Day 270/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
There are so many opposing distractions in life, that it's often difficult to know which direction to turn in. This I think is why it makes choosing a path to commit to, and in which to find success, is so difficult for some.
There are typically a number of choice points in life that ask us to choose a direction knowing that the commitment will mean that we relinquish something important for something else, equally or more important to us.
Choosing married life over single life. Choosing children over the freedom of having a child-free life. Choosing career and working away from home while having a family or choosing an individual pursuit and being home for children. Choosing to live abroad and relinquish the support of family. To name a few.
For me making these choices comes down to checking in with my heart and making the choice that was right for me. In spite of political or social pressure, at the end of the day this was my life and that choice has to be one that I could live with.
This realisation came after decades of doing what I was supposed to do rather than what I wanted to do, what was right for me. Meeting everyone else's needs first was a pathological pattern when it neglected my own. Even as recent as this morning I felt the discomfort in my body, in my nervous system, of making a choice to voice my needs clearly.
When I began to realise that I needed to care for my own wellbeing before anyone else's I began to make life affirming choices. It would have been a lot easier if I had done some serious trauma therapy work first however that approach wasn't available at the time and our understanding of the aftermath of adverse childhood experiences was not well understood. We simply lived it, we lived with it and we lived through it.
My choices included being a single mother, leaving a poor marriage and the support it provided to live with less financially and peace of mind. Additionally I chose to live more frugally and downsized to small, compact and exquisitely comfortable. Instead of sourcing childcare I chose to be available to my son and started a childcare business/franchise that he could come to after school. My business was aligned with my penchant for caring for others with the intention to support me and my small family until I could return to my country of origin. These choices were all made from the heart and were instrumental in putting me back on the path that I had deviated from some decades before.
Life hasn't been easy but it's been authentic. I gave up access to a good income to live a more authentic life. That in itself makes it more tolerable than living a life that wasn't mine.
In spite of the pressures that we feel to be a certain kind of woman, eventually we have to choose to be our kind of woman. On the path towards self-mastery, I had to discover who I was and what was important to me to find the path and purpose that life was giving me.
No one can tell you who to be or what to do to live your best life. You need to work that out for yourself, and it's best done in consultation with your heart.
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.