A gift which costs less than $5.00 has turned out to be a huge treasure. A cousin gave me Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book called Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy which she bought at a second hand shop.
It reminds me of a cookbook given to me by a grandmother because it is a cherished item. I find myself returning to this keepsake over and over again. When things are nebulous and I need some words of comfort, I often pick up Simple Abundance. I usually find something soothing within one of her musings.
Breathnach has an entry for every day of the year. She starts each day with a quote from some wise person whose words align with her theme for the day. I can now see how much work it took to create these lengthy entries after writing more blogs lately. Her writings took a lot of thought, reflection and research.
Her daily entries are about six or more paragraphs and filtered with more quotes and references from other published writers. It is quite obvious that Breathnach is not only a profound writer, but also an avid reader. As Stephen King, said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that!”
She states in the foreword that Simple Abundance is built on six principles. They are gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, inner peace, beauty and joy. She says, “These are the six threads of abundant living which, when woven together, produce a tapestry of contentment that wraps in inner peace, well-being, happiness and a sense of security. These became the catalysts that helped me define a life of my own.”
So, during this Thanksgiving season, I take Ms. Breathnach’s lead and start with the first principle which is gratitude. In an attempt to live a more positive life, I begin each day by creating a gratitude page. There are so many things that we take for granted. “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop
In a spirit of thankfulness, here are some of the things we should pause and be grateful for: waking up to see a new day; being mobile and able to move around; having shelter, food and clothing; having clean water to drink; transportation; heat; love of family and friends; and valued work, to name a few.
Those things instantly came to mind but I just thought of one more and that is the kindness of strangers. People we encounter each day often do the nicest things like hold the door, share a smile or simply offer a cheery hello. Sarah Ban Breathnach adds, “When we do a mental and spiritual inventory of all that we have, we realize that we are very rich indeed.” I feel fortunate to have this treasure in my possession and it is like having an old friend. Ernest Hemingway writes, ““There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
Lynn November 6, 2014