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The FUSE Woman -- "Where Form & Spirit Become One"
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EMPOWERING OTHERS TO CREATE THE LIVES THEY WANT TO LEAD
Satchel Paige, a legendary professional baseball player in the early twentieth century, enjoyed an extremely long and spectacular career. He was an imposing pitcher, even in his mid-fifties. Satchel had seen it all, and done it all, not only in baseball, but in the game of life as well.
Late in his career, Satchel was asked the secret of his enduring success. Satchel replied, “Don't look back, something might be gaining on you!"
Looking back can be somewhat tricky. As in many human endeavors, one has to control his or her expectations. This also applies to the past. When we review our own lives, we often berate ourselves for childhood mistakes. We forget that childhood is not adulthood. We made mistakes because we often didn't know any better.
To assess something means to describe not only what is good or attractive about something, but also what isn't good or attractive. When we look back at our lives we need to be honest. We must remember the defeats as well as the victories. We also need to refrain from judging ourselves, or others, too harshly. We were all playing the game as best we could.
As a young man, I told myself that I would make my life a work of art — not in a commercial sense, but in the context of my own choices. I have definitely wanted to do it my own way. Looking back, I would say my work of art is kind of an abstract expressionist mess, but it isn't finished.
I’ve noticed there’s a trend (possibly to be short-lived, like other trends, or maybe it will catch on) toward minimalism recently. With Marie Kondo’s book on tidying up, I hear scads of stories from friends and family about purging all their “stuff” and there is an uptick in activity on craigslist, eBay and new apps like Decluttr and LetGo – all aimed to help move your stuff to a new place.
I myself have noticed that an open physical space lends itself to opening up emotional space. I feel more calm, stronger and more capable when I’m not surrounded by clutter or busyness of space.
Which probably explains why I’ve had 3 garage sales and 10 trips to Goodwill in the past year.
And what I discovered is that there is a darker undercurrent to this life of “stuff.” “Stuff” is like a current that creates frenzy. We want more stuff, stuff, stuff and we have to work, work, work to get more stuff, stuff, stuff, that distracts us from the other things we’re actually wanting and not spending time on.
Which led to a little experiment (you can take the girl out of research, but you can’t take the research out of the girl). What if I didn’t buy anything I didn’t NEED (food, gas, etc.) for 6 months, what would happen?
When I came across something I wanted to buy, I made a list on my phone. The list grew. I wanted a soda stream. I wanted a new leather jacket. I wanted a few DVDs. All went on the list, along with several other things too. And something interesting happened. I really wanted those things, felt the longing and the urge to BUY, BUY, BUY when I wrote them down. But then after some time, I sort of forgot about them (until I went to add something else to my list and saw it) and stopped wanting them so much. In fact, several things came off the list when I went back and saw them.
METRO MARKET PLACE
And here’s what I learned: the “stuff” doesn’t last long – the wanting, the enjoyment when you get it…it fades. And what’s left is less space (because now the stuff is in it) and a new wanting, that will lead to……less space and more wantings. And when I don’t just fill that space with things, I end up filling it with what I love – time with friends, reading, exploring. Letting go of things has made space in my life for what truly makes it full.
What happens when YOU let go?