"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Monday, January 5, 2015

Do Less. Be More.

Each new calendar year brings with it a season of reflection and renewal to live my life in healthier and more meaningful ways.  
It only takes mere minutes for me to compile a list full of things that I wished I did more: exercise, sleep, volunteer; 
and certainly things I want to do less of: unhealthy eating, procrastinating, being hard on my kids. 

While this list of New Year goals and resolutions rolls from me freely and quickly,
I began to notice the way crafting such a list made me feel as the fresh resolve of the new year slowly wore away.  

These goals became just another measure of the ways I wasn’t good enough, even by my own standards.  

I would think surely there are women everywhere that are able to keep their laundry from piling up,
fresh and healthy food on their family’s table,
and still have time to pursue their personal dreams and aspirations.  

There’s got to be a way to keep all these plates spinning.   

With each wobble of my own plates, I would feel as though I was somehow doing it wrong,
and that New Year’s list, made with only the best intentions, 
became a way to verify the ways I wasn’t enough.

So a couple of years ago I did away with the traditional list.  
I took almost a month to examine what about my life truly made my family and me happy.  
I started from this place to craft my hopes and intentions for the new year - 

not by rattling off the ways I was doing things wrong, 
but by focusing on how I could fill my days 
with things that felt even more right.  

As the years go, the specifics of the list may vary, but the sentiment remains the same:  

Do less. Be more.

Talk. Schedule. Worry. Analyze. Compare. Fear. = Less.

Laugh. Listen. Dance. Sleep. Breathe. Dream. = More

There is freedom in refusing to plan for life in measurable and bulleted steps.  
Of allowing the year to unfold before you, 
teaching you through the simple act of living 
what it is that you need to learn or unlearn in the days ahead.  

There will always be ways I can do life better, 
but it is important to counter these expectations 
with the understanding that we have a lifetime of days to try. 

That the quest for betterment in my life 
can really be another way to disengage from the realities of the moment – 
all the messy and imperfect glory of it. 

That for every way we aren’t where we would like to be, 
we’ve come twice as far on the road of who we were. 

Perhaps in the end, that’s all the resolution we need.
To stay open to the new year ahead. 
To pay attention.  
To live each day, imperfectly, but fully through.

drinking in my delicious nephew Rhodes Wilder...
new to the world. old to the soul. 

{joining over at unforced rhythms}


  1. Yes! Anything that makes YOU - you with your heart that sparkles and shimmers - feel not enough is just plain bunk. I love how you have found a way to connect to the more you want without feeling less.

    1. it is a slow quiet journey weeding out what drains us and giving room for things to bloom. you being along side me makes it seem all the sweeter. xx

  2. do less. be more. just perfect.
    (and as the saying goes, less IS more) xo

    1. it is so funny how much the 'more' creeps back in even when i know less is how i live best. thankful for this life time of days to keep going back. xo

  3. Goodness, Tara. This is beautiful and resonates with where my heart is, too. Really, those last several paragraphs I could hang on my wall somewhere, but this -
    "There is freedom in refusing to plan for life in measurable and bulleted steps.
    Of allowing the year to unfold before you,
    teaching you through the simple act of living."

    Thank you - and yes. Yes to all of this.
    what it is that you need to learn or unlearn in the days ahead.

    1. i'm so glad others out there have similar heart stirrings. those 'me too' moments help so much.

  4. (btw: I didn't insert that last line... hehe. dang auto-something-or-other seems to get the best of me most days).

    1. ha. i hear ya. i didn't even notice :) :)

  5. Tara, as always, your words and their lyrical poetry move me so much. I love to plan, but I don't want to miss out on living life.

    1. i love me a good plan too. just have to remember to ease back into the notion that life can be okay, even better when i don't try to control and measure my worth by each little step. happy new year to you darlin'.

  6. Yes! Less analyzing and worrying and comparing. More quiet and being comfortable with that quiet. There is a time to fight and this isn't my time to fight. It is my time to surrender and accept. (Oh my goodness it's hard.) My instinct is to hang on, to fight because that's what I'm used to. All good things are worth fighting for and all that, but... This isn't the season. Anyway. Clearly, your post means a lot to me. Thank you. It's a reminder I'm on the right path. You are on the right path, Tara, and it's an exciting and peaceful one, all at once.

    1. i feel like perhaps we are. on this right path. and it makes it so much better to know you are out there on that path with me. quietly taking in what can stay and what has to change. and that we can surrender, trusting this process of letting go and becoming.

  7. Love it! This is the way to live. :)

    1. it isn't always easy, but it feels like my truths are pulling me more and more to it. :)