Cutting corners, making lists

Image Folding square pieces of white printer paper and then cutting out patterns to paper snowflakes is one of my favorite winter family traditions. When my kids were young they had small kids scissors, the ones that are almost too dull to cut. Their snowflakes where white paper pieces with small holes in them. Every year the scissors became sharper and the snowflakes became more intricate. Less paper and more space leads to more delicate and sophisticated beauty.

The notion of less is more is an obvious one in mindfulness training and paper snowflake cutting. I noticed that when I step outside and into the world this concept becomes wiggly and sometimes even turns on me. So I started a mental list of circumstances, things and activities where less is more or rather better and where less means cutting corners, and then there is the category of "it depends."

Here are some examples to get you started with your own lists:

Less is better:  Paper in paper snowflakes, sugar, caffeine and salt in my diet, interior decorations, energy consumption, waste except for bodily, material belongings beyond the essentials, emotional pressure, fear beyond the life-preserving type, white noise unless you have a colicky baby, luggage, ...

Less is cutting corners: Fresh air, sleep, love, friendship, compassion, passion, art, playing outdoors, playing indoors, honesty, explorations, ...

It depends: Volume of music, food on your plate, communal experience, words, sunshine, snow,  houseguests, ideas, thoughts, information, free time, work, ...

Now its your turn!

Ultimately, this list exercise has helped me to gradually sharpen my mental blades that allow me to know when to cut and when to add. It creates a framework to explore and practice within, just like the square white paper allows us to explore new patterns of paper snowflakes.