On the ferry to Beaver Island a few weeks ago, while trying to distract myself from possible seasickness, I asked the captain what was on the island that we should see.
He was focusing ahead on his job at hand, but I knew he heard me. I waited for a response, expecting to hear about a few good beaches, some friendly seafood shacks, perhaps a landmark or two. The pause lengthened, but before I repeated myself, the captain responded:
“There’s not really anything there. That’s why people go there.”
After an 8 hour drive from Ohio, and a two-plus-hour ferry ride (not my favorite form of transportation), I was apparently heading to an island of nothingness. It was either going to be the most amazing vacation week, or it was going to become a trying family vacation of bored children and annoyed adults. I wanted to ask the captain more questions, like, what do you mean there’s nothing there? Or, so what do people do when they actually get there? But when I looked at him again and saw that he was perfectly content with his answer, I stopped and decided that for the first time in my life, I was going to live the questions instead (after all, it’s always been my favorite mantra – thanks to Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet). It was time to put it to use!
I won’t bore you with details of our week on the island, but I will tell you that from the moment of the captain’s answer, through the week of ‘nothingness’, I am more fired up than ever to head into my favorite month with one goal : simplify.
I have always loved September. Not only because the month signifies a new beginning of me going around the sun once more, it also signifies the harvest, and a transition from summer to fall. The earth seems to thrive during this time: fruits and flowers are enjoying the last hoorah.
This September, after our quiet, tranquil and simple week on Beaver Island, I am re-energized to focus on simplifying my life. Because, truly, less is more. I saw and lived it so clearly during our week on the island (that really did not have a lot going on just like the captain said, but it had everything. And more).
I want to de-clutter in all the ways that I can. Not only will this effort re-center my mental and physical well-being as I move forward, it will help me be the best practitioner that I can be to help you, my community, heal yourselves, and feel better as a result.
It’s a win-win, as they say.
What do I plan to do to simplify?
Here’s a list (in progress):
- Getting rid of distractions to my day (goodbye Facebook app, and more, on my phone). Designate times for checking email and social media to maximize productivity.
- Donating unused items to Goodwill. The less clutter in the house, the less clutter in the brain.
- Saying “No” more than “Yes”. Prioritizing commitments and tasks allow for best efforts.
- Jumping back on the Clean Eating Challenge! Some of you who joined me last time will be joining me again (thank you!). And those of you who would like to start, please do! Eating Clean means eating simply.
Happy September to you all. What simple things can you adjust this month to make your life simpler, easier and more meaningful?