by: Eliza Bloom
I have a 440-page guide on how
to simplify my life, but I haven't found the time to read it.
Like you perhaps, my once-quiet
world now clatters with the joy of a large family. Amid the din, I've had to
simplify my quest for the simple.
The advent of a simpler life can
be launched with a concept so simple it takes only a few words, yet its
implications and manifestations have given birth to entire institutions and
provided intellectual fodder for philosophers for centuries.
Still, it is better, more
accessible, easier to implement - at least for me - if I can keep the message
Too much interpretation waters
down the message. Too much debate strips it of its power. Too much explanation
distracts us from its essence, and gives us an excuse to avoid getting down to
the business of doing it, of living it. And to live it is to change our lives
in sweeping, everyday ways.
It is this: Live in love.
Whatever contributes to the love in the world, do it.
I suppose I've taken the risk of
sounding airy-fairy and hippie-dippie. But just for a moment, allow yourself to
recognize that love is the only gift you will always have in abundance.
Recognize how different you feel
when you extend it to others. Recognize how its unrestricted sharing infuses
you with new energy in your own everyday life. And allow yourself to see how
such recognition could change your life. If, just for today, you made it your
simple goal to wholeheartedly extend yourself in love and kindness. To love lavishly.
Haphazardly. To smear it all over the place.
Once as a junior in college, I
found myself in a bar with a group of graduate students. I was the only
underclassman in the bunch and they were debating ethics, lobbing names of dead
philosophers like bocce balls with not a small dose of intellectual pride.
I was quiet, soaking in all of
the ideas and insights, when someone who had too much to drink asked the
underclassman what she thought. "Whatever contributes to the love in the
world, do that," I said.
Silence followed as they waited
for me to expand, to elaborate, to offer proof. "That's pretty much
it." I said.
It's not new advice, but it's
certainly simple. For me, simplifying your life is not to add another
"should." It's simply to recognize that your degree of happiness
equals your degree of compassion.
If someone curses you, hold her
in your mind and bless her. If you feel like cursing someone, bless her, too.
Recognize that the feeling of overwhelming compassion is available to you any
time you wish to call upon it.
Leading the simple life is to
witness how extending love brings you joy in a fundamental down-to-the-marrow
sense. A joy you can feel in your belly. And then to surrender the rest. To
surrender anything that takes way from that - whether it's an activity, a
possession, a relationship, a feeling, or a simple thought.
Ghandi said, "Renounce and
rejoice." It doesn't get much simpler than that.
About The Author
Eliza Bloom's new book, The
Bloom Method, is now online, and you can read it--in its entirety--for free: http://www.momscape.com/elizabloom/thebloommethod.
Eliza also invites you to join her private mailing list, where you'll receive
an uplifting message each week. To join, visit http://www.momscape.com/subscribe.htm
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