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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Simplify.

Day 42.

Simplify.
Live simply so that others may simply live.
The Simple Life.

How peaceful does that all sound?!

Ryan and I currently attend a church in Mountain House that's held in the Wicklund Elementary School gym. For most, this is not church. There is no steeple. There are no pews. There is not a priest wearing a robe or an organ that sounds the heart upon entering. No, this church is very simple. It's called "New Life Christian Church."

I will say it now and I will probably never say it again, but I do not preach about religion or that there is any one religion that is better than the other. I do not believe in telling people they have to go to church or else....I just believe. It's as simple as that. "And as for me and my family - we believe."

Having said that, today at church, we talked about, "The Simple Life." This is exactly what I needed right now. Ryan said the same. I was at such peace listening to Matt, who is our Pastor, talk. Matt is extremely charismatic and helps us understand the big picture.

2 verses that stuck out to me today:
1. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." - Romans 12:22

How often in life do we conform to the patterns of the world? Or, rather, how many times in a day do we conform to the patters of this world? Society - America - All of Us - "We" - we live to conform to what we think is the "way." I could take any topic and give an example of how I feel we do this. It's not just in beliefs or traditions or routines, but in our wants and in our thoughts and in our negative depictions of "the good life." But I wondered, what if for one second, we actually let ourselves be transformed by the renewing of our minds. What if we reversed this conforming pattern and allowed ourselves to be renewed?

2. "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:27
Interesting. Perfect for me; this is what I needed to read this week. Worry. Worry. And then worry some more. It seems as though this is all I have been doing lately. I have 10 billion things on my mind, everything from food to fitness to work and missing my Family back home. Worrying only gets me anxious and anxious only makes my stomach more intolerant to the foods I am not even intolerant to. And then that makes me have anxiety about everything else. One thing builds and before I've even realized it, I have wasted a few hours (in sum) of my day. And for what? Nothing. I cannot get that time back. And I cannot add any time to my life to make up for it.

I want to share with you the Ten Controlling Principles for the Outward Expression of Simplicity that we discussed:
  1. Buy things for their usefulness versus status.
  2. Reject anything that is producing an addiction for you.
  3. Develop a habit of giving things away.
  4. Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
  5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
  6. Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
  7. Look with a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes.
  8. Obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech. (Yes = Yes; No = No)
  9. Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
  10. Shun anything that distracts you from seeking the kingdom of God.
Again, religious or not religious, I think there are things we can all take from that list.

With regards to my food intolerances, I could really look into #2. I had a severe food addiction with so many of the foods that were making me sick. And then I told myself (I say this a lot now to remind everyone and myself), "Clear the Clutter. Cut the Ingredients. Simple. Zen."

We could look into #6 and apply it to health/fitness. Get out of the gym for your long, Sunday run. Go for a run outside and enjoy all the beauty that lies around you. If you live in Northern California and are reading this, you have no excuse as to why you wouldn't run outside on a nice day. We live in an absolutely gorgeous place - mountains, hills, windmills, ocean, vegetation - and (most) is nature made!

My parents have a sign in their house that says, "SIMPLIFY." My Mother loves it. She looks at it a lot. She says that's what we should all really focus on more. She believes that our lives would be so simple if that's just how we could live. My definition of simplify is,

"Clearing the clutter. Cutting the ingredients. Simple. Zen. Happiness versus material. Filtering out negative - thoughts and people. A smile."

What is your definition of "SIMPLIFY?"

Today was another pretty good day for me. Again, just a little sick right away in the morning. My cold went away! I had a little rumbling of my stomach from about 5-7pm. My mouth was about a 5/6 all day. I had a day very similar to yesterday. I think I'm seeing a pattern with how I feel during the week vs. the weekend?

Here was my day:

Breakfast

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Nutribiotic Vanilla Rice Protein Powder with Coconut Milk Light, Flax, and Stevia
  • Small (Peets) Coffee with Coconut Milk Light/Stevia
Snack
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion (Dried Apple + Dried Cranberry Only)
  • Organic, Raw Walnuts

Lunch
  • 5-Lettuce Mix
  • Salmon Burger
  • Fish Oil + Spirulina + Sea Salt
  • Orange
Snack
  • 1/2 Fruit Fusion (Dried Apple + Dried Cranberry Only)
  • Organic, Raw Carrots
Dinner
  • 5-Lettuce Mix
  • Olive Oil
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta
  • 1 Glass Red Wine
S.I.M.P.L.I.F.Y.

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