I think stillness in one’s life is very important. I’ve practiced it enough now to yearn after the still time, the solitude. I think to have stillness one has to have simplicity. Sounds easy enough, but in reality creating a simple life is one of the toughest accomplishments. The best give I’ve given to myself is to seek a plain and simple life.
Three years ago I was running on the treadmill of corporate America. I competed for the my technical writing success. I could walk with the big boys. One day I received a contest notice. What words changed your life? Tell us. I sat down and wrote a 1,000 words about those words and sent it off before I could think otherwise. The contest was for Marlo Thomas’ new book The Right Words At The Right Time Vol. 2. Writing that essay, Surviving Mom, took me to a place inside I had never visited. I began to write more and more personal work and fiction. As I did this, I became unsatisfied with my corporate job. I saw the level of depth in the work I was asked to produced. I wasn’t making a difference.
Surviving Mom was one of a hundred essays chosen out thirty-thousand essays to be published in Marlo’s book. At that point I had several short stories published and an agent knocking at my door for a novel–which by the way, I just finished :). I began to dream I would someday follow my passion of writing emotional work that touched readers. On January 6, 2006, I received the news my corporate job, my safety net, was going away. I could choose to move to TN or be cut loose. Isn’t there always a choice involved with simplifying your life? I walked away. It is the best choice I could have made. I live on a shoestring budget supported by my husband and love of my life. But life is so much better. I don’t have cable. I don’t go out to eat all the time. I don’t go on shopping sprees. I have been known to buy too many books though. But I have this rich inner life that did not exist before I began my new life. My life is so simple. I’ve found peace in what many would call boring. I now have friends tell me they want what I have, the calmness, the quiet way in which I approach situations. They want my passion and my Faith.
I leave you with a quote from Sue Bender’s book Plain and Simple:
“It is the enjoyment of every step in the process of doing; everything, not only the isolated piece we label art.”