Epiphany. Will I do Jan Richardson’s one-day Women’s Christmas retreat today? Probably not. It’s already past 11. Will I write? Probably not because I really know nothing and it’s already past 11. Will this be another minimalist day? Probably.
I am so inclined to minimalism and the temperature is in the single digits and it is snowing. I am laundering sheets–that doesn’t require much effort–and hanging them to dry on racks, both for energy efficiency and to boost humidity in the living room. Yesterday I made lots of soup so today I don’t need to cook anything except maybe a minimalist dinner. It is our day to go to the Y but my husband’s effort will join mine to get us there.
I should put away the Christmas ornaments and take down the tree and then clean the house. But maybe not.
I am a minimalist. I don’t believe in redundance or excess effort. I often think of this as laziness and it hits hard at this time of year.
The things that are going on with me are too subtle or hard to write about with minimal effort. I am noticing instincts, inclinations. I was inclined to make a call about the trashing of the ethics committee (though I didn’t but many others did and the Republican congresspeople changed their minds) but I am not inclined to follow DT’s every outrageous move. I am inclined to be disciplined right now about what I’m eating and doing centering prayer twice a day but not about avoiding escapist entertainment. I am not inclined to take action on Obamacare but I am inclined to join others to do something meaningful, locally, to protect immigrants.
I don’t understand why my psyche sorts itself out this way but I pay attention to it, because I am lazy, or minimalist, about where I exert energy. I don’t see any logic to my personal inclinations. I hope somebody is inclined to take action on Obamacare, for example, or that I may develop an inclination at some time, or do so despite lack of inclination.
As I write this I am as usual distracted by things popping up on Facebook but what pops up is so striking that I have to describe it. First, I shared to the church page a post about a meeting in nearby Goshen to talk about how to support and protect immigrants in these difficult days. The meeting, at short notice, drew a standing-room-only crowd. I say, somewhat enviously, what’s happening around immigrants in our neck of the woods? Minutes later my friend Janie posts a notice of an upcoming meeting at our own church about the Syrian refugee crisis.
My instinctive inclinations are thus confirmed by a bit of synchronicity. I take this seriously. Just as I took seriously an inclination to adopt “heart” as my word for the year, at a time when I was feeling disheartened, and then “heart” started popping up everywhere, such as in the title of a book on my to-read stack, The Heart of Centering Prayer. I started reading the book and it was exactly what I need right now and I am no longer disheartened.
Minimalism, or laziness, has its advantages if you pay attention to where the energy is and where the energy isn’t. It can be a way to develop and hone your instincts. Actually, my inclination right now, in these unbelievable times, is to hone my instincts. Not to tell anybody else what they should or should not do except maybe the same. Center. Know yourself. See where your inclinations lead.
What are your instincts telling you these days?