Today, Bonnie Gray used her blog post to write about the first step to soul intimacy (something deep that happens when we take time to feed our souls), and to share a story from one of the readers of her book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.
If you follow the link to Bonnie’s post above, you’ll find a free Whitespace Printable art piece (Find Rest for Your Soul) created by Janine that you can download. And you can read her beautiful story about what it meant for her to make room for spiritual whitespace in her life. It’s so amazing to hear about the different ways that Bonnie’s words have touched others and reawakened their heart’s desire.
Although I have been done with the book for a while now, I still open it up now and then to read some of the passages I highlighted. This is one I like that Janine also included in her post:
When we make room for spiritual whitespace, we step into the beautiful journey of letting go to discover what’s really worth holding onto.
These words remind me about the importance of letting go of stuff and holding onto people, relationships, nature, and activities that bring us joy.
Recently, I started following blogger Rachel Jones from Nourishing Minimalism. She says:
“I don’t believe minimalism is particularly about a small amount of belongings, I believe it’s about being content. That one can come to a place in their life where they don’t need ‘more’ and we can spend our time impacting the lives of those around us, rather than caring for ‘things.’ People are the true things that matter.”
I really relate to a lot of her ideas for simplifying. In fact, I created this simple graphic from information she shared in one of her newsletters.
Rachel describes the lifestyle many of us seem to live with these words:
Feel like you’re running in a million different directions?
Most of the time, I think Americans run their life from 3 feet above their head. We don’t take time to sit and be here. In the moment, in this room, on this chair. It’s a rather disjointed life.
Rachel is describing the life of someone who has not figured out the importance of spiritual whitespace or the need for rest, whether physical or mental. On a related note, too much stuff really does cause stress. And more stuff does not lead to contentment as many seem to believe. You can read more from Rachel on simplifying here.
Even Pope Francis (in an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” July 27 ) listed leisure time, or rest, as one of his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life. Another had to do with connecting or building relationships.
“Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”
“A healthy sense of leisure.” The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.
“Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.
Spending time with those we love is so much more important than working harder to climb the ladder of success or to acquire more things. Holley Gerth says it best in yesterday’s post:
Jesus didn’t climb ladders … He built bridges.
Instead of reaching up for success He reached out in love.
We can do the same.