I am always amazed and touched by the generous spirit of the people I’ve had the pleasure to meet while traveling in Ireland. Whether I’m in a supermarket check-out fumbling with the unfamiliar coins in the palm of my hand, taking too long at the ATM for a simple withdrawal, or struggling to understand what I just heard even though it was in English and having to ask yet again, I am met with patience and kindness ~ traits which I have come to recognize as key aspects of Irish hospitality. Though I may be the source for a good laugh or frustration, I’ve been spared any embarrassment in the moment.
Kindness is a lovely balm for vulnerability ~ especially in those moments when we’re feeling uncertain, apprehensive or anxious. Traveling opens us to those tender places in ourselves and to be met with a smile and a generous spirit is such a gift. The kindness and hospitality of strangers truly defines our experience and shapes our memories. It’s what we take home with us in our hearts. It’s what we remember most.
I always say, “There’s something about Ireland”. Hospitality and kindness define part of that “something”. I’ve wondered why the Irish are so welcoming and generous with smiles and quiet kindness. I imagine it may have something to do with having so many family members over the years emigrate to other countries and hoping their loved ones will be met with kindness and comfort as they arrive and make their way in an unfamiliar place. Perhaps living through so much turmoil in their history they have cultivated kindness and hospitality along with a natural resilience and ability to laugh and have a bit of fun whether times are good or bad.
From wide smiles, an abundance of thoughtful gestures and genuine concern and support, in Ireland I feel I’m held in a climate of kindness. It is this kindness I remember when my heart is burdened. I unpack memories of shared laughter over pints late at night and the tender reminder that we’re all together in this pilgrimage of being human. Walking each other home.
"Out of clutter, find simplicity." ~Albert Einstein
What is clutter?
From Websters Dictionary…“to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.”
My eyes glazed over by the end of the sentence. I would consider this definition a perfect example of clutter. Please! Don’t buy another vowel…
I have come to define clutter as anything you do not use or do not love. Clutter is also too much stuff in too small a space; too many utensils in the crock by the stove, too many socks in a dresser drawer or the ever-expanding knickknacks collection that is causing the shelf to bow.
It’s interesting, too, how our stuff seems to migrate. I once found a set of drill bits in the piano bench while looking for the Christmas music that eventually turned up in a box of recipes. So, clutter is also living in a disorganized space. From piles of laundry left unfolded to stacks of mail sitting on the counter to coats and shoes scattered in the hallway.
There is a direct connection between our physical surroundings and our inner world. Our thoughts, emotions and experiences are mirrored in the spaces in which we dwell; our homes, offices…even our vehicles. Each is a direct expression of the other.
When we de-clutter our physical surroundings, we feel lighter, freed from the responsibility of caring for things we do not truly need or want…we’re less stressed because there is an ease in locating the item we’re needing…we take pleasure in enjoying those things that are beautiful or pleasing to us. We can finally “see” them! The energy has lifted along with our hearts and our way of being in the world changes as a result. We feel more at peace, carry a greater sense of clarity and open ourselves to living a simpler, happier, healthier life.
Are you ready to simplify your life? Find relief from feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where or how to start? I’m offering my De-Cluttering Your Life workshop on Saturday, January 14th. I’ll be sharing my tried and true tips for getting rid of the stuff you no longer need in your life. Visit my Events page for the details and to sign up
Come have a bit of fun with others who are ready to lighten the load!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.