Friends Talk – Simplicity: The “S” of Quaker SPICES
We are happy to have you join us again as we continue exploring Quakerism. In the first two blogs, we looked at the history of Quakerism. We learned of the values that shaped the Religious Society of Friends. Now, we will go further in depth into each of these guiding values.
Starting with simplicity, we will see what it means as a Quaker to live this value in daily life. Simplicity is one of the five Quaker values called SPICES. We will explore working within the realm of simplicity as one of the guiding lights that direct our work at Friends Life Care. I will also leave you with how the wisdom of this “spice” is impacting me personally. Perhaps hearing this will lead you to simplify your life too?
The Testimony of Simplicity
“Quaker Simplicity has little to do with how many things you own and everything to do with not letting your possessions own you.”-Robert Lawrence Smith, A Quaker Book of Wisdom
Early Friends lived simply, focusing on needs over luxuries in order to survive the poverty that surrounded them. They also simplified their faith replacing the multi-faceted dogma of the Church of England for a focus on values for daily life. Rather than a complicated relationship with an unattainable God, for instance, they practiced a simple faith with the Divine present and available within each person.
Perhaps Quakers were the first minimalists of our time with their ability to live contentedly with less and having it all mean more. Intentionally selected ideas and activities can allow each to be explored more deeply and fully. Being mindful to the present moment and paring away extraneous distractions help us enjoy what is in the now.
This focus on what is most important allows us to ignore and leave behind the superfluous. It is letting go of everything that is unnecessary so that what is most important will shine through.
The Quakers carry simplicity into every area of their life. Communicating directly and to the heart of the matter is a priority. They resist exaggeration and using more words than necessary. They embody simplicity in how they use time, concentrating on priorities. Being wise with both financial and natural resources is also important.
The call to live simplistically is an invitation to live an intentional and well-centered life. In so doing, you can make space to align your life to your soul’s purpose.
The Work of Simplicity at Friends Life Care
Here at Friends Life Care, we simplify what can be the complicated matters of wellness and wellbeing in order to help our members manage their health care needs. Whether it is explaining Medicare, long-term care or how to best navigate health care changes, the member’s dedicated Care Coordinator can help by making overwhelming issues easy to understand in simple terms.
One of important areas we consider for each individual member is their holistic wellness across 7 dimensions: Intellectual, Social, Physical, Spiritual, Occupational, Emotional and Environmental. The assessment can pinpoint out of-balance areas. This aids the Care Coordinator in dialoguing with the member to find simple approaches that can better align healthy choices with life goals.
We strive to make it easy for members to reach the Care Coordination team by providing direct phone numbers and email addresses. And we help explain member benefits with a user-friendly handbook.
It is possible to simplify your living space with a home assessment that can reveal ways to create a safer, more comfortable environment for successful aging in place.
Our goal is to help guide members through the years of aging at home with ease and clarity.
Simplicity and Me
The value of simplicity is by no means my strong suit. I am a person whose life has commonly been driven by distraction. Words such as impulsive, passionate, emotional and spontaneous more easily describe me. I am not always quick to listen or slow to speak. I have described myself as having 8 computer windows open simultaneously with the sounds playing on top of each other. And so, this accurately paints a non-simplicity picture.
However, as I get older, I am beginning to embrace this value. I am longing for simpler days punctuated by moments. I want to take my time…in everything. My mind tends to race, and I am naturally curious about ALL THE THINGS.
However, I now desire to take life slower… savoring moments. I appreciate the wisdom of having fewer interests and diving more in depth. As I begin the arduous chore of decluttering my home for an upcoming move, I look at each item I own and ask myself: “Is this necessary? Does it satisfy my soul? Does this make me smile? Does it make my life easier or is it extraneous?” Needless to say, I have been donating a lot of “stuff” and feeling much lighter.
In addition, I am beginning a meditation practice. This is part of an inward search to simplify my outward expression. I am befriending simplicity. Although still a little wobbly, I have chosen to incorporate this important value into my living testimony.
Simplicity and You
What are your thoughts about simplicity? Do you practice it and what do you do? Share your thoughts and comments in the Comments Section under this post. We’d enjoy hearing from you.
Post written by Joylyn Williamson
Inside Sales Manager
Joylyn joined Friends Life Care in 2017 as a sales manager on the sales and marketing team. She brings many years of experience with inside sales in both business-to-business and consumer. Previously she held positions selling to vertical markets like the federal government and meeting tough sales quotas for technology and IT offerings. She is excited to be a part of Friends Life Care and appreciates working in an organization guided by Quaker values.
Originally from Southern California, Joylyn has called the east coast home for over 20 years. Last year she relocated her 88-year old father from California to her home in Pennsylvania. She now manages his care as he has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. He is her favorite person; and she finds it an honor to care for the man who once took care of her.
Joylyn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Drama, TV and Film. In addition, she completed some graduate studies in Communications at Regent University. Joylyn volunteers with a local theatre company performing onstage or working behind the scenes.
Keep it simple: www.twenty20.com/photos/c2afbeff-0bfc-4d45-bf34-aef1b7923d82/?utm_t20_channel=bl
Meditation by water: www.twenty20.com/photos/bc8f4a6a-904b-4f0f-bef2-b903050a39cf/?utm_t20_channel=bl
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