Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finding More in Less

There are days when I long for the simplicity of life that my kids enjoy. They love their parents and gain security through the love that they receive from us. They're eager to learn, grow, discover the world through the joy of play. They laugh at each other and at themselves. They imagine themselves in exciting adventures. They're fully awake and present until the moment that they finally drift off to sleep at night. Their lives are simple. Their joy of living isn't choked out by the weeds of stress and worry. In their innocence, they make simple choices that provide them with a better reality.

My wife is reading a book entitled, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Voskamp, Ann). The book is about finding hope in the ordinary. The author started the book on a dare to keep a list of the many things that bring her joy. The list contains many ordinary things like the sun shining through the window, the smell of cookies baking, or a beautiful landscape that you see on a summer stroll. The book focuses on finding joy and experiencing happiness through being attentive to the thousands of blessings that we have each day. She makes simple choices of gratitude that provide her with a more joyful reality.

Rueters recently ran an article that also discussed simple changes that can change our reality for the better. (Kelland, Kate. Simple Life Changes Could Stop Millions of Cancers). The article says that about one-third of all common cancers can be prevented through simple life changes such as eating healthier, drinking less alcohol, and exercising more. Cancer is the leading cause of death around the world, killing 7.6 million people each year. This number is projected to climb to 13.2 million people a year in 2030. Low levels of physical activity are the leading cause of many of these cancers. (The World Health Organization recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week). In short, simple changes can save your life.

Consider the time that you have on this earth and what story you are writing with your life. Make small changes to write a better story. (Thanks to Don Miller for this illustration). Learn from children to laugh at yourself and with others. Create more margin in your life and be thankful for the ordinary. Do your part to prevent cancer: eat healthier, stop smoking, walk more. Find more life in simplicity!