Day 331/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
What women want. That's the topic for today's reflection. What do women want?
Well it kind of depends on where you are in your life. If you're a mum with a young family, you want a nap. That's Sarah's focus for today. She wants a nap. Surely there is nothing more deliciously luxurious than a nap when you have a young and demanding family.
If you're a single woman you might have other ideas of what you want, and if you're retired or in an older age bracket as I am, your wants are different again.
So what do women want? What do they really want?
Here's what I want. And I think most people want some version of this.
I want to feel safe.
I want peace of mind.
I want vibrant physical health.
And I want a life of ease.
That sums it up for me. So much so that this has become my prayer for myself and others.
We all want to feel safe whatever gender we are. We want to know that we are not in physical danger. We want to feel and trust that we are safe in our environment and relationships. We want to be confident that we are safe with ourselves and that we are safe with others.
We want peace of mind. Here I'm talking about good emotional and mental health. We want to feel whole, that we have are able to navigate the world with minimal disruptions to our mental well-being. We want to understand what's happening to us and around us and we want others to understand us. We want to be able to connect with our people.
Vibrant physical health is, apart from very few conditions, mostly a by-product of a steady and wholesome approach to life. Being connected to our inner core values, in tune with our body and able to meet its needs as they come along. We want the motivation to eat well and move our body to come naturally to us to sustain life at its peak. We want to be able to notice the signs of ill health before things become serious, and we want to be able to correct our lifestyle in a timely manner. We want to find support for our ailments until we find a more healthy path.
And we want a life of ease. We want to pursue our passions, and make sufficient money to meet our lifestyle. We want our family to be well and healthy and our communication and support to be reciprocated. We want time and resources to enjoy our lives and occasionally enjoy a treat.
I'm sure you can add a whole lot more to these wish lists.
So why is it that we are often not able to achieve those 4 simple wants?
The answer to that question is many things. At one time in my life it was because I was focussing on the wrong things. I forgot who I was and pursued what I thought was a great lifestyle. Never mind that it had no basis in my heritage, no foundations in my family history or memories, and therefore no experiences in my bones to draw on.
A time came when I realised that I hadn't examined my life stories, my beliefs, my expectations, my attitudes and my culture and those of my family. I remembered all the things I was rejecting and hadn't considered the rich aspects of my heritage that could have supported me.
It wasn't until I became more grounded that I began to know the simplicity of a life well-lived. Without over simplifying it too much, the focus of my life changed from striving after expectations that I had adopted from others, to settling into my own inner longings.
It took courage to begin to challenge myself and the path I was one, to reject the projections of others who put me on it, to turn in the direction of my bliss.
It took courage to change the physical aspects of my vogue lifestyle to that of a simple rural woman who wanted to return to the grounded, sustainable practices that she grew up with. My bones ached for putting my hands in the soil, for eating nutrient dense food straight from my garden, for cooking a deliciously simple menu that burst with flavour. For sharing bread and wine in an informal setting with dear friends and close companions.
And it took courage to do the fascinating work to recalibrate my nervous system to accept safety, to accept ease, to accept peace of mind. Wired for vigilance, on the look out for the next thing to go wrong, expecting the worse, reaching for survival. There's no ease nor peace with that disposition.
My garden is emerging slowly with the seasons. Nothing delights me more than picking tomatoes in the morning, prepping them and making tomato jam, ready to consume with my evening meal. Learning the rhythm of the bees as they come to pollinate my vegetables.
Did you know that the squashes and marrows produce male flowers first to train the bees to come along so that by the time they produce female flowers they have a whole host of reliable bee visitors.
Each day my garden teaches something new. I am totally in love for the first time in my life. And it is with my lifestyle, my garden, my kitchen and my home.
And that is what I bring to my clients as they grapple with coming to a place of ease with their life.
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.