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What’s Essential?

05-03-2014

Earlier this week my sister mentioned a book she was reading called "Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less." At the time, I didn't think twice about it, but this morning the book popped into my mind and I zoomed over to the Amazon website to check it out. There is an audio snippet on the website and I clicked to listen.

First of all, I love the author's English accent. I could listen to pure gibberish if it is in that lovely accent. But beyond that superficial enjoyment, what Greg McKeown is talking about really resonates with me: "The way of the essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better. … Am I investing in the right activities?"

I zipped on over to McKeown's website and this clickable link name jumped out at me: "The unimportance of practically everything." Ha. I love that. Reminds me of Steven Covey's teachings about all the things in daily life that are "Urgent but unimportant."

This all comes at the perfect time for me because I happen to be completely immersed right now in some very essential activities. This morning I got up at six to prep for two StoryCorps interviews that I'm doing later today. If you don't know StoryCorps, you should! StoryCorps is an oral history project that collects and archives interviews. It is an amazing way to connect with people you love and also to preserve the stories that person has to tell.

Today I am interviewing one of my best friends, Laurie Wagner, who has dedicated her life to writing and telling true stories. I also have a second interview with my teenage son. Simply preparing for these two interviews has been an incredibly connecting and enriching experience! I've been immersed in thoughts of what makes these two people so unique and why I love them so much. I've gotten to reflect on who they are and what they bring to life.

Having the chance to sit across from them in a recording studio and fbe with them in such an intimate setting and to listen deeply to the unique stories they have to tell is one of the things that is most important to me in life.

Relationships with people I love … THAT is what is essential to me. THIS is what feels like true investing.

Those of you who know me and my work know that this is the place that the Celebration Books I create were born from — the desire to connect with people and reflect back to them what makes them so loveable and awesome. The books are a gift to others, but thet are also a gift to me because each one I create — even when I don't know the recipient— helps connect me to the stories and relationships that make up our lives.

I'm such a firm believer that each person's stories deserve to be shared and remembered.

What is it for you? What is essential? And where in your life are you creating space for it?

 

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