March 13th, 2015

luis barrigan door


I am with these words of Greg McKeown from his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:

"...the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless."

Simplicity has been my mantra for quite some time.  I think simplicity and essentialism equate.  I read McKeown’s words and immediately set down to prioritize my life, then read that “the word priority came into the English language in the 1400’s.  It was singular.  It meant the very first or prior thing.  It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities.  Illogically we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality.  Somehow we would now be able to have multiple “first” things.”

What comes to me in this: What is essential can only be known in this moment. I can say my priority is writing, but then I receive a call.  Someone has just been diagnosed with cancer.  A family member is sick.  Someone needs help.  I am ready to help.  I’ve been thinking of this, this balancing of priority and what is essential and what is immediate and what came to me this morning was the story of The Other Wise Man.  He, too, set off with gifts for the “newborn King born among the Jews”. Along the way, he meets people in need, and each one receives one of the gifts, until he has nothing left to give.  He hears a voice that tells him each gift has been received by the King.

Each gift has been received. Along the way, gifts are given and received.

I pause, and a deep swelling fills my heart and gut. The tide comes in. The swelling is Love.