Simplifying My “Inner” Garden

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Dear Reader:

I finally was able to get out in my garden yesterday and my mind felt so refreshed and clear!

It is amazing what two days (of spending outside time with nature) can do for body and soul.

On New Year’s Day….8000 people from around the world took the challenge of trying to simplify their lives in 21 days…the time, experts say, it takes to break a habit. It was called the KindSprings 21 Day Simple Living Challenge.

Audrey Lin (Awakin Call Garden of Simplicity) attended the weekly conference and wrote an article summing up ideas from people around the world (calling in) about their desire to simplify their lives.

The speaker used the metaphor of a garden as its theme towards achieving simplicity….and some of the ideas resonated with me as a “wanna be” gardener….who, nevertheless, just loves her garden of grace and serenity.

“Garden of Simplicity”

…” Three core elements of simple living stood out: simplicity as an “inside job,” a heightened awareness of nature, and our relationship to material possessions.”

“Simplicity is an inside job,” Mish <speaker> began. “For me to have simplicity in my life, I think of my mind as a garden. I have to weed it constantly. When I weed it, I make space for buds of awareness to grow… de-cluttering my mind. From there, everything flows. For me, simplicity starts with taming my thoughts, breathing deeply, and coming from a place of stillness.”

“For me, simplicity is the knife that cuts through the complexity and takes me into the aliveness of a living universe.” Duane Elgin’s words pierced the air, crystal clear. “

“Small moments of attention can bring about the genuine, down-to-earth delights. When we pause and take notice of our biological existence, each moment of connection may just unearth a symphony of eternity at our fingertips.”

“Where do I find aliveness? It’s in my relationships, my creativity, my contributions to other people, my connections with nature. That doesn’t cost anything”

The author summed up the participants’ search for simplicity by concluding:

...” as one idea or experience seeded many others, it was apparent that a resilient garden of simplified living is being tilled across the globe— one possession, one act, one thought at a time.” 


When we simplify our lives by de-cluttering them we actually are freeing ourselves to time spent doing what brings us the most joy….creating, giving, and spreading seeds of “surcies” around the world. (Keep spreading those “surcies” Anya and Ambika!)

So until tomorrow…let us all heed this bit of advice:

 There is a beautiful saying: ‘The more you have, the less you are. The less you have, the more you are. Either you flourish, or the material around you flourishes. The more you possess outside, the fewer opportunities you have to spend on internal growth.” (Shared by Meera-ba-India)

 “Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* I began the task yesterday of pulling fallen dead branches off plants in the garden, cutting dead stems off specks of green growing from within the pots where life is spreading, and simply shifting things around…sometimes we just need a shift, a change… to open up a whole new look on life’s situations.

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photo 4 (90)Honey added this butterfly (made from spoons) to the “bucket of beauty” before we left for Magnolia Cemetery…when the sun hits it from a particular angle… it seems to light up, to glow…one small change to a situation and a whole new perspective emerges!

* Rutledge is doing so much better….you blog readers are good…thanks so much for your prayers. The ENT doctor had to do a lot of suctioning but was able to clean out and repair everything without further surgery. Walsh and Mollie are breathing easier tonight. Again thank you for your comments, thoughts, and prayers! It worked!


photo-242Honey’s been hacked! The hacker told emailers that she was on her way to Singapore (perhaps with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope?) She spent all day trying to resolve the issue and she does have a new password now so it is safe to email her…. like me, her past communications are a distant memory.

But like Honey told me last November….“Don’t let anyone steal your joy!”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to Simplifying My “Inner” Garden

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Loved today’s blog about simplifying our lives! That’s exactly what my husband and I are thinking of as we prepare to get into our brand new house! We’re trying to make sure that we don’t clutter it all up with “stuff.” I know we have many trips to the thrift or Goodwill store ahead of us as we continue to toss and pitch “stuff” that we hurriedly packed and stored from leaving our former house in “the ‘ville.” Simplicity is key. I loved how you summed it all up: “The more you have, the less you are. The less you have, the more you are.”
    Have a blessed Friday! We’re off to Youngsville (just northeast of Raleigh) to our youngest grandson’s 1st birthday!! They grow SO fast! Hard to believe he’s already one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Moving is always the time when we realize just how much we have collected over the years….and what a relief it is to get rid of it….we never miss it…out of sight, out of mind.


  2. ambikasur says:

    Dear Becky! The idea of surcies apparently started from you, so definitely we will spread it as well😊… Good to hear about Rutledge’s health! Will continue praying for all of you… 😉


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    Ambika…you, my dear, are the best “surcie” of all.


  4. Johnny Johnson says:

    I really enjoyed this blog! Small changes can make such a difference in one’s life. Thank you for reminding me of that!
    I am so glad Rutledge is doing better! Nothing worse than to see little ones sick and in pain when they don’t understand why! God is GREAT!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Becky Dingle says:

    God is the greatest….we know He is LOVE when He shows such tenderness to the little ones….thanks for taking time to comment…insightful as usual


  6. Brooke says:

    Boy did this one hit home, Boo. I have not yet started, but decluttering is on my list of things to do. It is like the closets are “haunting me” and I am afraid to open the doors. I must get the courage to get started. I even asked my housekeeper to come an extra day or two to haul bags to the car and the trash. Reality is that I have to decide what stays and what goes. One has to be ready to purge and totally sick of it all so that most of it GOES!!
    So glad to hear that Rutledge is better!! Great news!! Brookie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky Dingle says:

    Brookie…that was the same feelings I had about the garden…knew I wanted it more than anything but just need some guidance…someone to hold my hand and lead me through the initial stages…Anne and Doodle did just that and now I can hardly wait for spring and to sit in my garden again…my garden of grace and sanctuary.


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