I used to edit a print magazine, Mia. For three years, my publishing partners and I birthed a “baby” every three months and then proudly toted that baby around, holding her up and asking people to read her. Lots of people shared in our pride and joy, and they subscribed to the magazine. But the print publishing business is tough even if you have an excellent product, and so after 11 issues we decided to fold the print and transition to online. It took quite a while for us to take the plunge into online publishing, but I’m so glad we did. Mia online is excellent. I can say that objectively because I am no longer the editor, but instead just a lowly columnist – which I love. Finally, I get to write and let someone else worry about editing and typos. Well, mostly. I must keep in mind that a good editor doesn’t like to find any. If you find a typo or poor grammar in this post, ignore. My editing skills might be growing rusty. Excuses, excuses.
My column is called “Simply Being” and you can find it here. Selfishly, I’m writing it because I need to learn more about what it means to live simply. My life has been chaotic and cluttered through most of my adulthood. I am always looking for the next project to start, the next thing to buy, and the next activity to scribble in the calendar boxes. I find new and creative ways to multi-task while simultaneously longing for focus. I desperately want and need simplicity. But even simplifying can get overwhelming. A trip to the bookstore afforded me the opportunity to see how many books have been written on this subject. A sampling: Organized Simplicity, Radical Simplicity, The Laws of Simplicity (there are laws?), Choosing Simplicity, Abundant Simplicity, Inside Out Simplicity, Voluntary Simplicity, The Simplicity Survival Handbook. Really? A book on surviving simplicity? This gives me pause.
The last thing I want to do is make simplicity a project, a task, or a quest. I would like for simplicity to emanate organically from a soul that is settled. I’m not there yet. Not even close. My soul is so often on the hunt for significance, meaning, comfort, pleasure. But I wonder – what if I already have everything I need? What if simplicity is only a matter of embracing the beauty of what I have been given, where I am at this moment, what is straight in front of me instead of what is out there?
I’m nagged by these words: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Maybe it’s time for me to stop putting my cultural spin on what Jesus meant.
So I’m inviting you to join me on the journey of simply being. It’s going to look different for you than it will for me, but I think we can learn from one another. I’ll post a follow-up blog post each time my monthly column in Mia is published. And yes, I’m putting that on my calendar.