101 days, I thought. 101 days out of a lifetime and in this milestone year, is nothing. And it’s enough time to try a new way of being and see how it fits.
101 days. Not that much can happen in that time, I thought; and on the outside, it hasn’t – but inside, I’m not the same person I was in June. The lessons came so fast that I didn’t have time to process them all, and found I couldn’t blog. Or I could, but that would possibly be another example of how I dissociate myself.
I needed to live it, feel it, BE it. But was it worth it? Absolutely! As honestly as possible I’m sharing what I’ve learned.
1. Nurturing myself is at the same time the most selfish thing I can do, and the most selfless thing I can do.
2. The world doesn’t fall apart when you put yourself first, as long as you continue to love and respect people. What I found was a whole new support team.
3. Taking time to nurture my spirit is vital. Otherwise, I get distracted or lost in busyness and everything and everyone around is poorer as a result.
4. Equally important is nurturing my body. I learned just last weekend that my fundamental value is respect, and I could see that I had failed to treat my body with respect.
This week, I’ve been asking myself when hungry or bored, or anxious even “how can I respect my body here?” Sometimes, it’s been a simple glass of water that was needed. I’ve found – even if it just seems like a whisper to start off – that your body speaks to you. Sometimes, I’ve continued to disrespect it, but I am okay with that as relapse is a part of change, and I’m heading in the right direction.
I’ve found your body knows what you need, when you trust it to let you know, when you respect its wisdom. I also learned that I had been protecting my heart by forgetting my body. Thinking I was protecting myself and healing, I was in fact harming myself by dissociating myself from my feelings.
5. Nurturing myself is really about wholeness and it’s balance – the dance of balancing body, mind and spirit. It’s time for me to let the 10 ton masks go and dance in my own vulnerable glory.
6. Life is a pilgrimage. It is a journey to ME, and a journey of change, and change can be less than totally easy, and is usually more permanent than not, especially when it’s a journey of the spirit and heart.
7. I am hugely grateful for those who love, inspire, nurture and encourage me.
8. Creativity is vital to me, and I’m finding ways to express that. As Tina Turner said, “If you are unhappy with anything – whatever is bringing you down – get rid of it. Because you will find that when you are free, your time, creativity, your true self comes out.”
9. My vision is to run a haven where the poor in spirit sing, and I see that this starts in my own home. After a massive decluttering exercise, the next few months see several changes to the house (inside and out) so it is home, where I belong, where it’s the house-of-my-dreams-for-now, even if it is not my forever house.
It is my House of Belongings – what Sarah Ban Breathnack says is an ancient Celtic metaphor for “the body as the earthly home for souls, as well as for the deep peace and feeling of safety, joy and contentment found in intimate connections with people, places and houses.”
10. Sometimes too, nourishment will mean time to allow for digestion. As Etty Hillesum said, One must have the courage to call a halt, to feel empty and discouraged.”
11. In a year of “Seeing Miracles”, the miracles happened so often that I simply lost count; but there were more than enough to let me know this was the right thing for me to do, from the miracles of small steps to the miracles of absolute serendipity in a way that gave me goosebumps.
12. The second biggest lesson was about surrender… another part of letting go.. As Rumi said, “You’ve been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender.
13. That number again – on the 13th October, I was reading emails from 13th September that were exactly the right timing for me and for the people I love too. I didn’t set out again to have 13 lessons but that’s what I have learned.
In a year of “Letting Go” the biggest thing I realised over the last 101 days is that I am holding a lot of anger in my body and mind, and it’s time to let that go. I was diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver syndrome, and my friend Diane pointed out that Louise Hay said liver problems were to do with anger. Me? No way! In fact, my vehement reaction should have made me realise that this was an issue.. but it took another 8 weeks for me to catch up with that. Anger and hurt, all woven together in parts, and tangled together in others.
And so that’s my next project. I thought I would find the nurturing one hard, and it was – but ultimately it was a joy, because of all of the above, and because it has allowed me to be more fully me. I think this will be much harder, less than totally positive in many ways as I face this head on. I know it will take courage, but I’ve been brave before. I also know that finding ways to let the anger go and truly forgiving myself and others will free me from excuses not to live the life I want. Ihave two retreats organised to do that in freedom and space, and I know exactly the right books have come my way to do that. Wish me luck!