What matters most |
“Beginning well or beginning poorly, what is important is simply to begin…”
As I reflect on these wise words from the poet and philosopher, David Whyte, I am aware that sitting down to write to you takes some mood manoeuvring from anxiety to courage. I believe my old coping mechanism of perfectionism has a way of getting in my way and beginning poorly doesn’t feel like an option! I’d like to be clear with what I have to share and I want it to be meaningful. It’s by no means perfect (according to my standards) and I continue to work with myself, AND it’s a beginning.
I would have liked to have had this out to you before the end of the year and unfortunately my body was not having any of it and so I let it be. I listened and I chose to rest as best I could.
I hope that you too have made the choice to rest and to practice being tender with yourself; and that your beginning is a gentle one.
In the last few days I have taken some time to reflect on the past year and begin gaining clarity on what matters most for me and what I want o cultivate more of.
Although I had begun a reflection on 2021 before my last retreat of the year, I made a request of a dear friend and colleague, Gail Schoeman and she kindly invited me to make use of her end of year reflection process as a prompt.I can highly recommend this process if you haven’t as yet made space for an end of year ritual.
As I was immersed in the art process I began to realise that although I experienced 2021 as a challenging year (as it has been for most), I also experienced a very rich, full and very rewarding year. Initially I was focused on my physical challenges, which does tend to lead me into stress response and I feel quite sad and depleted – AND then my art process began to reveal lightness, beauty and joy. As I witnessed this, something switched on inside my body (I activated my calm response) and my energy and mood began to change. I realised that my process was highlighting all the connection, colour, gratitude, open hearted tenderness that I had experienced in 2021 and so the art process transformed into what I care most about and this is what I would like to cultivate more of.
It’s quite remarkable what can emerge from immersing yourself in an art process. I see this all the time on my retreats. This does not mean I won’t slip back into survival mode and give myself permission to feel the pain that comes with my losses and challenges AND it does mean that I have ways of coming back to centre and into the present moment – intuitive art-making being one practice and being in nature, the other.
This is the art work that emerged. I have a feeling it will continue to change, as I do.
Retreats in review
I then began working on a videoclip which is a review of #theselfcompassionbreak in 2021. It includes images from all my retreats and workshops and as it unfolded it once again reminded me how blessed and enriched my life has been in the last year. It’s a reminder of all the joy that my work brings me. I have connected with, guided, shared and learnt from over 70 clients this past year and each one has inspired me and left an imprint on my heart – for this I am immensely thankful. This is a tribute to all of them.
This is the vdeoclip. I hope you’ll take some time to watch it as it could perhaps inspire your new beginning.
I invite you to reflect on your past year and give yourself time and permission to become aware of the basic goodness you may have experienced – even if it was the tiniest moment of joy. I often find that my greatest joy comes from witnessing the small things, like the new hibiscus flower that has just bloomed from a cutting that I planted just a few months ago. For me, this is a miracle and my response is one of gratitude and joy – this also brings me into the present.
As you begin to step into this New Year – what do you want to cultivate more of in your life?
Here are some questions that you may find helpful:
- What aspects of your way of being have served you well in the past?
- Which of this aspects would you like to carry with you into the New Year?
- Which aspects of your way of being have not served you and would you like to let go of these?
- Would you call yourself a learner?
- If so, what would you like to learn this year?
- If not, would you be open to becoming a learner?
- Is there perhaps someone you’d like to declare as your teacher?
- How can you engage your whole body in learning?
- What are you proud of cultivating in your life? (within relationships, career, spirituality, home etc.)
- What qualities would you like to cultivate more of in 2022? (Joy, courage, resilience etc)
- What requests could you make and to whom? (In order to help you cultivate these qualities and learn)
- What is not flowing the way you’d like it to?
- How could you create more flow?
- What offers could you make this year?
- Are there any important conversations that you’d like to have?
- What moods and emotions could be more helpful for you this year?
- What are you prepared to do to shift to a more resourceful mood?
- What uncertainty are you refusing to accept?
- What will allow you to accept this uncertainty?
- What facts (things you cannot change) are you refusing to accept?
- What possibilities are you denying for yourself?
- In what way could you take better care of yourself this year?
- What would this look like?What is truly important to you?
- What matters most?
Please write and share any insights with me!
Perhaps it would be more helpful to immerse yourself in a reflection process and gain clarity on your true intentions for this year by joining us in community on retreat or in a workshop?
Upcoming retreats and workshops
Please connect with me if any of these speak to you. Although each will be slightly different, the theme will be: Gaining Clarity for the New Year. We will use nature and her elements as inspiration.
“Each person is born with an unfathomable gift. Our call is to find it and care for it. And while working with our gift can create many wonderful things, the purpose of the gift is to exercise the heart into inhabiting its aliveness. For the covenant of life is not just to stay alive, but to stay in our aliveness. And staying in aliveness depends on opening the heart and keeping it open.” ~ Mark Nepo
May the year ahead unfold in a way that surprises you and encourages you.
With love and many blessings,