What are we compromising with all the striving?
Day 183/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Today is the half-way point in this journey of journalling my experiences towards self-mastery. At times arduous, at others, animated.
Conversations yesterday centred around acculturation, conditioning and the subliminal messages of want and striving.
We spoke of being caught in the constant trap of reaching for more, never stopping to be content with what is.
Even when life is comfortable, there's more to desire and more to reach out for.
And we spoke of the blessed peace of being content with enough. That enough was a blessing.
When I was spending my whole weekend cleaning a house with 5 bathrooms that just 3 of us seem to use I felt accomplished for my success.
My marriage was failing, I was estranged from my family, I lived a continent away from my life-long friends.
Striving was a badge of honour, a message we receive in the hard work ethic and happily ingest. However do we ever really digest that message. What are we working hard for? Who benefits from our efforts? Do they bring real value into our lives? Is there even room for pleasure and enjoying the fruits of our labours? Do we have time for those we cherish? What compromises are we making? Is there enough space for real life connections, connections that ground us in a shared history, that know us deeply and that we can turn to for support when the chips are down?
For me all this striving was isolating. The more I accomplished and the more I accumulated, the more isolated I became. Consuming hours of time that could have been put into creating the life that really flows in my veins.
Living simply, no longer striving, being content with what is has been my greatest gift. Releasing the burden of stuff, surrounding myself with people and things that I love, giving my time and attention to people and forging deep connections. This now feels like a life worth living, worth focussing on. It doesn't require striving. It comes with ease. This is where I put my time and energy nowadays.
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.