Day 265/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
One day, quite a long time ago, some 20 or 25 years, I came to the realisation that for almost everything I had learned, the reverse was true. Can you imagine discovering that?
When I discovered that working hard at something was about resisting the very path that my life wanted to take.
When I discovered that sacrificing my joy and happiness for suffering and sacrifice so that my rewards would be in heaven, I was sacrificing the very life force that heaven had bestowed upon me.
When I discovered that being of service to others before I was of service to myself was depleting me in ways that would never be sustainable.
When I discovered that I was spending the greater part of my life working for money so that the lesser hours of my life I could be spent in comfort.
These discoveries and others like them highlighted that I had misunderstood the meaning of life. That striving and reaching for something that was not in the natural flow of my own existence was a folly. It was making me physically and mentally unwell.
My life was immersed in a toxic lifestyle complete with toxic consumer products in an effort to enjoy my pathway to self-destruction.
My healing journey began when I turned and began to walk in the opposite direction. When I began to engage with the things that brought me joy, that brought me pleasure, that brought me meaning. When the greater hours of my days were spent in alignment with who I was at my core, and doing the things that were natural to my nature.
My life turned from struggle to flow. It turned from striving to embracing joyfully. It became and becomes more and more, an expression of me, my origins and my purpose for being here.
Sarah speaks of this so beautifully and candidly in her essay today. We are waiting for spirit to move us, whereas spirit is waiting to work with us.
There is such an intense momentum to be engaged and busy in our lives and culture. Even as I sit here in my sick bed, slowly recovering from a chest infection, my desire is to be active, though my body must rest to enable my immune system to do its work. My mind wants to tell me I am being lazy, that I should be doing this or that. There are things to do and I should be doing them.
And then there is a part of me that learns from the animals that when they are unwell, they naturally rest, reduce their dietary intake and stay calm.
What are my options? I could take antibiotics and further diminish my immune response. No. I want to continue to develop a strong immunity. I can stay still, quietly letting nature takes it course. My body knows what to do. yes my immunity is somewhat damaged from the traumas and experiences of life that I have not understood. I support it with immune building foods and drinks and activities so that it may recover in time. And rest.
These are the lifestyle choices I have made. In this way I have the freedom to feel into a more authentic life. Our modern lifestyles do not allow us the space to do this. We have limited sick leave from our jobs and and huge financial demands. I don't have these. I chose to move away from this lifestyle to experience the freedom of being human.
To change your life means to find your way back to the flow of the river of life. Find your place. Live authentically.
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.