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The Flow of Good: Have You Disconnected From One Too Many Systems?

by Gip Plaster on April 5th, 2011

In addition to disconnecting your cable TV, ditching your dishwasher and eliminating your cell phone contract, have you disconnected yourself from the universe’s flow of good things?

Maybe disconnecting from life’s systems isn’t such a good idea after all.

Do you like posts that focus grandly on life’s big, spiritual concepts that reach far beyond the scope of one simple life? And do you like posts that offer more questions than answers? If so, this is for you.

The Flow of Good

A flow of goodness runs through the universe, many people believe, and we can all tap into this flow if we position ourselves correctly. In fact, our natural position is inside this flow unless we temporarily remove ourselves from it.

If you believe as I do, all people are connected to this goodness whether they want to be or not. We can, however, build barricades that keep us from experiencing everything that’s available to us, and we can take paths that create perceived distance between us and this flow of good.

When things go wrong, we have diverged from life’s simplest paths onto ones with unnecessary complications.

Does cutting back too much or oversimplifying a life cause some kind of separation from this flow? Can living a simple life cause us to miss out on some grand opportunities because we’re thinking too small?

Before we continue, I have to acknowledge that this post was inspired by Deb from Life Beyond Stuff who has presented similar questions to be — more than once — in comments here and in email conversations. (She’s not afraid to present some strong and radical ideas on her blog either.)

And it’s an interesting idea. I believe life is supposed to be big, grand, important, exciting, dramatic and over-the-top.

And I believe a simple life is the grandest of all.

Stuff As Barriers To Grandeur

For me, grandeur doesn’t come from the same place it does for some other people.

I believe that everything we own takes away a piece of our lives.

While it may seem nice to have a food processor, it takes time to buy, energy of one kind of another to clean and a precious place to store. Every time it’s used, a piece of the user’s life is taken up by dealing with it. A knife, of course, takes from the user, too, but not as much.

Recently, I eliminated my trash service because of the money it was costing me and the silliness of paying someone quite a lot of money for a service I was using less each week. By eliminating the service, I get to keep more of my money and get the peace of mind that comes from knowing I eliminated some nonsense from my life.

A month ago, I changed from the declining service of my contract-required cell phone provider to the less expensive and superior service of one that doesn’t make demands. This month, I’m experimenting with an even cheaper option for the same phone. Signing a contract takes away a piece of my life, and shelling out for services I don’t need takes some of my money and gives me nothing in return.

As I eliminate the vampires that suck life from me, my life becomes grander and better. Or to put it another way, there are fewer things between me and the drenching shower of goodness of which I’m now catching a peripheral drizzle.

Questions, Questions

I’m fairly certain that I’m on the right path — that eliminating things from my life takes me closer to the best path than if I were living a life of excess. But I wonder what you think.

Would a life that’s less concerned with eliminating nonsense display to the universe more freedom than one that’s enjoying the benefits of some restriction?

Do my efforts to be more financially responsible take me off the path toward by best life possible? Do yours?

Is all this spiritual mumbo jumbo itself just another kind of distraction from life’s truest paths?

Are you concerned that I’m not on quite the right kind of journey? And what about your journey? Is it working for you?

Whether you want to talk about mundane things or topics much more grand, I’d like to hear your thoughts. And if all you have are more questions, I’ll explore those with you too.

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19 Comments
  1. Hi Gip – I love the Deb-ish style posts. :)

    I have a similar belief about tapping into the steam of good that you’re writing about in this post. At times throughout my life I can see when I was, or wasn’t “tapped in.” I’m generally much happier and more content when I am.

    Getting rid of the excess does help make space to find that stream and tap into it. If you’re so busy taking care of all of your crap, you don’t have or take the time reflect or meditate. Both of which I believe to be a straight path to the “stream.”
    Jenny @ exconsumer recently posted Consumer Debt Remaining

    • That sounds right to me, Jenny. I can usually tell when I’ve been away too. This week, I’m doing well. Last week… not so much.
      Gip

  2. jenny smythe permalink

    hi Gip!
    Speaking of vampires – I’m in the midst of eliminating the vampires in my life. Luckily there isn’t a lot. But I am in the process of trying to break free from the ties that bind me with them. I’m discovering that the process is often times painful but necessary.
    jenny smythe recently posted Why I write LESS

    • Change seems to always be painful, but every change is eventually and ultimately for the good because there is really no other place to go.
      Gip

  3. Hi Gip,
    I enjoy posts that leave me with questions.

    A few simple observations.

    Life in the west was measured by how much you earned and how many things you had. Now it seems to be the opposite whilst in the impoverished countries they still strive to get out of poverty and live better lives.

    Are these people more spiritual than the folk in the west?
    To a degree I think so but is being without possessions a spiritual guarantee?

    I believe the answer is that you can own possessions but don’t let them own you. I also think that all these gadgets lead to laziness which then spreads to all parts of your life.
    Andre recently posted Comment on The Key to a Powerful Mind by Stringfree

    • Good points. No, I don’t think a life of few possessions is a guarantee to a good life, but I do think a deliberate life — one lived according to one’s principles — is a guarantee.

      The key, I think, is to think — to make decisions about how to live rather than than just stumbling around. Those who are just stumbling around are the one who will have the most problems, I think.

