Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

m and j

Here is a nice nearing-the-end-of-the-year activity. Choose a corner or area of your house and just scan it visually. Or if you have mastered the art of hiding your clutter, open a closet or drawer and scan that.

What do you see? How do you feel about what you see? Does your “fluff and stuff” have value, beauty, or usefulness?

The past couple of weeks I have been doing this scanning activity all around my house. I have discovered that if I declare each surface as “sacred space” and then adorn it with special photos and pretty surface rugs or cloths it doesn’t accumulate other junk.
Milt and I have been finally finishing our bathroom area. We pulled the sink and makeshift vanity out, and I finished plastering the wall with clay and sand. We put in the “new” vanity that I found last summer at a yard sale for $15. We put it up on a base (higher for a house with no children) and put a pretty new sink top on it. I have drawers, more counter space, great lighting, and a linen cupboard for towels, sheets, etc.  It doesn’t seem easy to treat a bathroom as “sacred space” and yet you can actually associate most areas of the home with a major organ or bodily system. And if the body is sacred, why wouldn’t the spaces that serve the body be sacred? The kitchen, where food is cleaned, prepared, cooked, and blessed to feed the body . . . the bathroom where essential cleansing happens . . . the bedroom which restores the whole body and makes it ready for the new day?

bathroom remodel

If we junk up all these spaces, it only reflects how we are junking up our bodies, minds, and spirits.  What amazes me is how two conscious, older (wiser?) human beings can let clutter encroach on our space. Why do we accumulate more than we need?

Joseph Chilton Pearce, a man whose life’s work I greatly admire, says that when infant/mother bonding in incomplete, we will form odd attachment behaviors throughout our lives to compensate. We will try to put “stuff” in the place that was not filled.


It is a challenge to be intentional and awake to what we consume. We are literally battered from all sides to buy, buy, buy . . . use, use, use. And all we are using up is our own planet and our bodies and spirits trying to maintain all that crap.

I pride myself on re-using and re-purposing ($15 vanity?), but it is a false pride. I still have way too much stuff—used or not.
If my spirit—or the deep place inside me that was not filled is empty–then perhaps I could work harder on filling that space instead of some corner of my physical space.

Quietness, music, service, meditation, simplicity, holding close relationships as “sacred space” are just a few things that come to mind for me—filling that which is empty with substance and not stuff.

Please, join me in continuing to scan our spaces—both inner and outer—to consider what really matters instead of endlessly accumulating.  Oh, and if you need some extra towels—or tiny hotel bottles of lotion, shampoo, etc., let me know.

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Keep It Simple, Sweetheart — 2 Comments

  1. I love this idea…

    Every space is sacred.

    And yes, I have a lot of stuff..

    What I find challenging, and yet very important, is to realize that all of my “stuff,” whether it’s things with emotional attachments to my past, or just a half used bottle of shampoo I don’t like to use anymore, is not “just stuff.” It , they, are sacred too, in the sense that every thing we buy or have in our possession is something that once had a life in the natural world and we enslaved it, meaning that we took it without asking whether it wanted to be used for such and such purpose. And so I’m not comfortable with just throwing it “away” (as though there is such a place anyways…) without being conscious and somehow honoring that something…. well, this is what my ideal is, anyways, this honoring/remembering way of being. But of course I throw “stuff” away forgetfully quite a bit of the time….that’s the challenge I referred to. There are lots of options, of course, for how to give things a new home or to the blessed composting forces of nature. This is the flip side of creating sacred space in my home…

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