Day 202/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
As we enter the second coming of COVID after a reprieve brought about by the social isolating it begs the question, "Are we really on the right track with our lifestyle and yearnings?"
The act of reaching for all the things we're supposed to achieve, the hard work, the career advancement, the material things, the higher education, the new car, the bigger home keep us wound up like a top. We're frantically busy with little space for any interruptions and with absolutely no capacity to cope when things don't go to plan.
Are you asking yourself if this is what life is about? Is this all there is?
When I began to experience panic attacks, which are actually my nervous system going into overdrive, it was for that very reason. I didn't have capacity for anything to go wrong. Working 60 hours each week to build a business, busy for busy's sake most of that time, reaching for even a meagre lifestyle, but habituated into frenetic energy and activity.
A call from a staff member who needed to take some time to recover from an illness, or a flat tyre of a company vehicle that delayed an important trip would bring on a visceral reaction that sent my system into overdrive/panic.
Reaching for a pre-planned, prescribed destination I think, was the key to encouraging that kind of habituated work activity. Along with a set of beliefs about hard work inherited from my ancestors, and a lot of responsibility that I was shouldering alone, I was well primed for the rat race. Working harder to reach that destination sooner so that when I arrived I could somehow live the life I was supposed to be living.
Revisiting my lifestyle ambitions was the most important step I took. Did I really need to keep up with the Jonses? Could I live comfortably on less? Did it really matter if my business didn't become a corporation? Was it ok to create a business that gave me freedom to be my own boss, and a good enough income? Could I carve out some time to dedicate to my own health and well-being? Could I allow myself to rest?
What is it they say about the journey and the destination?
Life is in the journey. LIFE IS IN THE JOURNEY.
There's no more important realisation than that to get perspective. And it's one I have to remind myself of every single day.
Right now, at this moment in time, life is in the journey through each and every single day, taken one day at a time.
Each day I want the courage and the compassion to meet the world. That means each day I want the courage and compassion to meet myself as I am reflected back by the mirror of my experiences in the world.
This is my life. The palate on which I have to work is today. Today I will be the best version of me. I'll learn and grow and make mistakes and grow some more. Life IS the journey.
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.