Media and peer pressure demand that we conform to the latest profile of the successful person, inevitably resulting in us acquiring more possessions, (and more debt), and piling more activities into our over-stuffed schedules.
These next few posts will look at some of the things we can do to be counter-cultural, and relieve some of the stress of 21st century living. Perhaps we can clear away some of the stuff which clouds vision and clogs up our lives?
I am not a minimalist. Stark walls and bare surfaces do not do it for me. I like having things around me which tell the story of our lives and our relationships; and I like the resources available to feed sudden bursts of creativity. But…
This is not the same as clutter, which the Oxford dictionary describes as ‘crowded confusion’, or a ‘confused mass’. Clutter threatens our peace, disturbs our inner tranquillity and contributes to feelings of stress. Rest needs some ordered paths to flow in.
The trouble with stuff is that many of us have too much of it: more clothes than we can possibly wear; gadgets which gather dust at the back of cupboards; garages far too full to ever hold a car; the latest gismo which barely makes it out of the box; and the more stuff we have, the more there is to polish, dust, clean and keep in good order.
So one of the ways we can promote rest in our lives is by physically decluttering; by getting rid of excess paraphernalia. Although I can vouch for moving house as being a good way of doing this—things which which have been buried for years can be discarded or found new homes, there are less drastic options…
Maybe we can take time this summer to prune back our mass of possessions?
I like the words of the old hymn:
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
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[**Photo credit: Ashim D’Silva @ Unsplash, with thanks]