The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think.

So sayeth James McCosh.

I’ve been working my way through Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Although it is meant to be a daily read, with entries for every day of the year, I’ve been skipping ahead.

Frankly, I’ve been skipping the parts where you are instructed to make any actual changes in your life. Like cleaning out your closets. Reducing clutter in your home.

Sort of defeats the point of the book, don’t you think? The idea is to do something, not just think about it and put the book away for the evening. Oh sure, I’ve been pondering the essays, trying to really evaluate myself and so forth. But intentions without any action can end up to be woefully pointless. At least to me it seems.

So right now I am making a commitment to start doing the necessary tasks. The grunt work. The somewhat terrifying tasks of cleaning out closets and freeing up space in my home and reducing the stress in my life. Today will consist of making the battle plan and basic housework, dishes and laundry, to prepare for tomorrow.

You may be wondering why I am doing what some book tells me to do. To that I say, what can it hurt? Really. What can it hurt to try something new. When the desire to become a better person, with a home I love rather than a home I simply tolerate, is gone, then that would be a very sad day. So let us get started on doing the actions necessary instead of putting it off as we often do.

  • Create a sacred space. It doesn’t have to be an entire room — just find a spot that you can use a retreat. A place for reading, thinking, prayer and peace. Make it as comfortable as possible.
  • Create a hope chest. No, not the traditional hope chests of so many years ago. Rather, a basket or chest filled with projects for rainy days and moments of peace. Knitting, scrap booking, sketching with charcoal.
  • Create a comfort drawer. For the days that are too awful to face, create a drawer of delights that will uplift your soul. Luxurious candies, perfumes, classical music CDs, trashy magazines and books, a beautiful photo of yourself, eye masks and moisturizing gloves.
  • Part with fashion mistakes and any clothing that isn’t true to your authentic self. Invest in new ‘comfort clothes.’
  • Pick one room a day and start with a few empty boxes. Collect items from each room that can be given away or trashed. I don’t save a box for garage sale items - there is too much temptation to keep these items when your sale is months away.
All in all, not a bad start.

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