Scott started showing up to class every day at noon. I didn’t know much about him, but I could tell he had “an official 9 to 5 job” and probably should have been at work during the day time. Being the nosiest of nosey-pokers, I asked him why he was showing up to noon class every day. He said, “Ha! That’s easy. I’m a broker and I set my own hours. I’ve noticed the less I work, the happier I am.” Decreasing his working hours– taking a break in the middle of the day to re-charge– increased Scott’s happiness and quality of life.
When we think about the word ‘less,’ we are most likely to deem ‘more’ as its opposite. But that’s not entirely accurate. In so many ways, ‘less’ can actually give us ‘more.’ You see, I’ve discovered repeatedly that embracing the ‘culture of less’ directly challenges the culture of scarcity that we currently inhabit. The culture of scarcity asks us to glamorize fatigue and overwork. The culture of scarcity requires us to hoard our resources because there isn’t enough to go around. The culture of scarcity tells us the more we buy, the better we feel. The culture of scarcity is a good liar.
‘More’ isn’t the opposite of ‘less.’ Having more is the direct outcome of spending less. It’s a direct result of giving less of our attention to a culture that bombards us with messages telling us we aren’t good enough until we own the newest model.
I’ve found time and time again I am happier when I own fewer items. I spend less time cleaning my house and more time outside enjoying God’s green Earth. I spend less money on possessions that I don’t really need and more time buying surprise gifts for friends. I spend less time over-working and more time with my Ironman and Russell Clive. I spend less time stressing over how to amass more money to buy something bigger and better and more time in meditation and prayer, grateful for what I already have. I truly believe that ‘less is more,’ and I think the Lenten time is the perfect time to practice this. Instead of asking, “What can I give up?” ask yourself, “Where can I have less in order to have more?”
When is ‘less’ actually ‘more’ for you? Maybe this class will help you find the answer…
Every year I teach this special Candlelight Vinyasa Class to help students prepare for the Lenten Season of renewal. I’ll ask you to call to mind your deepest values and examine what is no longer serving you. I’ll ask you to question: where can I have less in order to have more? Please join me at Westport Yoga next week: Wednesday March 1 2017 at 7:30 pm. (Regular class prices apply.) More information found here.
(This article also appears in The Daily Bread published by Community of Christ. Author’s rights reserved.)