July 24
Often one of the stumbling blocks to
living a simpler life is our inability or
unwillingness to change how we play
some of the games that got us into
these complicated lives in the first place.

Elaine St. James


Today's Meditation:

It's kind of hard to think of all that we do as games, but in a way, almost everything that we do is at some level similar to games.  Games have rules, games have goals, games have actions and activities.  There are rules involved in getting and doing jobs, in belonging to communities, in starting and maintaining relationships and families.  The rules are different for each person, of course, but we do follow the rules that are unique to us.

The questions comes up, though, concerning where we learned the rules that we follow, and whether those rules help us or sabotage our efforts to lead our lives fully.  Sometimes we learn rules from people who aren't at all happy or fulfilled themselves, so how can we expect those rules to have different results for us?  Many people follow rules that complicate their lives to no end--saying yes to every request for their time, deciding to do too much work and spend little time with their families, taking on extra tasks in addition to their main ones.

How we came to be where we are, though, is pretty much irrelevant.  What matters most is how we get from where we are to where we want to be, and sometimes that means examining the rules that we follow and figuring out if they're helping us or not.  And if they aren't, then we need to learn how to play the games differently if we want different results.  Perhaps one course a session is better when we're working full time than three; perhaps deciding to take a rest will help our work more than an extra day of working.

People who complicate their lives by spending too much need to change their spending habits if they want to simplify.  Sometimes such a change is terribly difficult, but absolutely necessary if we want our lives to be simpler and more manageable.

Questions to consider:

In what ways has your life become complicated?  How did those things happen or come to be? 

What part of playing the game is most difficult for you?  How is it difficult for you to change the way you play? 

List five of the "games" that you play regularly; do they complicate your life, or help you to simplify it?

For further thought:

People must be able to. . . .  simplify their
duties, their business, and their lives.

Henri Frederic Amiel


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