      Gip

  4. This is a really interesting topic. I’m currently dealing with this issue myself. If you simplify your life to the point where you’re involved in too few activities, doing too little, and spending almost no money, does this make one feel rich… or too disconnected from life, somehow? I’ve always been frugal, but I’m finding that if I’m too frugal, I feel pinched, and that my opportunities in life feel restricted. I think it’s about finding a balance that works. I’m currently trying to find this balance for myself. :)
    Fujoshicat recently posted Happy Spring Equinox – 2011

    • I think this idea of being too restricted is what Deb was trying to impress upon me. I hope she shows up on this post soon and offers her opinion more fully.
      Gip

      • agreed on this opinion of being too restricted. i think that as long as you align your spending within your values, you should be good to go. if you desire to have more freedom to travel, then by all means, the money you save from cutting out unnecessary expenses should go towards travel. or if you want your life to be more about spending quality time with your kids, splurging once in a while on something like Disney World is not a bad thing, if that’s what you want to do and you enjoy it.

        if you spend all your energy penny pinching and not using that saved money on something that fulfills your heart and dreams, then it is wasted.
        marianney | A Life Set Free recently posted People Making a Difference Series – Jenny of EXconsumer

  5. Do my efforts to be more financially responsible take me off the path toward by best life possible? Do yours?

    Certainly not! Being financially responsible leads you to the best life possible, a life built on reality and security. Deb herself says that she was so stressed out knowing that her life w her ex-husband was financed on credit.

    Are you concerned that I’m not on quite the right kind of journey? And what about your journey? Is it working for you?

    I like the journey we’ve all been embracing in our own ways. We each have our own path to follow whether it’s extreme or middle of the road, but as long as we follow our hearts and our values, I don’t think we can go wrong really.
    marianney | A Life Set Free recently posted People Making a Difference Series – Jenny of EXconsumer

    • I think you’re absolutely right. It’s hard to go wrong when you’re doing what you feel you’re supposed to be doing.
      Gip

  6. deb - lifebeyondstuff permalink

    I’m here!!

    You guys just have to remember that when you’re all having your nice little chats I’m hopefully sleeping :-)

    Yes well, I guess you all realise by now that these are my favourite kinds of posts, getting into the nitty gritty of life. And from Jenny’s comment I think I might have found a voice Yay!!

    I’m sorry if I read your post too fast and missed something but did you actually say what your grand picture would look like? I think that’s the key, we all need our own unique grand picture. When I was married my grand picture was to take everything back to the most simplest of places. I was so over excess I wanted very little and that looked very grand from where I was perched on top of a heap of mess.

    I created that and now I’m back into expansion phase, but I want to do it responsibly. Yes I want excitement and achievement and even some nice stuff again. But I want it built on solid foundations and I want to go to bed at the end of a productive day with a sense of peace. Oh and I don’t want to stuff up the planet (this is where it all gets a bit tricky)

    Google Abraham Hicks . I’ve been into this sort stuff for years but somehow I’d missed this and a client put me onto them. She wanted an ebook written based on their work. There’s a heap of free stuff on their site. I’d love your take on it Gip.

    Off to meditate and get into the vortex (:-)

    • I’m actually involved with a study group that recently started on the Hicks book Ask And It Is Given. It seems to present the same information I’ve seen in Conversations with God, but it does seem to have more about practical application than the CWG material.

      I think my grandest vision is even simpler than my life now… no mortgage, less driving, fewer rooms that are simpler to clean, a bit more money, a different kind of work that’s easier on my eyes (which seem to be having a problem with all the computer usage), etc… but I can’t say that I have a completely clear picture of where I’m going, so that is a problem, I suppose.

      I think I tend to expand my usage of “stuff” when I have more money, but in my case, that’s not ideal.

      Thanks for joing the conversation. I’m sure there’s more to be said on this topic — by all of us.
      Gip

  7. deb - lifebeyondstuff permalink

    No, no, no. I get a completely different vibe out of it than CWG (conversations with god). But I suppose it is coming from the same space in a way. Maybe it’s me that’s in a different space I don’t know but have you checked out their site and listened played some of the video clips (they’re free they won’t steel any of your life :-) )

    I was a bit ‘ho,hum here we go again” in the beginning but things are definitely moving for me since the breakfast meeting I had with a client. Even between the time of my last comment here I’ve meditated to their cd and I’ve powered up. Can I show my age and refer you way, way back to the Celestine Prophecy and suggest that this is a coincidence you might want to take seriously?

    • I really liked the CWG material, and I haven’t studied the Hicks stuff at all. Since I’ve been presented with it from two different sources, I guess I’ll explore it more. We’ll have to discuss this more in the future.
      Gip

  8. Firstly an admission – haven’t read all the comments as just going to bed but wanted to contribute. Last summer I read (tried to read) Divine Matrix and also (with more success) The Law of Attraction. I don’t agree with certain aspects but overall I am in the ‘you create your own reality’ camp. This is because I have experienced it, time after time. We choose.
    Jo@simplybeingmum recently posted Mothering Sunday UK 2011

    • Yes, we choose. Like you, I have no choice but to believe this because it has been my experience.

      This seems like a watershed, important, transitional week for me, but I don’t know exactly why. I’ll have to explore that more later.
      Gip

  9. Gip,
    I absolutely think (based on all of the reading I’ve done on your blog, as well as your comments on other’s) that the simple path you are on is the right one. We are each on our own path obviously, and they may be similar to other’s but we have to walk it out on our own one step at a time. We’re enjoying our journey, even over the rougher spots because we’re learning and fine tuning as we go.

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