Completing What Is In Reach

Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome Jennifer Sheffield who’s sharing a guest post about simplicity, mindfulness and not rushing ahead of yourself. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your wisdom with us.

———- Completing What is in Reach by Jennifer Sheffield ———-

“I encourage you to take time to grow into your dream and invest gradually as it begins to blossom.”  Lori Sanders, Unstuck, Chapter 6

In the winter it may take me a few more steps to flush my toilet than anticipated, but I’m learning to live with that. In the time it takes to fill the tank, using an empty juice container, the water for my tea brews, and I can make the bed. I can view these steps as a hardship, or be grateful for the slower pace. 

Many of us dream about living a simple existence in the countryside that comes with nuisances, such as this. These days, we can find off-grid, lifestyle YouTube videos to satisfy us, in which someone gets up early to chop firewood before spending the rest of the day on creative pursuits. 

I did move into a tiny house last year, but on my drives through the rural landscapes surrounding my community I have noticed that those who truly live with the least as we perceive it, actually reside in enormous houses, and on acres of land. 

On a farm, a lot has to get done. What remains for our eyes to see, are just remnants of those hard labors. Or, as my neighbor stated after her house fell off of its support, while she was in the shower, the lives that we love to love come with some different problems, too.

Maybe that is why this year, I didn’t make lists of lofty career goals. Rather, each day, I have tried to do more fully what is within my reach. 

Living tiny helps since everything inside 180-square-feet is equally accessible. However, I also find if an item stays in one place all the time it gets in my way before moving it. 

It’s the same with my ideas. 

If I am not forced to make room for those that already exist, or aim too high I can get stuck, or overwhelmed. 

Recently, there has been a lot kept out of reach for all of us, but what, or whom, have we reached for instead? 

In the book, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh shares a story about watching a friend eat a tangerine.

As the two were talking about projects they wished to be immersed in, Hanh noticed that his friend kept popping pieces of fruit into his mouth. He pointed this out and he started chewing thoughtfully, before reaching for another section. 

To truly live in the way that I have chosen, there is more to do, and for me, that is the point. By embracing this mindset, I feel more satisfied, and don’t wish for things that I used to.

I have also come to this overly simplified conclusion. 

Maybe what I spend my time reaching for will turn out to be not simple at all, but if I keep doing the everyday, and necessary, things, I will be able to reach for something else in time. 

In other words, if it’s cold outside and the toilet won’t flush, then I may as well drink my tea while it’s still hot. 

You can follow Jennifer A. Sheffield on Instagram at @journo.jenn.

Her portfolio can be found at: https://jennifershef.journoportfolio.com/.

You can also send Jennifer an email at: jennifershef@gmail.com.

Books referenced: 

Lori Sanders – Unstuck: Freeing Yourself From the Grips of Your Safety Net and Living the Life of Purpose You Were Made For

Thich Nhat Hanh, Translated by Mobi Ho – The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Books I’m reading: 

Forrest Pritchard – Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm

Katherine May – Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times


I’d love to hear from you. You can send me an email at hello@lorisanders.com

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram

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Until next time, be well.

Lori

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Featured title image by Jennifer Sheffield

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