Abandoning ourselves in service to others
Day 239/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Immersing ourselves in a busy life, coming and going, planning and doing, constantly attending to what has to be done for home and others.
We can fill our lives with distractions and all the time abandoning our sense of self, making little time for the activities that make our hearts sing.
Sarah has a penchant for the Victorian era, and reminds us today about the value of handcrafts to provide that island of respite in our day, time to rest the mind and keep the hands busy.
"It's just that Victorian women often coped better than we do; they realised the restorative power of rhythm, routine, rest, recreation, and ritual. They preserved their energy by alternating household and childcare tasks with centring pastimes that provided creative fulfilment and relief from tension."
Such a lovely thought.
My mother is of Polish heritage and in her ancestry is the art of embroidery. Extravagant, brightly coloured pieces of art that graced every side table, cushion cover, table cloth, napkin and handkerchief with sprays of floral designs.
As young women our spare time on weekends was spent sitting and embroidering together in our living room. Taking pride in our creations, it was our respite from the work of cooking and cleaning for a large family.
In winter we'd turn our hand to knitting. Sewing was less creative as it was practical. Cooking for creative pleasure, cake decorating, so many interests that distracted and rested the mind.
It's taken a long time to return to realising the value of these creative ways. Almost as if I have abandoned myself to keep up with the work of serving others. How often do we do that? For most of my life it's been a practice to put others first, and to forget myself altogether.
Nowadays I have to really focus on ensuring that every activity I choose has a part of me involved, including my business activities. It's about putting heart, my heart into my work and my home.
It's too easy to create services that are entirely with others in mind, and none of me. That's not a service that I will be able to offer with the depth of care that I pride myself in feeling for others.
Again today I'll make the commitment to make it a priority to bring all of myself to every service I offer, to the work I do, both in my home and outside.
Perhaps you too will take the time to connect with a deeper sense of who you are as you work with your hands, rest your mind, and allow your contemplative inner life to surface.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.