Updated: Mar 11
Day 38/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: feeling accomplished
Prepare for the worst case scenario then you'll never be caught short. That was my fall back position for a long time, decades.
Of course the worst never happened so I thought I was on top of things. The best didn't happen either. How could it? I wasn't paving the way forward for the best to come to me. Living on the knife edge doesn't leave much room for expansiveness, nor exploration!
Somewhere along the way I learned that I had to fend for myself.
There's a distinct memory when I realised that maybe I wasn't going to find Mr Right, that there wasn't going to be a someone that I could lean on, that I could share my concerns with, that I could build my life with. Maybe, just maybe, I had to figure all this out for myself.
After that I'm pretty sure things went pear-shaped in terms of fear and trying to control everything around me. It was a huge responsibility that I was certainly prepared for skills-wise, yet emotionally that was another matter.
Life became very intense as I marched forward on this journey of life alone. Building businesses, raising my son, renovating homes, moving between countries. And here I am, now 20 years alone, and loving it. Somewhere along the way though, I realised just how super careful I was with everything. Planned to the gills, everything had to go like clockwork. It didn't feel safe to allow things to emerge. I needed to prepare for anything and everything.
When I found myself isolated from family and friends, coping with all that life threw at me, and keeping the stimulus to a manageable minimum, I realised that I wasn't really living at all.
Today the challenge is to experiment with taking a risk
Just a small risk that makes you feel great once you've done it.
Try something different for lunch today. Take a different route to work. Shift things around on your desk to try out a new configuration.
It's fair to say that I've been working on this for some time. And these daily challenges have highlighted again how I can bring more living into my life.
Today I took another risk, a relatively new risk.
Today I spoke up for myself, twice. A very old habit I learned very early in my life was that I was always going to be wrong. My opinion didn't count, and if I opened my mouth there was going to be a scrap. So I learned to put up and shut up.
Then for decades I observed people around me making assumptions about what I thought or said or intended. Then they would act on those assumptions, often to my detriment.
At no time was I going to correct them. I figured that they could think what they liked. I didn't care. But in the end I did care. I cared that I was misunderstood. I cared that people judged me poorly. I cared that people stream-rolled me when I did express my point of view.
Today I spoke up for myself.
Respectfully, assertively I pushed back. It felt good. It got good results. No one was offended and there weren't any scraps. I put my truth on the table. They had to accept it. It was there, in front of them. I wasn't going to be steam-rolled, nor allow my contribution to be swept under the carpet.
Recently I spent 2 years suffering the wrath of someone who had judged me poorly and incorrectly before I spoke up. And when I did, the air was cleared immediately. Lessoned learned.
It's a risk for me to speak up, but life has shown me that it's a whole lot worse when I don't. It's taken me 4 decades to figure this one out. Don't wait that long.
What risks are you prepared to take to live life a little more courageously?
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.