Keeping it simplePosted March 5th, 2008 by Mary Martin
Following up on Britt’s thoughts around spirituality, I would like to share a few comments from a woman I have worked with for a number of years. This woman has endured many of the typical issues we all encounter at some point in life and it seemed as if it was just a matter of time until things clicked for her – and they did. In our conversations around spirituality, a common definition that seems to work for us is that one’s spirituality is a “way” to make meaning in life. We all approach this in slightly different style, but the common theme is “making meaning.” Here are some thoughts from our graduating senior as to how she took another step forward in making meaning in her life.
“It is general consensus that a few weeks ago I was able to flip a switch. I was able to go from a stressed out mess to calm, cool, and collected. There has been a lot of discussion on how this happened. What made the difference? How did I make the change? What made the change possible? I have been thinking about this a lot because it seems that I just woke up one morning and started doing this differently without knowing why.
This week I had to write a personal values statement for a class, and I found myself writing this as one of (and my most important of) core values:
Keeping it Simple
When life gets complicated and cluttered with drama, it is hard to feel happy with my situation. It is also difficult to positively contribute to my relationships, my organizations, my institution, and to cater to every situation that arises. To prevent this from happening, I constantly adhere to my most essential core value: keeping it simple. It was my greatest “ah hah” moment when I realized that life doesn’t have to be complicated and that the benefits of living a simple life are innumerable. Keeping it simple means to me: 1) living a working towards my core values at all times, 2) challenging myself to take time for self reflection and evaluation, 3) turning negative into positive, and 4) meeting challenges as they come instead of looming over what may happen in the future. By living a simple life, I have time to breathe. Therefore, I am able to be the best person I can possibly be and to do the best work I can possible do. By keeping it simple, I am able to be a complete, yet continuously developing person. I give myself space to be the best version of myself, while leaving room for growth.”
During our spirituality seminar we have discussed the concept that spirituality may not be a “thing,” but a “way.” For this young woman, “keeping it simple,” is her “way.”