Take time to be real, then dress up
Day 71/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: pensive
A sweeping look at my wardrobe and it can look positively drab. Then other times, not so much. Decisions about what I'm going to wear usually end up being some of the most painful.
What's really going on?
There's a volley of matching and measuring going on in my head between the event and the look. What will others be wearing, and how will I fit in?
Do I want to fit in? What will my friend wear? Will I regret my choice?
Finally I remember to check in and ask myself, "what do I really want to wear?" Suddenly I can breathe again and the choice is made.
We have this habit of being one person at home, and another in public. We wear our masks without too much awareness, naturally slipping them on without a thought.
The only thing is, there's no hiding who we really are.
We are giving and receiving messages about how we feel all the time
When Sarah wrote this book 20 years ago, we didn't have a name for that feeling you get when you walk in the room, or stand close to someone and your body already knows that this is not the place for you, or this person doesn't feel comfortable to be around. It's called neuroception. Our nervous system receptors firing in advance of our brain registering the information.
Sarah suggests that we should make the effort to always present well. To put our best foot forward, even if we feel out of sorts.
There's some part of that I agree with and I would also say, be honest with yourself about how you feel. It's going to be obvious to those around you, even it they are not so sensitive and aware, regardless of how you dress.
So instead, my inspiration today is to remember to be real. Then to support yourself and lift your spirits wear something that's comfy, practical and right for the purpose.
When we connect with how we feel, really make contact with it, we're going to move on from it a lot faster than if we try to suppress it.
This whole journey to self-awareness is about knowing ourselves deeply and honestly. What we often will do is skip passed that part of really making contact with the experience.
When we feel a bit low, it's well worth taking some time to simply feel into it. Name it, explore what it does feel like in your body, in your mind, in your emotions.
Get curious about what might have prompted this mood. What does it remind you of? How often do you feel like this? How old do you feel as you explore this feeling? Then breathe into it, allow it for as long as you can.
Now it's time to move onto dressing for the workday, or a day at home or whatever. And then it's time to do something that lifts your spirits. It might be your choice of outfit or shoes or scarf that lifts that makes you feel joyful.
The key here is really connecting with your low mood and not simply dismissing it. Own it. This is how you build self-awareness. You don't have to find all the answers. They'll come. Simply be with it. Self-awareness.
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.