The Power of Subtraction. This chapter is loaded with good ideas, exercises, and examples. But those four words- the power of subtraction- summed it up for me. That is what i am working on this year- subtracting the things from my life that no longer give life to me, that don't fit, or that are harmful in some way. I am finding this to be an important tool and applicable to many areas of my life. For example,I clean out my closet of all those items that no longer fit right or I just don't love. There is a freeing sense about the exercise and invariably something new comes to me. I am more apt to choose that which I love the next time I am shopping(which isn't that often). And it is true that clearing spaces in my home affects my spirit.
A few years ago I took a writing class in which we learned how our environment is connected with us and we should pay attention. I live in wintry northern Maine that draws one to rest, solitude, letting ground lie fallow for a time, hibernation of a sort. Most County Mainers "plow"through these winter days. We have learned to deal with 200 inches of record breaking snowfall or 40 degrees below zero. Yet have we stopped listening to the subtle messages all around us?
A few weeks ago, I went out for a short walk on a snomobile trail. The quietness was stunning. On that walk I saw a sign which read Stop Ahead. I couldn't get that sign out of my head. I even dreamed about it and kept hearing "slow down, pay attention." Several incidents happened in the weeks that followed in which I found the needed wisdom gained by slowing down and getting a bit of perspective. The answers we need often come when we stop plowing ahead without restraint. Even if the answer doesn't appear right away, the gift of peace makes the wait bearable.