all together. It’s new babies and new marriages and IV drips, in one blip. It’s one person’s high and another’s sorrow-filled low. It’s all that, plus setting up internet service, scheduling dentist appointments, completing school paperwork, responding to deadlines, returning phone calls, responding to emails, responding to text messages, responding to comments, workouts, and laundry, and a myriad of other responsibilities that constitute adulthood.
Yet what counts in life is not how skillfully we can juggle, but how well we can Simplify.
Our job is not to figure out how to do it all at once, but to release all those other things in favor of doing what is essential.
Our ability to hone in on what matters most at every juncture is what determines the quality of our lives.
It is not about giving our attention to everything that wants it, but of intentionally choosing where to direct our exclusive attention in every given moment.
It is how well you can cancel appointments that need cancelling, delegate tasks to others, and free up your plate to focus on just one thing at a time. That’s what allows us to give most fully of ourselves, and to be most present for those who are counting on us.
Simplifying is what gets us through. It is the abatement of anxiety and overwhelm, and the key to hope and miraculous shifts.
We Live Simply, then, because doing so offers us the best chance we have at enjoying, and not merely enduring, the ride.
One thing at a time.
Only the essential.
And we’re doing just fine.
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