About six years ago, I converted from (Reformed Baptist) Christianity to Wicca. I won’t get into all the details about that process here, but later I found that by distancing myself from Christianity, as so many new Wiccans do, I was throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
There were many things I missed about Christianity that had nothing to do with its theology or doctrines, including going to church (yay for Unitarian Universalist churches!) and my daily “devotions.” As a Christian, I read my Bible every day, sometimes twice a day, as well as my favorite devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. It kept me sane and at peace on days when that was a most difficult task. It focused my intentions in the morning and helped settle my thoughts in the evening.
There are many devotionals written for and by Christians (SO MANY), but when I started looking for a devotional that was uplifting and motivational, but without all the Christian doctrine and Bible references, the world seemed to fall short (of course, now when I search, I find a ton of options, including 22 in this list on Goodreads). After a while, I gave up hope.
However, I am a sucker for library book sales. Five dollars for a paper grocery bag full of books? Yes, please! At one of these book sales a couple of years ago, I ran across Sarah Ban Breathnach‘s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. After flipping through it a little, I became increasingly excited about it as I realized it was exactly what I’d been searching for.
I’ll admit I haven’t been incredibly consistent with it, but since starting The Miracle Morning, I’ve been reading it every day. Every entry is like a little window into Sarah’s life (and yes, we’re on a first name basis, thank you very much), and every one has tips on how to live a simple and abundant life. Though it was written over twenty years ago, it has remained incredibly relevant as our society continues to be focused on the accumulation of wealth, power, and “success.” Sarah focuses on our every day successes, from failing to kill another plant to cooking a meal for our family. She reminds us that it really is the little, mundane things that are truly sacred.
The only thing that I think would make this book better is if it was written for a more inclusive audience. The book is definitely directed toward women. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; there’s something primal and tribal about women speaking to women about women’s issues. I just think that men could learn a lot about living a simple, abundant life, too.
So if you’re a man and you want to learn more about living simply and abundantly, don’t be scared off by the pink book directed toward women. Even if it wasn’t written for you, you can still learn a lot from it. Also, there’s nothing wrong with keeping fresh flowers on your desk or eating a decadent piece of chocolate cake you baked yourself from scratch. Women do not hold the rights to these things.
I’ll finish by saying even if you’re atheist or agnostic, you can get a lot from a daily reading of some motivational or helpful material. Think of it as personal development–becoming a better person. Reading is a big part of The Miracle Morning for a reason. It’s good for you and helps you grow. Find something you can read every day that encourages you to become the person you want to be.