When I was in seminary, I was introduced to the writing of Dorothee Soelle. The first of her books I was exposed to was Thinking About God. Since then I have had the chance to watch her writing evolve and as it has, it has helped me to evolve in my own life and journey. Her more recent book, The Silent Cry has influenced my own approach to the spiritual practice of leading a more simplistic and clutter free life.

So often, when people reflect on asceticism, they tend to think about this sense of denial and strict discipline of all indulgences. As Soelle reflected on this, it was not asceticism to the point of denial of all things, but the development of boundaries in our life, which prevent our soul from being devoured by clutter in our life. It is about finding balance in our lives as we work on simplifying and decluttering our lives. The impoverishment of our lives of all that feeds us is not healthy. At the same time, an overabundance can also impoverish the soul. It is hard for us to develop any kind of meaningful relationship with anything in our lives when we lack boundaries and balance.

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