Soul Searching

You might say I’ve been doing my fair share of soul-searching lately. I suppose that is the natural progression of what happens when you’ve minimized everything you own and no longer have any distractions. (Fair warning.)

Ho hum … what to do? Watch TV? Minimized the cable. Read a book? Haven’t been to the library recently. Organize the shelves? There’s nothing to organize. And no shelves. Search my Soul? I guess it’s the only option. So, here goes …

Today, I finished trudging through all of my red-flagged emails early. My Mom invited my kids over to bake Valentine’s Day Cookies. I had a free afternoon. And, contrary to common weather patterns here in the Great North, it was sunny. And warm(-ish). So, I bundled up, put on some walking shoes, and set out for the beach.

As I stepped out in the parking lot, laced up my sneakers, and took a deep breath, I was reminded of how my best friend and I used to go running here when we were in high school. Back when we were young. And fit. Not so much a soul-searching experience as, well … a Madonna dance party in the car on the way there, a brief run out past the bluffs, and hours of heart-to-heart gossip about our latest heart throbs. All good for the soul, I suppose. And much better for the body than sitting at my desk all day. In my mind, we ran this beach every day. For exercise. Which means, I must have done it once or twice, decided the big E (exercise) and I are mutually exclusive terms, and called it a day. But I was definitely in better shape back then. Must have been exercise by osmosis.

This is deep, I know. That’s what happens when I go looking for my soul. I have to get all of the fluff out of the way first. Then, I get about half way down the frigid Pacific Northwest beach–as the sun sets behind the bluff–leaving me on the dark side of the earth, and realize that my soul is still waiting for me on that deserted island. In the SOUTH Pacific.

But, here I am. Alone with the peaceful silence of an empty beach. In February. I can’t help but miss my husband and kids, wishing that they were here with me. But then I remember that my family and silence are mutually exclusive terms.

So, I return to the original goal of the Soul Search. Much easier in theory than in practice … but I’m determined to focus on this statement that I read in my new book by Cheryl Richardson. She says “When we’re ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, we miss the only real experience we can ever have: the one that’s happening right now in this moment.”

And that, my friends, has been the goal of my minimization efforts … to peel back the layers of my life … to give away the material goods that cloud my clarity. To minimize the unnecessary and redundant tasks that consume my time. I don’t want to spend my days thinking about how I’m going to clean the house or tackle the laundry before company arrives. I don’t want to spend my weekends organizing toys under my kids’ beds while missing out on the deep, soul-enriching experiences of life. I don’t want my work stress to overflow into the precious few hours I get to spend with my family in the evenings. 

I just want simplicity. Clarity. Time and space and energy to live in the moment.

A wise woman once told me that she never does anything that doesn’t bring her joy. That’s where I want to be. That’s my revised goal for February. Minimizing anything and everything that does not bring me joy. (Because you know I’m not getting chickens anymore, right?)

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About Not-so-SuperMomma

See my previous blog at www.theminimalchallenge.wordpress.com to learn about how I used to be a SuperMom ...
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5 Responses to Soul Searching

  1. Susan says:

    I think this is why my re-visit to Maslow focused more on Satisfaction than Need.
    Need is such a demanding term but the fulfillment of a Need is defined by satisfaction with the fulfillment. Satisfaction is defined by Expectation. Need, which would seem such a generally accepted “must have to survive” thing, becomes a subjectively defined satisfaction of a pre-supposed expectation.
    You seem to be shifting your expectations, which seems to redefine your satisfaction with fulfillment. Perhaps?
    Your journey fascinates me and I am so grateful for your “bear it all” attitude toward documenting your discoveries.
    I believe you are challenging yourself, and through this blog, many of us “out here” to look at our expectations and evaluate them; to discern the illusory from the practical and possibly, to realize that satisfaction is already within our grasp.

    • As iron sharpens iron, my friend … thank you for reading, and for sharing your thoughts and insights here as well. I’m grateful for all of the feedback I’ve been receiving, and am inspired to continue to foster a community of like-minded folks out here.

  2. Lisa says:

    I always enjoy your real, raw posts. Thank you for once again reminding us that the point in stripping away all the layers of stuff, energy vampires and gunk in life is to enjoy the beauty of today. I too, live in the beautiful PNW and enjoyed the cool but finally bright sunshine this week! My heart longs to be on an island elsewhere too, while doing good for someone in a struggling country. Then I remind myself, that while that may possible, should I choose it, I am here now with an amazing husband, and four beautiful kids that will someday go off in the world and spread the sunshine that radiates from them. This too, is an amazing life! Thank you for sharing yours!

    • Thank you so much for your feedback. I always feel a little silly when I stray from the topic of minimizing material goods and share the depths of me with the world, but the positive and inspiring words I’ve received in response this week make me think I am on the right path. I hope you are enjoying another beautiful, sunny day today. I’m getting ready to head outside and soak up every last ounce of Vitamin D that the sun will afford me. I just glanced briefly at your website, and am so inspired by Pure Vitality. I’ll be spending some more time there after the sun goes down, and may reach out to you that way as well … I think we may be journeying down similar paths …

  3. Pingback: Simplicity, Minimalism, and the Ancient Ascetic « The New Archaeology of the Mediterranean World

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