I’ve just finished my responses to Kat’s beautiful Reverb14 prompt series, and it’s been inspirational and motivational. I feel rejuvenated and ready for several projects in 2015. I joined Susannah Conway’s 5 day e-course to help find my word for 2015 and came up with “nurture.” The overall theme of the word branches out to cover just about everything I want to accomplish next year — and it fits so well with my Cultivate series. By the way, I’ll be starting the next Cultivate prompt series on January 11th. It’ll run for 3 weeks, ending on January 31st. That gives us time to marinate in our Reverb14 responses, enjoy the holidays, and get back into a routine — or cultivate new ones.
I’m inspired to take on a 365 day photography project. I want to take self-portraits each day, as well as portraits of my children. I don’t indulge my inner photographer as much as I would like to, so this nurtures my creativity. I’m also inspired to migrate my blog over to my professional website. I’ve got a complete design over-haul in mind for it, too. I’ve started my 2015 vision board on Pinterest and a pinboard for my word. I’m just brimming over with ideas, and I’m so glad to have that spark back.
How does [what you wrote on 1 December on the first day of Reverb14] compare to where you are now i.e. what can you say today with certainty?
I’m still ready for big changes, but I’m also more certain today that I’m ready to face 2015 with a new sense of resolve. I chose the word “nurture” to guide me through 2015, and I’ve noticed patterns in my Reverb14 responses that indicate I certainly need nurturing and nourishing. The thread ran all the way through straight to the very last day, and I’m pleased with the last three weeks of reflection and dreaming. I still don’t know what direction I’ll be taking, but I do know for certain that I’m going to cultivate a life worth loving.
Then, without thinking too hard about it, grab a pen and some paper and finish the following sentences:
In 2015, I am open to… changes. I am open to the possibilities that will unfold before me. I am open to ideas that may not yet be known to me.
In 2015, I want to feel… safe, loved, and nurtured. I want to feel that life is beautiful once again and unafraid of what’s next.
In 2015, I will say no to… living in fear. I will say no to compromising myself when I know full well I can’t nurture others unless I’ve nurtured myself.
In 2015, I will know I am on the right track when… I wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Good habits will feel natural, and I will see the happiness reflected in the faces of my children.
But when I find myself veering off course, I will gently but firmly… remind myself of all I have overcome. I certainly have the strength and ability to overcome so much, and there’s no reason to revert to fear, anxiety, worry, and depression.
In December 2015, I want to look back and say… I have accomplished my intentions of nurturing myself and my loved ones. I want to look back and say that I followed my heart and my dreams, that I found my path once again.
How could you make space for joy in the year to come? How could you protect it?
I had to snoop around a bit before really pondering this question today. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Then I realized something — I once had a daily practice that made space and protected my joy! When everything crumbled, my daily practice of gratitude and happiness fell with it all. I haven’t made the time to sit and write my lists. I use little notebooks to write out my concerns, just to get them off my mind for the moment; then I write a list of 5 things I’m grateful for; then I write a list of 5 things I accomplished, no matter how big or small; and finally I write a list of 5 things that make me happy. Once I’ve completed this practice, I feel happier and lighter. Even if I turn the corner to find something unpleasant, I’ve at least given myself the opportunity to count my blessings and bring myself joy. Also, I used to publish weekly Thankful Thursday posts. That practice, too, has fallen to the wayside in favor of all those urgent matters. If you’re familiar with Steven Covey and his four quadrants, basically I was spending a lot more time in quadrants 1 and 3. When I was done with those, all I could muster was the strength to goof off in quadrant 4. That magical quadrant 2 is where the lists and posts come into play. It’s time to stop worrying so much and goofing off. It’s time to quit sabotaging myself and start nurturing myself and my joy.
In 2015, I intend to reinforce my gratitude and happiness practices. This is a natural progression from the intention to pen in more time to nourish myself. You see, I just completed a free e-course that helped me flesh out my word for 2015, and I choose nurture. Or maybe it choose me. Either way, everything is falling back into place, and it’s time to nurture myself and get my life back.
Today, I invite you to consider: what sorts of signs and symbols have recurred for you in 2014? Think: repeating colours, shapes, people, sayings, music, images, ideas. Where could they possibly be leading you?
I’ve noticed a lot of signs that seem to be pointing me towards dreaming big dreams once again. They’re leading me to explore what makes me happy and to continue nurturing that which matters most — and those who matter most. I see it in images. I hear it in music. I notice all the subtle ways that life is trying to tell me to practice happiness and gratitude. Even when life was completely shattered and stressful, all signs pointed towards cultivating a life worth loving. I knew what I was fighting for, and right now I’m completely motivated to keep my family safe, happy, and nourished in all ways. As 2014 has drawn to a close, I’ve seen quite a few signs that encourage me to continue cheering up. Things are changing in a good way. Good things are coming our way. I may not have a clear vision anymore, but I know what I want out of life. I know that I love making french toast in the morning and watching hungry mouths devour it. I know that I love sitting outside in the fresh air relaxing while the not-so-little ones burn off that enormous amount of energy. I know that I love quiet, cozy evenings in fuzzy socks and pants. I’m not completely sure of the path I’ll be taking, but I know that I have wonderful traveling companions who I cherish dearly. And that makes all the difference in the world.
What nourishes your soul? How would you like to incorporate more of this into your life in 2015?
