So today’s focus on reflection follows on yesterday’s review of a month’s worth of daily experiments in living simply. I can’t say that today’s reflection has been in the foreground of my mind all day, but it did serve as a resting point, so to speak, toward the end of the day–an opportunity to think about where I’ve been and where I’m heading, and to try to identify some patterns.
As might be expected, my review of the past 31 days is a mixed bag. Some areas I would say I’ve made considerable progress in simplifying my life and living more attentively and deliberately.
In other areas… not so much.
Anyway, here is what I’ve managed to sort out:
- Eliminating Clutter and Excess: I am definitely looking for ways to cut down on the things I am holding onto–material and otherwise. The closet and the t-shirts are a good start, but there’s much more that I can do. I’d like to cancel a few more of those add-on’s and memberships (I still need to take a trip to that gym!) and I would like to keep that burden of debt from building back up.
- Creating Spaces with Purpose: I have seen a notable transition in the household, as one room after another transforms from a zone of unattended accumulation to a space with its own utility and meaning. And apparently it is contagious–my youngest spontaneously declared it was time for her to clean her room! But it’s not just about cleaning or tidying up–it’s about allowing these spaces to emerge within the house that make me (and my family, I believe) more aware of how we occupy the spaces of our daily life.
- Developing a Daily Practice: Losing the clutter and finding livable spaces in the house is great–but in my reckoning, this one area of focus is the core of everything else. In some areas, I am very happy with my ability to maintain a daily routine of attentiveness–my morning practice of sitting quietly, and my continued moments of quiet on the drive into work. In other areas, I see a need for more attention to a daily discipline of small, yet meaningful acts–trying to stop during the day, to look and listen at what is going on in the moment, to be aware of my pace, to slow down and when necessary, to rest.
All in all, though, I would say that the past month has been transformative, but on a scale of small steps and simple actions. I didn’t expect miraculous changes, but in just a short period of 31 days, I do feel my attention shifting toward a focus on living more deliberately. And after today’s reflection, I believe I have a sense of where I need a bit more attention if I am going to sustain this focus.
Now, onto Day 33!
It’s nice to see–a little over a year later–that these three themes still have a place in my daily life!