I am a little behind on Simple Abundance. Some days it is difficult for me to hammer out a post every day. It takes time to type obviously, but I can not even get my laundry done. And, we are doing really important things, like letting babies play in the dishwasher. 🙂
Clearly, laundry and not enough hours in the day, were issues way before the blog ever came along. But, sometimes, for whatever reason, I just get too much on my plate. My peas and potatoes start to mix in with my chicken, and then we have a bigger issue.
Oh yeah, that is why I started this Simple Abundance journey!
What was I thinking?
I understand I am not perfect, and by no means am I trying to give that impression. I too am faulty.
So bare with me. I am really trying hard to post every day. I know you guys want consistency, and please know my goal is to give you a great post every day. Well written and striking.
With that said, here are two days worth of very important Simple Abundance entries. Please make sure you read them. They are essential for success on our path together. They really say so much of what I need to hear right now in my life as I feel overwhelmed.
Order and Harmony are what they speak about. I know it is a long post, but please do not skip over it. These elements, and what Sarah Ban Breathnach has to say, just might be what gets you through today. I know her words help me tremendously.
Lord knows I need both order and harmony just as much as any of my readers. Oh, how He knows.
A Sense of Order: Cultivating Contentment
‘For years I have suspected that in happy and fulfilled lives domesticity (means: home life or devotion to it)and spirituality are invisibly but inexorably (means: can not be influenced by persuasion, can not be altered) connected- one a golden thread, one a silver filament- which, when woven together, create a tapestry of contentment. The Shakers, a religious communal sect that flourished in America during the mid-nineteenth century, invoked a prayer each morning for the grace that would enable them to express their love of God through their daily tasks- tasks as simple and mundane as making a bed.
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by outside circumstances- worries about money, concern over a sick family member,or anxiety over prolonged business negotiations- instinctively I turn to homegrown rituals to restore my equilibrium. There is an immediate emotional and psychological payoff to getting our houses in order. We might not be able to control what’s happening externally in our lives but we can learn to look to our own inner resources for a sense of comfort that nurtures and sustains. I have even noticed that there is a direct correlation between the days when I’m feeling depressed and the days when the house is in disarray. I suspect that I’m not alone. “It’s not the tragedies that kill us,” Dorothy Parker once observed,”it’s the messes.”
If you feel constantly adrift but don’t know why, be willing to explore the role that order- or the lack of it- plays in your life. No woman can think clearly when constantly surrounded by clutter, chaos, and confusion, no matter who is responsible for it. Begin to think of order not as a straight-jacket of “shoulds” (make the bed, wash the dishes, take out the garbage) but as a shape- the foundation- for the beautiful new life you are creating. It may be as simple as putting something back that you take out, hanging something up that you take off, or teaching those who live with you that they must do the same for the common good of all.
There is a Divine Order- a Sublime Order- inherent in the universe. We can tap into this powerful source of creative energy when we are willing to gradually cultivate a sense of order as to how we conduct our daily affairs. Invite Divine Order into your life today and a more serene tomorrow will unfold.’ – Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance A Daybook of Comofort and Joy
‘Order is the shape upon which beauty depends’ -Pearl Buck
Harmony: Achieving Balance in Our Lives
‘A Chopin piano nocturne played by a novice (beginner) musician and by a virtuoso (one with great skill) will not sound the same. That’s because one of the two pianists has had a lifetime to practice the music as well as learn when to pause in order to color the notes with passion.
So it is with the concerto of our lives. Individual notes must be learned and played and practiced before we achieve harmony. And above all, we must learn to pause.
Harmony is the inner cadence (meaning: flow of rhythm, measured movement, as in marching) of contentment we feel when the melody of our life is in tune. When somehow we’re able to strike the right chord- to balance the expectations of our families and our responsibilities in the world on the one hand with our inner needs for spiritual growth and personal expression on the other. This is one of the most difficult challenges any woman faces because it requires that we make choices every day. And yet most of us often feel too tired to choose anything more than what to have for dinner! Perhaps this explains why we often hear only a cacophony (meaning: harsh jarring sound) of dissonant demands that drown out the symphonies our souls long to compose. Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Time to dream, time to think, time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better.
On the Simple Abundance path we begin to learn how to pause. As we bring the principles of gratitude, simplicity, and order into our lives, harmony emerges. We learn to balance demands with pleasures, moments of solitude with a need for companionship, work with play, activity with rest, the inner woman with the outer package.
Today, just try slowing down. Approach the day as if it were an adagio- a melody played in an easy, graceful manner. Listen to music that soothes and uplifts your spirit. And while you listen, pause to consider how all the individual notes come together harmoniously to give expression to the entire score.
So it shall be with your world. With harmony as your guide, trust that your everyday moments will soon begin to resonate in a rhapsody of fulfillment.- Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance A Daybook
of Comfort and Joy
‘The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes, ah that is where the art resides.’ -Artur Schnabel
In regard to order….
Order is absolutely something that women must have. She is so right when she says a woman can not live with chaos and clutter.
Surrounding myself with boys and men, I am surrounded with chaos, clutter, no order, lack of organization skills…. they completely rely on me to create it, nurture it and enforce it.
Even though Garrett, who is 10, and Nicky, who is almost 4, are both very organized little thinkers and boys that can keep things in order, you still have to encourage it from them and nurture it in order to receive it.
Anthony and Luke are very fast paced little men. Detail is not important. They reply on order coming for me.
Every single day I feel like I am working against a force that is bigger than me.
All of the boys and Lenny, have no problem with leaving shoes here, dishes there, school papers over here, work papers in the kitchen, etc. It makes me CRAZY!!!
I feel like a gerbil spinning my wheels. (And they wonder why laundry never gets folded… I can not even get to that some days. I so often feel defeated or depleted.) Then I can not function.
But at the end of the day, I know they are counting on me for guidance- each of them, even Lenny. And I know that each of these little boys, will some day marry women who will need men that do not fly by the seat of their pants, leaving a trail of mess behind them. The women these boys marry, will be one of the first to review my raising’s, letting me know if we have reared great men.
Not only is there the disorganization of the every day life around here at Crystal & Co., there are still many things which have been hanging around since Lenny and I blended our families years ago. The personal possessions, like furniture and decor, that neither of us want to get rid of because they are ours, yet we do not use them in our home now. So, they are just stored.
What does that lady on Clean House say? It’s a hot mess!
Take it all in.
And, in regard to harmony….
We all really do need that pause. Sarah is so very right. We need to figure out a way to meet in the middle- balancing the demands with the pleasures, work with play and activities with rest.
Reminds me so much of a song by India Arie (who I love)- Back to the Middle.
With all of this said, I need order and harmony more than you can imagine.
I try again.
It’s all a journey.
*I am finding great organization tools on many of the blogs and site I review and frequent. One of the things suggested on many mommy sites for organizing your household, which goes perfectly with bringing order to your life, (which will also bring harmony) is making a household notebook.
Now, in the world of excel spreadsheets, online manuals and computer screens replacing the feeling of a sheet of paper in our hands, I know it may be hard to sell you on the idea of printing out paper with lists and organizing them in a 3 ring binder, but just check out this link for me.
Tell me what you think. I am personally going to give it a try.