On becoming real
Day 169/366 days Towards Self-Mastery
This topic begins with a huge sigh. I wish I knew how to spell the sound of a that sigh. Something like huuuuuh...
For an hour today I shared with a friend about my first major realisation of just how unreal my life had become. How far I had strayed from the truth of who I was and where I had hailed from.
Twenty years ago...there are many stories in this series that refer to 20 years ago, it suddenly occurred me that I had lost myself in the rat race. I had set sail on my way to escape a life that I hadn't discovered satisfaction with, cast off the ropes and lost sight of the shore.
My life was a parade of fashion, expensive cosmetics and perfumes, gorgeous Italian shoes and boots and handbags, stunning clothes, many trips abroad, sailing yachts and sailing holidays, theatre, symphony performances and abject misery. That's about it in a nutshell.
All that was asked of me was to write a list of 3 things that I truly loved, deep in my heart. It took me 3 weeks to remember just 3 things to write on my list: pink roses, bare feet in the sand, and bare feet on freshly mown grass.
I left that list on my kitchen bench until I filled it up over the weeks to come.
Brunch out on Sunday mornings
Long phone calls with friends
An inspiring read
Sleeping in on Sundays
Sitting by a fire in the winter with a glass of smooth red
Walking in the bush
Swimming in the sea
Scheduled on my to-do list, I made a commitment to myself to include just one thing from my list in every day. It wasn't long before I lived for the time I could indulge myself in my one thing.
As time went by I began to add other things to do each day, until my day was filled with only those things that I love to do.
And here I am.
Every decision I made from that time needed to be checked in with my heart in an attempt to find my way back to me. Of course it took a long time to really see progress. A life lived on the wrong trajectory had travelled a very long way and had a certain momentum. A little like turing that ship around, it took time and precision decisions to turn the rudder slowly and correct my course.
Slowly but surely my life in that foreign city began to look a lot more like me. That city wasn't suited to my lifestyle so returning to the warm climate of home was on the agenda, and would have to wait some 11 years to become a reality. That didn't stop me from beginning a journal, writing and gathering images, attending courses and workshops and imagining my future home and lifestyle.
Today I am as real as I have ever been. I'm free to do as I please, spend my time exactly as I choose, work with what I desire, and love my life completely. Everyday is a joyful one. I'm grounded, connected and at ease.
Every step to return to me, to what is real for me, has been worth it. Every misstep, every letting go, every obstacle and every memory that needed to be released has been been worth it's weight in gold.
It started with finding just one thing that I truly loved, and including that one thing in my day, every day. A bunch of delicate pink roses on my desk, on my dining table and beside my bed, every single day.
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.