Updated: Mar 17
New Year's Resolutions haven't been a thing for me for a very long time. It's more my style to set some sort of intention based on where I am in life and what seems to be the next thing.
I'd been spending some time trying to figure out what it was that I really did love so that I could do more of that.
Then the time on my Mac caught my attention, it was exactly 11:11 on 01:01:2020. So that must be a sign, right?
My lovely home was getting a bit of attention over the Christmas break with my very own amateur Feng Shui assessment, along with implementing a few remedies. There was quite a bit of guess work involved, I have to admit! Trying to turn a Northern Hemisphere Feng Shui plan into something that would reflect a Southern Hemisphere approach to the seasons and elements just about had me turned into a pretzel!
It's surprising what a few potted plants can do. Bringing a bit of life into some of the starchy spaces made a big difference, and I promised them I'd do better at caring for them than my track record with indoor plants would suggest.
A few collectible china plates that have been stored away forever found a place on the wall. The idea is to slow down the chi / energy as it travels along the long-run corrugated iron ceiling. This particular design feature hadn't been scrutinised from a Feng Shui perspective and probably sends the good energy shooting through my home and straight out the large east facing glass doors. Here's hoping I've slowed it down!
Not that Feng Shui played a big role in any of the other design decisions at the time. It was all a bit hit and miss with choices made around what felt right and how far the bank balance could stretch.
Among other things of course, I also love my garden. Plump fruits hanging from juvenile fruit trees, ripening ever so slowly. About 40 avocados hanging like charms from a tree no taller than me. A pumpkin patch that's mixing it up with watermelons. It's all a glorious work in progress, and I'm coming to terms with the occasional joe blake, (snake visitor) reminding me to be careful where I put my hands and feet and just in case, read up on how to deal with snake bites!
As far as setting an intention for the year was concerned, this year inspiration was slow to emerge until I read these wise words in a post in one of my favourite FB groups - Personal Conversations with the Earth.
Let your heart love what it wants to love, and allow it to lead you.
Wow! This was perfect for me. It really did hit me right in my heart. Sometimes it just seems to be how the words are shaped that makes all the difference. Let your heart love what it wants to love! Okay! I can do that, can't I? Can I?
My Mac said 11:11 on the 01:01:2020. It seemed an auspicious sign.
No sooner had I declared this my New Year's Intention for 2020, when I sat down to read a book I'd discovered buried in my bookshelf a few days earlier. After dusting it off, I realise I must have purchased it eons ago and maybe I didn't need it so much back then. I had no recollection of ever reading it. Simple Abundance.
You can read more on that below in the footnote.
It's decided. I'm setting myself a very scary challenge to work my way through this book. It's about living in grace each and every day, or in my own words, 366 days towards self-mastery.
Scary, because it feels like a big commitment. Scary, because maybe I won't finish it. Scary, because maybe I can't do everything that is suggested. Scary, because maybe I'll get bored.
But then I remind myself... whatever it takes! I want to live life fully. I want to get as much juice out of this life as I can.
No holding back! Self-Mastery! So here goes!
Today, 1st Jan 2020, the suggestion is...
...write down your most private aspirations. Those aspirations you've kept tucked away until the time seems right. Trust that now is the time.
I've given it some thought, I've pondered as I've walked, I've meditated on it for a while and I realise these things.
I've wanted to understand the human condition. I want to know what makes us tick. How we relate to each other and what's going on when that's not working. I want to understand myself and my reactions and my impact, so that I can understand others and help them to understand themselves as well.
I always wanted to know what it takes to live joyfully. How does that happen? And more importantly, what gets in the way of a joyful life and how can I change that or at least achieve a better balance.
And finally, I've always longed for someone who really got me. Someone who didn't judge me, didn't have expectations that I couldn't meet, didn't make demands that I couldn't reach. They just got me. That someone doesn't have to fit any particular type of relationship. They don't have to be a partner or a parent or a sibling. Just any one person that would hang around for a while and walk alongside me. Is that even possible. To be honest, I've totally given up on this idea, yet Sarah says, "write down your most private aspirations". Okay, done. Exposed.
So that's it. "Trust that now is the time." Let's see. Day 01/366 complete. My mission is to post daily so here's hoping that Sarah's written enough inspiring challenges to keep me interested, and I'm sufficiently motivated to continue this journey through 2020!
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.