Casual Promises

I seek…the richness of a gathered and deliberate life, which comes from letting one’s belongings and commitments be few in number and high in quality. ~Scott Russell Sanders

Commitments that are few in number, high in quality…there’s the challenge! Lately, I’ve been reading posts from Jennifer Louden’s “Self-Trust Inspiration E-Course.” Jen posts at Comfort Queen (hey, another queen!). Not only does she warn us about making “casual promises” to ourselves, but she talks in her blog about “freedom from self-improvement.” Just love that!

What prompted this post was realizing that I had made a casual promise here a few days ago to leave my computer off until noon. That lasted about one day. Louden contends that when we do that kind of thing often, it erodes our self-trust. Just think about it–if you made a promise to someone else (e.g., “I’ll meet you at 4:00”) and then didn’t do it, you wouldn’t feel very trustworthy, would you? But rather than chastise ourselves for not keeping promises, it is more productive to be intentional about the promises we make to ourselves, and avoid those of the casual sort. Thanks to Jen for this idea, and to Scott Russell Sanders for his lovely prose. The entire quote is this:

Returning from a back country trip, I vow to purchase nothing that I don’t really need, give away everything that is excess, refuse all chores that don’t arise from central concerns. The simplicity I seek is not the forced austerity of the poor. I seek instead the richness of a gathered and deliberate life, which comes from letting one’s belongings and commitments be few in number and high in quality.

What promises have you made to yourself lately?

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One Response to Casual Promises

  1. Great post, thank you for talking about my work, and even more so, for taking this on for yourself.

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