Writing my morning pages today, my thoughts were spinning on the familiar hamster wheel of keeping afloat financially.
I found myself writing the phrase “making a living” as I jotted down thoughts on how to do so. But then the peculiarity of the phrase struck me. Do we really “make a living”? What does it mean? Because the phrase is generally used in a financial sense, it seems to mean “making money”. Is having money the same as living? No.
And then I also found myself writing about how I spend my time. Again a financial reference. We “spend” money and we seem used to the idea that we also “spend” time.
These words seem very utilitarian, and if we are to live joyful lives, they can’t be utilitarian ones. This seems to be pointing me towards a shift in my thinking, towards joy, or to quote Joseph Campbell, to “following our bliss”.
I’m aware that people living in abject poverty no doubt feel both ground down and seriously pissed off when they hear about philosophies such as voluntary simplicity or if they happen to come across this Gospel verse:
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. (Matthew 6 28:29)
But for those of us living lives of relative privilege, don’t we have a duty to think outside the constraints of “making and spending” and turn towards joy in our lives? Make our lives in the truly creative sense of the word?
I believe that in our journeying through the last part of our years on this beautiful planet, living creative lives grounded in simplicity is the way to joy. What about you?