Updated: Mar 11
Living the dream, except it wasn't my dream.
Sitting a few steps back from the beach, 3 storeys of gorgeous architecture, on a handkerchief of land with a minute cosmetic garden and a feeling that something was not quite right.
Top of the range cookware and no inspiration.
A house filled with artwork that didn't feel like home.
So much security that I couldn't take a pee at night without worrying I'd set the alarm off.
Self-mastery is about living authentically, and living authentically starts with getting to know ourselves, starting with the things we love. It's a great way to identify where we've traded out our joy for consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses. Not that I ever considered the Joneses, because they were cleverly hidden between the pages of glossy magazines.
Today's challenge is to go deeper into the things that touch your heart and soul.
It does sound simple, yet I found myself in the wrong country with the wrong people, in the wrong job doing what I didn't like, existing, certainly not living in a house that I couldn't call home. And my friends noticed.
Plan an excursion by yourself this week to a home decor store that you've never visited. Capture any moments of glee, fun, interest that is sparked in you as you browse around the store.
This is not a buying trip, it's a trip to capture what makes your heart sing. Record it in some way. Photograph it if that's allowed, write a note, make a journal entry. Choose a store that you've never visited.
Then next week, plan a similar outing to a fashion outlet. The one that you've avoided because you keep telling yourself you can't afford it. Again, this is not about spending money, it's about learning what takes your interest, lights you up. Just notice the colour, textures and designs that you're drawn to.
When I finally woke up from the nightmare that I had created for myself, I discovered that I didn't even like bright and shiny top shelf. Quite the opposite. My preference was for dull and altogether well used. Something that's had a life. That I can give my life to as well. Something more akin to grungy, and positively vintage.
Country styles with French finesse, rustic and lived in. Somewhere I could dig my hands into the garden with tools I bought at the recycle market.
A long wooden table in garden settings, decorated with hand-picked flowers, simple fare, a smooth, and sometimes rough red, good friends and lots of laughter.
It wasn't an easy transition. It took me about 10 years to really put that behind me. It's not easy on the body nor the mind when you discover that you've taken the wrong path for a very long time. It took it's toll on my health for a considerable length of time. But I did make that change, I did return to a life that resembled my way of being int he world, and I have surrounded myself with that life that touches my soul.
It's an experience I clearly needed to endure. And it is the perfect foundation for advocating for self-mastery.
So look around you. What does your home say about you? Where are you in this place you call home? Can you find yourself there? If yes, then congratulations, you have done well my friend. If not, then take that excursion and discover what you really, really love. Have fun!
Oh what the hell. Take that excursion anyway. See what else is possible!
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.