Simple Abundance

November 3, 2007

A few weeks ago, my cousin gave me a copy of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. She picked it up in a thrift shop for twenty five cents. It was well worth a quarter because it makes me aware that I have to pay more attention to caring for my soul.

The November chapter opens with “Like a woman who has found her authenticity, November’s beauty radiates from within.”

I might not know how to go about finding my authenticity, but I do like the sound of that.

The entry for November 2nd, “Caring for Your Soul,” includes the following: “For we were created for no other reason than to love, nurture, nourish, sustain, protect, uplift, inspire, delight, charm, and comfort the beloved presence within each of us.”

Breathnach goes on to say that, “All Souls’ Day is a beautiful occasion for contemplating how we care for our own souls, the degree of hospitality we extend to these guests in our daily round, and the quality of their visit so far… It is through the small details of everyday life that we make our souls feel welcome.”

Although not intentional, I find that I have been working towards that goal. Of late, this has taken the form of making small improvements in my home’s décor. I can’t afford new furniture, so I had to be content with adding some new wall art, and rearranging some existing pieces.

Here’s my “mask wall” in the family room.

I just have to include this shot of the bandanna gourd the librarian I work with gave me.

My sister recently purchased a new living room set, and didn’t want this painting any more. Lucky me! I can’t get over how well it goes with the pillows I picked up the other day for five bucks apiece in a hole-in-the-wall dump of a warehouse outlet.

I bought this hydrangea print several years ago from – of all places – Avon. Yesterday, I moved it into the dining room, near a vase of dried hydrangeas.

Now if only I could replace the furniture and rugs that the dogs have destroyed… Sigh.

Speaking of decorating, October was “No Drama” month at the high school where I am employed. Everyone was invited to enter a theme-based door-decorating contest.

Here’s a shot of my entry while it was still in progress.

Most of the blank spaces were filled in by the end of last month. Along with graphics and photos of students, I also created some cheesy captions like, “Park your drama outside. Enter with a smile, dignity and pride!” and “Drama not welcome here. Wear your smile from ear to ear!” and “Just say no to drama. Join the smile-o-rama!”

Yesterday, during the morning announcements, the winners were announced. My door came in third place. (A music teacher with an artistic flair came in first, and someone who ripped off my idea to use student photos came in second.)

By the way, this activity was responsible for my Halloween costume. While I was searching for images of smiles, “the” picture of Flavor Flav came up. I couldn’t resist.

Song of the Day: Smile by Charlie Chaplin, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons

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11 Responses to “Simple Abundance”

  1. The house looks very nice. Love the pillows. Your door should have won 1st place.

  2. Fabulous! So often we forget to nurture ourselves. I need to do more of that myself.

  3. Jim said

    You do have a flair for decorating — rooms and doors!

  4. Loved the door theme and I really loved the living room. Your sister’s picture is gorgeous and does do justice to the pillows. Also loved the other things you did. It is fun to make some little changes to freshen up the space. Great work!

  5. thats awesome . i like that (7/10)

  6. Michael said

    Gorgeous decorations. It all looks very soul-nourishing.

  7. Stefani said

    I love what a big difference it makes, just moving a few existing pieces around. Those are some of my favorite shows on HGTV.

  8. LA said

    Fabulous! I feel lucky I know exactly where everything is in person and think it’s a terrific new arrangement. But then your place has always been arty, fun, welcoming, graceful and warm. Hmmn…can’t imagine why. No, seriously, your home has ever been a reflection of the fantastic woman who lives there.

    Soooo glad we got to talk the other night. Mick says he misses and loves you. As do I. ~LA

  9. Pam L said

    I agree on the working with what I already have, rearranging, revamping something ( I love spray paint for changing lamps, planters etc) or finding the occasional fantastic bargain at Ross even if I have to rework it a bit. Much more satisfying than buying all new out of the showroom, and much more budget friendly. I love the mask wall and those pillows.

  10. Joan said

    This is a great time of year to make inexpensive changes to make “your spot” cozier. I especially like the new painting area!

  11. "WCD" said

    Your home looks lovely:) And I love love Simple Abundance, it’s an amazing book:)And I used to write (I need to begin again) at least five things a day I am grateful for. Put everything in perspective for me.

    I think you have alreay found your authenticity, you are as genuine as they come:)

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