7. Ideas

For thirty-one years Betty has been putting a new face on furniture. Operating out of a small garage in her backyard, Betty upholsters sofas and chairs. And though for months she’s been trying to retire, her customers just won’t seem to let her. She’s simply too good at what she does.


Walking into her workshop I imagined that the remnants of fabric on the floor must somehow tell the story of her life. Various shapes, colors and designs scattered about: I mean that’s exactly how I see my own life and my memories. And though Betty’s life to me seemed simple, I knew that it was certainly not lacking color or dimension.


Remnants of Ideas


Ideas come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. There are thousands of ways to describe even your own experience. What is the meaning of your years thus far? Do you see the purpose or design in your life? What are your interests and desires? What are you seeking?


Today it seems that everything is so terribly competitive. Don’t you ever feel that life is in hyper-drive and that everyone is fighting for the same piece of the pie? It all makes me dizzy and nervous, and I have to fight to return my thoughts to the simple beauty that is infinitely abundant. It calms and satisfies me to meet someone like Betty, who seems at peace with the world and her life.


Day 7 Guide


This is the first day in the Joyous Gard cycle of days. Start by slowing down a bit and trying to reorient your mind to seek the beauty in life. Read first Benson’s chapter on Ideas in order to capture the scope of our discussion.


Don’t worry, you don’t have to drop out of the “game of life” to find the beauty. But you should take the time daily to refresh your mind — to contemplate beauty, purpose and design. Today, look back over your life and try to make sense of the remnants. 


© 2005, Levi Hill

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