Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Stick and a Fence

Like clock work on Christmas Day after the presents, toys and clothes have been opened and the annihilated wrapping paper is tucked away in a trash bag, one of my favorite Canadian eccentric friends makes an announcement, “when I was a kid, my mom gave me a stick and pointed to the fence and said "play." A stick and a fence. It may have been a stark recollection from childhood, but I always take his stick and fence statement as an inspirational proclamation. He had his imagination, he had his hands, he had a place to play and someone who cared. His cry was the cry of everyone who’s ever been to someone’s house and had to step over the x-box controller to get to the Wii paddles next to the laptop and heard the kids scream past saying “I need another iphone.”

It's simple. Two words. Need less. Getting to the core of what is important isn’t complicated. It involves making a choice to need less, understanding how little we need to be and getting rid of what bogs our space down.

You can’t get bare and grab at the earth’s resources like there is no tomorrow. You can’t oversell fear and not pump anxiety levels to all time highs. You can’t go for the short term anything with no respect for your environment. You can’t be what you need to be for your community, your family, yourself if you don’t know what is important. Needing less clutter, chaos, storage, stuff means steering the course of your own ship without being blind to your surroundings. It is being scared and tired of missing your stuff or missing out and making the choice to clear it out anyway. It is getting to the core invisible foundation that can support growth and the rebirth of new ideas and thinking. It is getting out of our patterned behavior. It is being able to listen and hear someone else’s point of view. It is so many things that commitment and compassion can bring.

I get fired up when talking about needing less. We have so many gifts, we have so much intelligence, we have so many brave and selfless souls; what if brain power and energy was spent in doing the right thing, diffusing a symptom and not the result, fixing a problem, cleaning up our messes. Just imagine preventing and not reacting.

Rolling up the sleeves and confronting tough subjects creates a wedge of possibility instead of a morass of indifference. It's not waiting, it's taking action. Now. Needing less isn’t having nothing. It is being happier, more content and appreciative. In taking care of what you need to be clear, nourishing yourself, allowing yourself to enjoy the elegance of spirit and lightness and freedom of being the world opens up in ways you can't even begin to anticipate. "The trick" as Don Quixote said, "is not to see life as it is but as it ought to be" and live in that higher place, taking others with you by the sheer example of your action.

There is a power within your imagination to transform and transcend the feelings and circumstances of your life. Use it. And not only that. Take care and be aware of how your actions, how the process of lightening up and letting go impact those around you. Be the beacon for others to follow. Clear it out. Do whatever it takes to expand your perspective. If you are still struggling with this, go somewhere where people have less. Where the smallest connection makes the greatest difference. It is possible to turn it all around. It is possible to live your life on the other side in a place of gratitude. It is possible to let go of someone else's idea of what should be. It takes awareness and it takes making the commitment to say. “Hey. Things have been tough. But. Man am I grateful that I can wake up and try again.”

Brought to you by The Bare Melcessities.
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