Abundance

A decade or so ago, a friend gave me a book by an author named Sarah Ban Breathnach. The book is called Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.

At the time I was in a difficult work situation, mired in negative thoughts and actions. The book helped me get out of that place. And I’m still reading it.

As the title suggests, the book contains essays, one for each day of the year. At times I’m struck by how the essay for a particular day discusses a topic that has been on my mind, or gives me some insights I need.

The daybook entry for November 11, the day my father died, is about grace – asking for grace to help you get through the day. Reading that did help me get through that day, and the days that followed.

The essays in Simple Abundance talk about what Ban Breathnach calls “six threads of abundant living.” These are gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty, and joy.

Now, gratitude is a good one. Being grateful for what I have, looking at the abundance in my life rather than the things I lack, was instrumental in getting me out of that negative swamp I was in so long ago.

Still works. I’m still looking at the bright side, focusing on being grateful for what I have rather than grousing about what I don’t. Though that’s easier said than done, at times.

I think I’ve got the bit about harmony. I look for beauty, whether it’s the ocean, the birds I love to watch, the roses in my garden as they bloom, or the curve of a cat’s tail. And I take joy in lots of things, my cats, good food, my family and friends.

Simplicity and order – I have trouble with those. Clutter seems to be my middle name, as anyone who has seen my closets will attest. That’s what closets are for, right? To hide all the stuff?

I read the daybook every year. Because I’m a work in progress. The closets still need work, and so do the junk drawers. Maybe one of these days simplicity and order will click. There’s still hope!

That’s what the new year is all about. Three hundred sixty-five days to explore, write, celebrate, enjoy the company of family and friends. And maybe clean out a closet.

May you have a simply abundant 2015.

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