As 2016 begins, I feel it is extremely important for me to gain a deeper sense of clarity; about myself, my place in the world and my purpose. So many thoughts have been ticking over in my mind, which is great, but I really felt that I had to do something more than just “think” about them…
I have been reflecting on who I am now, the experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am today, and just how far I have come in my life. I have also been pondering about who I want to be; the kind of woman I want to become, and the things that I want to do with my life. There is much that I’ve done, and I’m not discounting that, but there is still so much that I want to do!
I have have had a tough couple of years of late. Definitely not as tough as many others I know, and many that I don’t, but tough for me all the same. I’ve done a lot of soul searching in this time, and have experienced much learning, healing and growth on all levels- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am in a pretty good place now, but in many ways, I still have a long way to go. Not that I feel that my “work” will ever truly be done. I believe that our journey on this earth involves life-long learning and that we are constantly healing and evolving as spiritual beings in a human vessel.
I feel I am capable of so much, yet there are still some hurdles that I must overcome before I can achieve all that I dream of doing in this life, as well as some things that I am probably yet to dream of! I am aware of some of the barriers that are blocking my progress, yet there are others that exist on more of a subconscious level, that continue to hold me back. The real challenge is to shed light on these obstacles and then find a way to let them go, so they are no longer blocking my progress. Easier said than done at times…
I often pray a simple but beautiful prayer that I heard on one of Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Super Soul Sunday’ episodes. (I will have to double check exactly who this prayer came from…I think it was Marianne Williamson). It goes like this:
‘Lord, Help me to become the woman you’d have me be, so I can do the work you’d have me do’.
So simple, yet so very powerful. I love this prayer and I find myself praying it often. It seems to so succinctly encompass all that my heart desires, but can’t quite put into words, and it has become my personal mantra.
In order for me to keep moving forward on my journey, to keep learning, healing and evolving, I felt very strongly that I had to become crystal clear about exactly who I am, where I am, who I want to be and where I want to go in life. For me, the best way to gain clarity is to allow myself the time and stillness to reflect deeply about things. Then, to become even clearer, I like to write down my thoughts and ideas. Doing so helps me to connect even more dots and clear my mind even further of all the ideas that have been swimming around up there- sometimes for what seems like an eternity!
I have always loved to write. I remember enjoying writing as a child. I found myself constantly keeping journals and scrapbooks and writing in them every chance I got! I did this for many years, but somehow lost the experience somewhere along the way, perhaps when I became bogged down with writing essays at university. I forgot all about the pure joy I experienced when writing for pleasure as a child and teenager. I didn’t open a journal or scrapbook for many years, until I found myself at rock bottom in my life around three years ago.
It was then that I reconnected with writing and once again experienced the joy that it brought me. I wondered how I could have forgotten how it made me feel, and why I ever stopped writing in the first place. At this particular junction in my life, the act of writing also became very therapeutic for me. It helped me to vent, to make sense of many things and it also brought me a great deal of peace.
I have been writing ever since, but primarily for myself. In recent times, I have been quite drawn to take on more of a public platform for my writing, and have been encouraged to do so by many new friends, who are also writers. I have wanted to begin a blog for ages, and after all my soul searching and clarity gaining at the onset of this year, here it finally is! I’m not sure exactly what direction it will take, but I suppose that is the beauty of it. Like life, you never know where it will lead you. Once upon a time, that used to scare me, however, now I find it exciting and exhilarating!
I have been working on a few writing projects recently, including an ‘Intention Setting Kit’ that a dear friend gave me. It provided the structure and guidance that I needed to start writing and really helped me begin to clarify my thoughts.
It began with a ‘Farewell to 2015’, which included a list of all the things that I wanted to let go of from the year that was; the things that no longer served me and were holding me back in some way. As well as letting these people and experiences go, I thanked them for the lessons that they taught me, and how they helped to shape me as a person. Quite symbolically, while on a retreat in early January, I tore up this list and tossed it into the campfire one night. It felt so liberating!
Next, was to compile a list of all the things I was grateful for. It was a wonderfully long list – about three pages! I have so much for which to be grateful. I know I am very blessed. To add even further gratitude and energy to this act, I attended a gratitude circle while on my retreat, where myself and others gave thanks for the many blessings in our lives. It was a truly beautiful experience.
Finally, it was time to set my intentions for the year. This was the biggie for me! The most challenging part of the whole exercise. It was something I’d been wanting to do, but didn’t quite know where to start, or what to say. I just knew that it was time for me to get really, really clear and really, really specific about what I wanted. It seemed like such a fitting time to focus on this intention setting, with a new year just beginning, although, I am usually not one for new year’s resolutions.
My family often makes quite a point of generating and sharing specific goals for the year ahead. I have often found it difficult to do the same, due to challenges I have faced in life that have been largely out of my control. As a result, I decided to call my goals ‘intentions’, which sat much better with me. I also made them broad enough to be achievable, yet specific enough to give me direction. My intentions looked very different to my family’s goals and resolutions, but they seemed to work for me. For a time, anyway…
This year, for the first time, I decided to get much clearer and more specific when formulating intentions for myself for 2016. I felt drawn to do this at this particular point in my life in order to make necessary changes, attract the things that I really want, and continue my growth as a person.
For the first time in my life, intention setting didn’t feel scary or overwhelming for me. It felt good! Really, really good! Natural and exciting. As a result of setting such well thought out and specific intentions, I feel clearer, have more direction, and am finding myself more in the flow of life. It feels amazing!
More soon. M xx