My friends, everywhere in the world it is now 2015 – Happy New Year!
There’s a different smell in the air, don’t you think? Speaking for myself, emotionally, this year does not even resemble this time last year, and for that I am very grateful! There is a freedom this year, a sense of possibility, hope and adventure. There is a sense that whatever small step we invest in our lives, the Universe will step in to double it. For the first time in a long time, I can feel myself sensing the vast horizons which lay beyond my life, and imagining myself in that spacious vista. I feel like I want to step out strongly into the new year, to start out how I mean to continue
2014 was a tad challenging, yes? It was time to clear the decks, to focus on what really matters. One of the ways that the Universe helps us to figure out what matters is to either a) take it away b) give us some things which we don’t like or c) a combination of the above. How quickly we cottoned on to what was happening decided how much we were going to suffer. That cycle is finishing now, thank goodness. Hopefully, we are looking at our newly renovated lives with its streamlined decor, and we are thinking to ourselves:
This is me and my life, and it’s the only time I am ever going to live it. How can we shine?
In the week before Christmas, I bought something I had never bought before: a 2015 year planner. It wasn’t just any old planner though – it was a Leonie Dawson 2015 Create Your Shining Year workbook. Leonie is a kooky, effervescent Australian hippy chick with a cracking sense of humour, a love of cussing – and who also happens to be a millionaire artist and business woman. Every year she puts out these amazing, beautiful workbooks, available digitally and in hard copy, just for women. And totally affordable too. So, for the last couple of weeks I have been working my way through it – first the 2014 closing ceremony where we celebrate and release 2014 – and then the dreaming, planning and creating 2015. This is where I am entering totally new ground.
Friends, I am not a planner. There’s something in me that thinks if I plan then I reduce my spontaneity, flexibility and my ability to pick up on opportunities as they come up. Maybe that was true once, but it’s not now. Now, I feel like I know the direction I want my life to head. I’m done with experiencing life through the lens of okay, so I don’t like that, and right, I definitely don’t want to do that. Now, I’m more like: wow, I love this, this and this and I want to put more of it in my life because when I have more of that good stuff, I am happier, kinder, fuller and good magic happens to me!
Already this year I have created ritual days (a writing day, a weekly family movie/game night, regular dates with the Bear, health maintenance days, family adventures) and then plotted them in my calender. Yesterday, the workbook asked me to plan a retreat for myself. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, and then I remembered that I wanted to see Elizabeth Gilbert when she comes to Byron Bay in late February (I know) and I could plan a retreat around that. So I booked the ticket ($35), and wrote it on my calendar. An hour later a friend rang, offered to be my travel buddy so we could split expenses and told me about her favourite place to stay in Byron Bay. I emailed them and they got back to me today – they have a vacancy on that date, and even though they prefer to do five night stays, they are happy for us to do a two night stay. Do you see what I mean? The act of making that first little step is just magic.
And tomorrow night, I’m going dancing.
How is 2015 feeling for you? Do you use a workbook to help you plan your best life?
Best Short Read
How to Begin Rebuilding Your Life and Make it Ridiculously Amazing at The Mind Unleashed
Of course, this is excellent timing for this article to appear on my radar – and chances are that it will be excellent timing for many of you as well :). This article grabbed me at the opening quote:
Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.
~ Joseph Addison
…then hooked me in with this:
If others mistreated you in the past it doesn’t mean you have to continue their work. Look how beautiful Mark Twain talks about this: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Trust me, it’s a good read to start off the new year 🙂
On Tuesday it was a stinking hot day. Usually it is hotter where we are, in the hinterland, but on this day, with a hot westerly wind blowing, it was hot from the ocean to the mountains. The kids and I were at home, and it quickly became apparent that to do anything but lie gasping on the couch was impossible. I had heard about a tv series called Our Zoo, and suggested that we watch a couple of episodes. We all loved it so much, that we spent the whole afternoon watching one after the other. In fact, we watched five hour long episodes in a row 🙂 In no way did I feel like that time had been wasted.
Our Zoo is a 6 part series set in the 1930s and is based on the story of Chester Zoo in England. George Mottishead is a World War 1 veteran, traumatised by his experiences and struggling with life. He is volatile, sensitive and emotional – and then he starts bringing abandoned animals home. A parrot, a monkey, then a camel. This proves to be the last straw for his family, in their tiny semi-detached townhouse. Something has to happen, and it does. Chester Zoo is born. But boy, does it ever have teething problems 🙂 It’s a wonderful watch, and your kids will love it too.
After that, we went looking for a river to jump into. To our delight, we found that our previously dried up, stagnant creek has been filled by the rain that we have had over the past couple of weeks, and is now clear, clean and flowing. We stayed down there until it was dark, riding the rapids, shrieking and becoming human again 🙂
Best Long Read
Wild – A Journey From Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
This book has been on my to read list for 12 months, so in that peaceful gap between Christmas and New Years, I finally read it. In fact, I inhaled it over three days.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
I loved it. I was by turns sad, bewildered, outraged, annoyed, impressed, respectful and relieved. I liked her because of her honesty and humour, her doggedness and bravery. I loved walking the Pacific Crest Trail with her. I love that she wrestled her life in her two hands, shaking it to the ground and refusing to let up until it let her in. Yes, she is a big fat idiot (her words), but a resourceful and determined one as well. A good read.
That’s it from me – have a beautiful week won’t you 🙂
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