Adding and Subtracting - Revisited and Updated

"The years teach much which the days never knew."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was younger, life seemed all about what I could add to it. I worked on gaining more knowledge, more experiences, more things. As I have got older I have noticed the spiral reversing. I am now dropping things, simplifying. I am now editor of my life.

The myriad of things I had gained knowledge about and picked up along the way 'just in case' were cluttering my mind like an overfilled bookcase, it was crammed with so much stuff that I couldn't find the life affirming classics without moving the trashy novels and gossip mags.

So I metaphorically and physically tidied my shelves, dropped what had served its purpose, let go of the sparkly things that I had held onto because they looked good and kept only the things that were dear to my heart. Things in which I had found my reflection.

The subjects whittled down from a swarm of interesting things, to just a few that have stood the test of time. The spotlight beam now narrowed, focused, shining a light on what I need to see. Clear, no distractions, clutter gone.

In my growing, I had breathed all these things in. I have now exhaled and am left with only what it truly valid for me.

"To be authentic is literally to be your own author, to discover your own native energies and desires & your own way of acting on them." - W Bennis

It has been a couple of years now since the first part of this post was written, and that act of exhaling and letting go of the clutter was vital for a magpie like me, who has always amassed and gathered.

I would read everything and filter out the information I needed, I would have piles and piles of books because the titles looked interesting. Every surface in my home was covered with beautiful and interesting things.

I was fascinated by everything. . . and I was swamped.

Not knowing in the end, which of all that stuff was important to me and which just had twinkly lights and promised much. I loved to live in that realm of infinite possibilities.

But, it made me an observer, I stood outside it all, thinking how wonderful and interesting it all was, I couldn't partake of it all, there was too much.

I spread myself too thin
put too many ingredients in the pot
forget to remember that less is more

I get caught up in quantity
when quality shines so much brighter
by nature, I amass rather than discern

A single rose can be studied
seen for its individual perfection
twenty is just a bouquet of flowers

My thoughts say why write one
when ten are flowing from your fingers
but who will listen to ten, when one would do

So that is when the editing began. I truly did exhale. I got rid of so much stuff, both in the real world and the stuff that was cluttering up my mental state. Some of it I found it hard to let go of, but I did it.

In the end I was left only with that that truly had heart for me and suddenly instead of spinning in a hall of mirrors, exhilarated and dazzled by the lights, I could point to the handful of things that I could interact with, go deeper with.

My speciality subjects were distilled from the mountain of trivia.

Time has passed and I am now taking the next in breath. I have made room for me to breathe in, space for new things, new thoughts, new directions. Honouring my role as author, I am constantly adding to, editing and polishing the story that is me.

"What's important is finding out what works for you." - Henry Moore

Poem Less is More by Susannah Bec - For more poetry please visit Out Of My Ocean


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Susannah, I so relate to this. I am constantly in a state of wanting and needing to reduce the Stuff. I live in a small space, hate clutter and have too much. Some stuff is hard to part with, but the space created is even more beautiful - and calming. Thanks for inspiring me to Continue To Purge. Timely, given right now reno is being done and Stuff is piled everywhere. So well written - and so wise. Less is more.

Susannah said...

Hi Sherry, ah, so you understand! :-)

Yes, the space created is beautiful too which is important to remember. I've found that as soon as I've let go of the stuff I never miss it. It is just the initial decision and acting on it that is difficult.

I bet you will so enjoy your new space when the work has been finished and everything is back in order again.

Thanks for visiting, it is good to see you. x

Dulce said...

Visiting this place... a real pleasure... You remind me so much of someone I know... I love this poem such an extent you have no idea.

Susannah said...

Dulce, thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment, it is much appreciated. :-)

It is really good to meet you, please come by again. x

Lynda Lehmann said...

This is a thoughtful, honest and well written post, and how I can relate! I'm afraid that I'm still in that stage, trapped in fascination with too many things and wanting to do it ALL! And in the process, my core desires and goals get watered down....

Thanks for sharing your insights. It's a relief to know that other people suffer from "too-muchness" of mind, aspiration, and desire.

Susannah said...

Hi Lynda, good to hear from you thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

It took me a long time to get to the point where I could 'focus my beam' and I am still distracted by the pretty shiny things. :-)

I think that it is part of my make up, I am so moved and entranced by beauty and so so fascinated by interesting things that I can still find myself like a kid in a sweetshop.:-)

It has taken effort to 'edit' but I have learned to do it and the deeper interaction with certain things has more than made up for missing out on some of the 'possibilities'. I trust now that if something is meant for me, it will find its way to me...that helps!

It is good to meet you, please come by again. :-)


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