Day 94/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: contemplative
Secret lives, paths not taken. How did we get here? What sort of consciousness brought us to where we are today in our personal lives? In our collective lives?
There's bigger question there about what sort of consciousness brought us to this place in society, but for now we'll focus on the personal.
For some of us these times in isolation are an opportunity to reflect on our secret yearnings.
Do you every think you might have taken a different path? Maybe you had a desire to do something completely different. A photographer, journalist, fashion designer, artist, school teacher, biologist, nuclear physicist, an entertainer.
Take some time to consider the aspects of that other role you might have taken, that other path you might have journeyed down, and see what highlights reveal themselves to you.
Archeology was in my sights as a teen. I had dreams of journeying to Egypt in a khaki shirt and trousers, with plans to spend my days in the hot sun with a spoon and a toothbrush working my way through ancient ruins. It seemed like a great idea to search for baubles of lives from the passed, and meander through days marvelling with curiosity at ancient civilisations.
It was the khaki that really inspired me. A style around comfort and practical with more than a touch of adventure. And it was a style that I incorporated into my life at various stages, without the hot sun and dry landscape. Of course I have managed to explore many archeological sites as a tourist, and more than satisfied my curiosity.
Marine microbiology was yet another dream that captured my imagination. Inspecting minute marine creatures under microscopes, having captured them in glass jars whilst diving in exotic places. Well, I did dive in exotic places complete with air tanks, weight belts and 7mm wetsuits to protect me against really cold waters. There were so many adventures discovering marine creatures, swimming with dolphins and reef sharks, stunningly beautiful reef life, and some treacherous waterways as well.
Not all our dreams are meant to be experienced in their wholeness. In many ways it was fortunate that I didn't have the means to fulfil all my longings. Time to think things through is valuable time to consider the elements that most stand out as exciting and the main attraction.
My journey took me to nursing, a lifetime career commitment in caring for others. There's never been any regrets about this decision. My path has wandered and I've returned to that place that is most meaningful, caring for others, supporting those in need, holding space for hurt people to heal.
And I'm still left with that early question. What sort of consciousness has brought us to where we are today? What sort of focus empties tons of antibiotics into the land and waterways via animal husbandry, disturbing the delicate balance of microbes; bacteria, fungi and viruses?
What sort of consciousness fills the air with microwaves without fully testing them nor providing protection for our most vulnerable cellular biology?
How have I contributed to the sort of consciousness that rapes the land of giant trees and magnificent forests? That neglects the health of the soil preferring additive nutrition that breaks down into damaging salts and renders the soil infertile? How have I participated in the neglect of our soils, forests and marine environments?
Let's stop there. These are the questions that I hope many are asking now that we have time to ponder our lifestyles, our decisions and choices. We might just get another chance.
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.