05/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Status: mellow
That question has been going around in circles in my mind all day. How can I tell?
At this time in my life I honestly do not have any regrets.
Simple Abundance, the book, day 5, 5th Jan, offered me this challenge today.
In those quiet moments of melancholy do you recognise the woman you see in the mirror?
Look beneath the social expectations that you are wearing and find your authentic self.
And here I am.
This is one area of self-mastery that I have paid a lot of attention to. Hot on the heels of other people's expectations, I've been mindful of my family and social conditioning for a very long time.
Trying to capture it in progress, that's another matter.
Often it's a case of disharmony in my life that brings my attention to the conditioning that I'm expressing. That's the most effective way for me to recognise it and then explore it.
In the spirit of the challenge, I've been checking in all day.
An inventory of the things I've achieved includes exploring the human condition, the world abroad and the world around me, a career that I loved (I've witnessed and participated in the births of hundreds of babies), work opportunities that interested me, hobbies and sports that presented me with a challenge. I've lived in various gorgeous places, studied languages overseas, made and lost friends and sustained a few long, long term friendships.
Married twice, I didn't succeed in maintaining a longer term relationship. I did my very best, I tried too hard and stayed too long.
The pleasure of living in comfortable surroundings lead me to buy or build lovely homes and create beautiful gardens, mostly abroad.
The ocean always calls me. I've studied navigation, sailed the seas for pleasure and racing, and dived to it's depths.
Horse riding was a bit of a challenge. I've broken a few bones.
Walking nature tracks is one of my favourite things. There are a few more on my bucket list. I've loved my various pushbikes.
I've wrangled with and succeeded in business, made money and lived the high life. And I've quit it all when I realised how far I had strayed from the life that I loved. Overcome with an intense desire to return to a simpler life, to return to nature and the seasons and the elements, to return to the life that was in my blood, the one I was more familiar with, I returned to rural Queensland.
Whilst a family was not a big priority in the early years, I thoroughly enjoyed my child-free life, then relented and have an awesome son who arrived just after my 40th.
After all that, I still experience self-doubt. I'd love to shake it.
If I had one regret it would be that I don't have a close relationships with any of my siblings. Some things you just have to let go.
So am I the woman that I am here to be? Am I my most authentic self?
I've done everything that I really wanted to do. Leaving home was more like escaping prison for me. I needed my freedom desperately. Nothing was going to hold me back.
There are always new challenges and things to learn. I'm studying in a Masters programme for Psychotherapy at present. Boredom has never been a problem for me.
I'm as authentic as I am able be, at present. I'm an open book, there's nothing I feel I have to hide or be ashamed of. I've discovered how to enjoy life. What else is possible?
Images: summer fruits because, 366 days ...that's a lot of images
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.