Day 304/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
The switch to living simply amplified my move towards self-mastery. It connected me back to the lifestyle I knew and encouraged me to bring my version of it into the 21st century.
That's the one important thing I discovered. I didn't have to live the lifestyle of my parents or ancestors. I could take from them all the goodness that I enjoyed and that was deep in my bones, and create my own version, my own rhythm.
The enjoyment of food is one such delight. My heritage on my father's side is Italian, great lovers of good food, good wine and good company, all featuring high in my life. Add to that my name COCO is derived from the meaning "to cook" in Italian.
My pantry may not be a fancy pantry, but it is filled with homemade goodness.
As I love to garden I will always have excess produce. My garden at present is in its infancy, yet will yield more than I can consume at any given time. Additionally, I will only plant and grow food that I enjoy.
In my pantry are bottles of live-dried turmeric that I use every day, ginger tea, and tisanes of pineapple sage and lemon grass. Sun-dried chilies ready for the many curries I enjoy, and live-dried lime slices to add zest to middle eastern dishes and gin. There are bottles of Ayurvedic Feijoa and Davidson plum chutneys from last year's harvest and packs of frozen pumpkin for soups, roasting and pureeing for my favourite pumpkin cheesecake.
That's just the beginning. As more product comes available I'll fill my pantry with more goodness that is both nutritious, alive with enzymes and other digestibles, all sourced directly from the nature in my garden. No insecticides, no herbicides, no toxins. A living eco system of microbes, wildlife, self-seeding goodness, and me in it's very early stages. And a dream of how it will be in a few years time.
In my last blog I talked about connecting with your ancestors and finding your place. Now I'm encouraging you to reflect on the life they have given you and recreating your own version of it.
My family were farmers, business owners and gardeners. It's in my blood, and it's in my bones. It's what I do best and it's what brings me bliss.
Not only is my pantry always offering a selection of specialty condiments and goodness, when I reach for something I live again through the growing, nurturing, compost tea brewing care that nurtured the produce to get it there. The preparation that embraces cleaning, sorting, chopping, bottling, preserving, bagging and storing all constitute the labour of love that adds enormous value to my life at little monetary cost.
As I write this piece I have renewed appreciation for my realisation of the consumer life that had distracted me from the juice of life. In my need to distance myself from the adversity of my childhood I threw out the baby with the bathwater.
That was until I reconnected with my family and ancestors and found my place. My authentic place.
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.