“Living Simply Through the Day”

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photo by Ginny Schneider

 

I’m reading Tilden Edwards’ book, “Living Simply Through the Day”, one of those “simple gift” kind of books we stumble upon unexpectedly. The author reminds me early on to have a “clear commitment to holy simplicity,” “a deep acceptance of ourselves”, and to “enter each day with a naked confidence”. I don’t know about you, but I feel washed by these clean and simple statements.

It’s funny, when I read “holy simplicity” I automatically think of priestly robes, glowing with embroidery and halos, or destitute monks ambling the streets of Assisi. But really, I think it means, set-apart simplicity- the simplicity that alludes us in the traffic jams of daily life. Another way to put it might be, a remembering; that life is a series of open moments, not a solid, unmoving, pre-determined wish list, or a clattering clutter of must-bes and regrets. Open moments. Possibility-moments. Clean air, winds of change, fresh breeze moments.

“A deep acceptance of ourselves” is a tough one for me, and maybe for you as well. Wow. A deep acceptance goes beyond tolerance or avoidance, it means actually loving and deeply caring for your own state of being, no matter what it is.

And “to enter the day with a naked confidence” just stretches me beyond anything I’ve ever known. It means I can confide in the day. Look at it as an intimate friend with all the joys and troubles it places in my lap. It means fear can be a forgotten tag-along, left sorrowing at the back gate. It means stepping out “con” “fide” with faith that the universe is my ally and life is my friend.

May you live beautifully, simply today.

First rite of passage: unwrapping the gifts of mentorship

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Sharon and Ginny amused with a question in the “room of blessing”.

I wholeheartedly believe that in the world of those who live and those who learn, every person has something to offer. There are value-laden opportunities in almost every conversation and around nearly every corner. Mentoring isn’t just about sitting under the bodhi tree of wisdom, it’s also about sharing vulnerable stories about adolescent crushes, demonstrating how to replace a chain on a bicycle, or teaching a kid to cook broccoli. According to dictionary.com, a mentor is really just a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Someone who has something to contribute. Someone worthy of trust in a given area, whether it’s quilting or quantum physics.

So in the spirit of mentorship, in preparation for this first rite of passage, I had an assignment for each participant: fill a 4 x 2 inch wooden thrift store Chinese herb drawer with as much wisdom as you can. You can do it with objects, pictures, symbols, words, trinkets, whatever you want, but just make sure each item represents to you something of value to teach Ginny about womanhood.

Simple. Anyone could fill a 4 inch box. Simple, but ultimately, extremely profound. Only each individual could fill a 4 inch box with themselves- the wisdom, insight, enlightenment, and creativity that comes from that singly unique soul. Every stone explained, every word expanded upon, every trinket from today or time past would open up Ginny’s world into the wisdom and inspiration of one soul’s walk on the edges and main thoroughfares of womanhood and humanity. And in doing that, I knew that mentorship could be contained within the perimeter of the palm of a hand, but also leave indelible lifelines.

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the simple, but incredible magical, Chinese herb chest