I picked up a magazine last month called Real Simple. I had seen RS before at one of my writing hot spots and had taken the time to read several articles. My recall was that I appreciated the writers and was impressed at how their craft drew in the reader by encouraging her or him to consider how one’s life could be made better through practicing the art of simplicity. 

On the front cover of this particular edition, in dark bold letters, was a statement we have over the last several years become accustomed to seeing; The Power of Less. I am a sucker for statements embedded with contrast. They make you think and sometimes, if what they are sharing with you seems engaging and possible, they may convince you to present a card with the magazine at the check out counter.

On the side bar just to the right of the cover page the RS folks continued to ask for my consideration about such things as; Unloading StressHaving Less Stuff, and Declutter Your Thoughts.

Now RS is obviously good at reeling potential readers in for a look but let’s be honest, while what they offer is in my opinion Real it surely ain’t Simple. Dropping stress, giving away your stuff, or reframing your thoughts absolutely needs to be attempted by all of us during specific intervals in our lives. But how many among us, in this American Age of Distraction, are up for the challenge? 

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot going on in our lives. Just inside of the area of technology, we sense, “wait that’s not what I want to say”. We love our gadgets and, wait that’s not always true. We are controlled by, we are owned by, we are enslaved by technology. Without the latest tech instrument coming down the pike we are convinced we will be left behind, relegated to the boonies, off the grid. What drives this fear into us? 

Ingela Ratledge Amundson in her article, The More of Less, cites author Greg McKeown. “Over the past 10 years we’ve moved from connectivity to hyperconnectivity. Once you put a supercomputer in every person’s pocket, you’re going to get what we have now: It’s so hard to say no to nonessential distractions and relatively harder to say yes to what are actually the most important interactions and people in our life.”

I deeply appreciate McKeown’s point here. As I continue to bring together my first book – Participation – Engaging The People In Your Life, it is most encouraging to see how many millions of Americans have become interested in just that; participating by interacting with others whom they are walking through life with. Throughout the next couple of months, in this BIog, we will be highlighting a number of items centered around what it means, why it’s critical, how it’s done; this whole wonderful opportunity to get outside of self and into life lived in the company of others. 

Now, back to The Power of Less for a couple of observations to conclude this first of a two part post.

First, to change anything requires us at the baseline to embrace new habits. We have, in these past several decades become a nation of people living lives of distraction. That is to say, distraction compels us away from change. While we may know this in the recesses of our heart and soul, we seldom seem to be able to have an open conversation about it in public with others. While pursuing the habit of deconstructing ones life of “stuff”, why not share with a friend how you have struggled with distraction to accomplish this goal. Two for the price of One! You can do it!!

Second, is simple. But not Real Simple. You and I are living our life right now mostly separated physically from one another. It seems to me, that makes this time while sheltering in place, a grand opportunity for us to fill our hours with a habit that can only bring to us newness of life. The Power of Less, is a part of living a new life as it cleanses the old away like a distant memory. Almost sounds Biblical doesn’t it? 

Join me for Part II next week. And please shoot me a comment  and let’s begin a conversation around ways to discard the distractions in our lives.


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