I can always count on my friends to keep me thinking. My beautiful, inspiring friend Jackie, whom I don't see even nearly enough, shared her insights with and asked a question of an online minimalist group we both frequent. It was about needs. Real needs. What we need from the world, from others, and from ourselves. 

I have to admit that my first thought was "coffee... that's what I need... coffee - from the world, from others ... for myself." Not so helpful. My second thought was, "enough." But what is that "enough?" 

After not nearly enough thought, but oh, well, that's life for me lately...

From the world: food, water, beauty.

Food to not only nourish my body, but my spirit; to nurture family and community; to bring people together; to sustain and revitalize. 

Water, not only to sustain me, but to sustain the Earth. Water in which to bathe; to swim; to kayak. Waves lapping or crashing into the shore or babbling in a forest stream. Fragranced water in which to soak my aching feet. 

Beauty to buoy my spirits and soothe my soul. Both the outward beauty of nature and the inward beauty of people. 

From myself: integrity, the ability to find my center in any situation and balance in my life as a whole, mindfulness.

Integrity so that I might live a life worthy of being called Mama and Christian; so that I might inspire, love, and serve. 

The ability to center myself and find balance so that I may be receptive to God's love and others' care throughout the storms of life; so that I may be a shoulder to cry on or a pillar of support while meeting my own needs so I can continue to be there for others. 

Mindfulness so that I may treat lightly on the Earth; be respectful of others; live in the moment; and make good decisions for myself and my family.

From people: kindness, connection, and love.

Kindness because I like to receive what I give; because it feeds my faith in humanity; and simply because the world needs more kindness.

Connection to others is essential to sustain life. Community, family, and friendships are all about connection. I don't know what I'd do with out the unique and inspiring connections in my life. 

Love, because it is what sustains me above anything else. Because I love people, I get up every morning and my life has meaning and purpose. Because people love me, I can live my life knowing I'm cared for, supported, and valued. 

And for me, I need God. 

From God: grace, love, guidance.

Grace because every day I stumble, every day I mess up, every day I can do better, but because of God's grace, I am forgiven. It is through this forgiveness that I frame my life, striving to be as grace-full with everyone in my life. 

Love, because love. 

Guidance through the crazy funhouse that is my life. Left to my own devices, who knows where I'd be. The Spirit's inspiration leads me to the best places.

Interesting that while thinking of all the things I need from life, things didn't make the cut. I want coffee. Sometimes I feel like I can't live without my computer. But when it comes down to it, all I need is nourishment of my body, mind, spirit, and soul. 


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