Day 123/366 days Towards Self-Mastery
One thing that I've discovered during my Masters in Psychotherapy programme is just how to observe and maybe articulate the art of not living fully.
Seriously! My life has been filled with fairly notable experiences. Two marriages, 4 signifiant relationships, travelled to Europe several times, 20 year career as a midwife, 20 years as a entrepreneur of 2 very successful businesses. I've lived in 2 countries and over 35 locations, been a scuba diver for several years, sailed competitively for a number of years as well as for leisure. Built two homes, raise my son alone, and more.
But have I really lived those experiences?
Have I really savoured them, allowed them to enter under my skin, seep into my bones?
That's the thing with emotional trauma at an early age. For me it resulted in a lifetime of trying to prove myself, always undermined by that feeling of not good enough. This journey of recounting the many nuances of my life is in fact, providing the opportunity of those experiences to enter a little more deeply.
When we're not fully connected, secure in our place in the world, centred in our purpose, we find ourselves striving or worse, giving up. But living? No, we're not living. We're existing, surviving maybe. For me it was definitely about survival.
It's not enough to survive. We have the opportunity to live this beautiful, wonderful, magnificent, incredible life. We can let that opportunity be robbed by our passed experiences or we can choose to find the way back to our magnificence. I chose the latter. It's been a long journey, I didn't have someone who had taken the journey to lean on, to fall back on, to work with or get support from. That's why I do the work that I do. To support others. To be that person that they can lean on occasionally when they are weary. To ask the right questions, to prod and probe their living experiences so that they find their way back to the path that they are meant to be walking.
So whilst you are in isolation practice living into every moment. Savour a lovely herbal tea in your best china teacup slowly as you soak up the warmth of the suns rays on these cooler days.
Touch the bark on the trees on your daily walk, notice the different textures, identify native flora, look for habitats of local fauna. Stop and listen to the laughter of children. Listen to the many sounds of the bush as you walk the boardwalks. Birdlife of many species, trickling water as it runs over the rocks and around the ferns in the creek, the plop of water dragons as they leap into the water, the scratchy noise of the bats settling in for the day's rest.
The far off sounds of a family kicking a soccer ball, youthful exuberance on the skate park, grey nomads cooking breakfast in the park, the call of the cat bird, the pounding beats from the gym.
Slide into a warm, scented bath, feel the water envelop our body, savour the perfume.
Allow your senses to be teased and treated to the world around you. Take the moment to pause, allow life in. In every moment pause, sense life, allow it.
We're not living fully when we allow life to distract us, when we gloss over our experiences, brush off our achievements, swallow our sorrows, dismiss our joys.
Pause long enough to touch life with all your senses.
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.