Day 179/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Life is such a fascinating study. Family beliefs, passed down through the generations, can shape your life and limit your progress in so many ways.
One such belief that has been a cornerstone of my family heritage was this gem... "Your rewards will be in heaven." It's the hard work ethic with a twist. Self sacrifice is lauded as a esteemed value.
The harder the work, the more sacrifices you make, the larger or more sure is your reward in heaven.
In all honesty I never really bought into this one, however it's not a matter of buy in. It's a matter of DNA!
My parents and grandparents and theirs before them clung to this prestigious belief. In spite of my rejection, it's as deep as an ocean, and as sticky as gum on the bottom of your shoe.
Changing these sorts of beliefs in my experience is not a matter of tapping here and there and reciting a new belief as some would have you believe. It's much more a matter of a complete lifestyle change.
In my case it was about getting comfortable with something that seems to be the antithesis of that belief. It's about getting into the flow of life and allowing that flow to take me where I'm heading, course correct as I bump up against the sides of life, and keep heading downstream.
That old family belief was definitely a matter of rowing upstream in a tub without a plug, bailing frantically for every small ripple of progress along the way.
Changing course meant letting go of the paddles and hanging on for the ride of my life. It meant committing to what I love and doing that in spite of not having a tight plan.
It meant building in leisure time to enable myself to feel into my creativity and explore a side of life that wasn't valued. It meant catching flack and navigating criticism from other family members who either still subscribe intentionally, or don't even realise that they are subscribing to this incredibly limiting belief.
Let me paint a picture of what that belief looks like in real life.
It means that I was working night and day without a break, at a pace that was breath-taking. It meant that I made myself available for extra duties as a midwife, and extra hours as a business owner. It meant that I worked every waking moment, and finished everything to perfection. It meant that my home was always super tidy, household duties attended to with the same vigour as work duties. It meant burnout, and boring.
There was no room for expressing myself creatively, nor spending time in leisurely activities. These were, and still are, considered frivolous.
Creativity is the path to being the creator that we are here to be. We are meant to thrive and to create, not work ourselves to the bone to pay the bills so that we can meet some ideal about our rewards in heaven.
For me heaven in right here in every moment of joy shared with another human being, and for every ounce of pleasure that I take from living life fully in the moment.
That is my reward for the time and effort I took for my inner work and my willingness to challenge long held beliefs. My commitment to this work has consumed most of my adult life.
Self-mastery will bring you alive, reverse the ageing process, literally, and bring you the joy you are meant to be living. If you need some help and direction, contact me.
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.