Quite a few things nourish my soul, most of which I don’t incorporate into my life nearly enough. I think my very best option right now is to purchase my 2015 planner with the intention of penning in times for me to incorporate some soul nourishment — yes, with pen, permanent ink. I would like to see myself preparing a healthy, filling breakfast that keeps me going well into the morning. I would like to see myself stretching to maintain my flexibility and exercising to maintain (or even increase) my strength and stamina. I would like to see myself writing my pages and lists daily once again. I would like to see myself having fun — coloring, lounging, baking, cooking, playing games with the family, and so on. I’m actually a very simple girl with very simple needs that are easily met. I just don’t focus on those needs as much as I should. And if I don’t nourish my soul — and put on that proverbial oxygen mask — there really won’t be much of a me to nourish others. I know I have four other lives that depend heavily on me for nourishment, therefore I need to nourish myself so I’m fulfilled.
How can you stop being an a**hole, get out of your own way and make room for more of your magic to happen in 2015?
This is kind of funny, actually. I guess some times I’m a jerk by laying back down instead of tending to my dreams, but I digress. I have relegated my dreams and aspirations so far into the recesses of my mind that I’ve lost touch with what it is I’d like to do with my life and how I planned to get there. And as old dreams resurface, I stop and wonder if I’ve become someone else who just isn’t interested anymore — that I’m an asshole with no room for my dreams. I’ve noticed that some of the passion has come back as Reverb has progressed, so perhaps I’m on the right track. I can make room for the dreams to burst forth by giving them a pathway out through my finger tips. I can sit down and ask myself questions or answer questions posed by others to see what magic happens. I just need to make time each day to think about who I am, what I want to be and want to do, where I’d like to go, why I’d like to do these things, and how I can take action to bring my dreams to life.
In 2015, is there something you’d like to try harder at because you believe it would make all the difference? Conversely, what is something you could stop trying so hard at that might actually help you manifest what you’d like?
These two questions are closely intertwined for me. For the duration of 2013 and 2014, I lost sight of my goals and focus. No matter what, I need to try harder at my writing. I don’t just believe it will make a difference — I know it will make a difference. I’m so much happier when I’ve written here or in my own private journal and gratitude journal. When I can make a list of things I’m grateful for daily, I realize I’m richer than I think. When I can list the accomplishments I’ve achieved daily, I realize that I’m doing my very best. When I can let the words come out through ink onto paper, I feel lighter. When I’ve connected with others here and realize we’re all much closer than it seems, I feel that sense of community. And so, I’d like to try harder to maintain my writing practices.
As far as stopping something that may be hindering the organic process, I’m not quite sure how to verbalize it. I think I try so hard to build something that won’t happen overnight. I try so hard to go from here to the magical there that I lose sight of the journey and the finer details for all points in between. I know what sort of lifestyle it is that I’d like to manifest — I just don’t quite know the HOW anymore. It seemed so obvious in December 2012, but I’ve since had life grasp me firmly by the face and pull me into other directions that didn’t include how to grow a business or become self-employed. And truly, I don’t think I’ve tried to hard on any of that in the last two years, either. By all accounts, I’ve ignored those parts of myself to the point of resentment. Now that the dust is settled, I’m trying so hard to remember what it was that I wanted to accomplish and why it was that I wanted to accomplish it. I’m trying so hard to decide if that’s really still what I want to do. Maybe that’s what I need to stop trying. Maybe I just need to let life organically bring me back to where I was or bring me to something new. Instead of worrying about the past and trying to reconnect, I should realize that I’m a different person now. It’s time to stop agonizing over lost time and start looking at where I am, who I am, and what I want out of life.
What are you really proud of that you made happen in 2014, despite the gremlins? And what will you do anyway in 2015?
Cultivate 2014. September Equinox. To an extent, fighting the system. Honestly, I got scared of these people. The sheer amount of power they held over me — over my family — was just frightening and crippling. How could I fight back against these people? I often wondered, having been broken down to the point of thinking I would eventually lose and have to redefine my expectations for life and the future. But I seemingly silenced those gremlins a lot easier than the ones who told me that my words weren’t good enough. That my prompts and ideas weren’t good enough. They told me I was riding the coattails of others who’d done a better job before me. Those same gremlins have kept me from realizing my dreams to create a successful lifestyle business.
I’m going to go forward with my Cultivate 2015 prompts. I’m going to explore my options and try to remember what it was I wanted to accomplish in December 2012. I’ll see how that aligns with who I am now and go from there. The gremlins will tell me that I’ll never be good enough and will never make it. I’ll feel the fear and do it anyway.
What rooted or anchored you in 2014?
With how shaky and uncertain 2014 began, it truly helped to feel anchored down by friends and family who sent out tethers. I was rooted in my desire to protect and nurture my family. When it was hard to step back and look at the bigger picture — or when that bigger picture still looked beak and dismal — I always kept my focus on my precious ones and remembered the warmth and love my friends and family have surrounded us with. I don’t think I could have survived this year without them.
And where do you want to put down roots in 2015?
This is an excellent question. I have spent so much time thinking about putting down roots in a physical location — home-ownership — that I fail to see the space for roots in the figurative and spiritual senses. So, where do I want to put down roots next year? I think my Cultivate project is still a seedling, waiting to grow and spread its roots deep within my core. The point of the project has always been to cultivate a life worth loving, and I think that basic belief and focus should be where I plant my roots. Each day should be a day worth loving. From this idea, I can draw rituals and practices. It incorporates my desire to protect and nurture my family, and I already have those tethers of friends and family anchoring me in place to forge forward. Moving forward, it won’t matter where I physically reside. I’ll be rooted and home everywhere I go.
Step one: set the timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can think of to the question: ‘When and how was I brave in 2014?’ Note: remember the private, intimate and small ways in which you were brave as well as the big public ways.
Fighting DFCS to get Rob and Brian home and close the case; going to work even when I felt like hiding under the blankets all day instead; asking the ARNP to refer me for testing to make sure I didn’t have some grave disease; sharing my story with the world wide web; asking for a transfer from one department to another at work; driving in snowy conditions so my children wouldn’t be at a babysitter’s house while I was stranded at work; hosted a prompt series in September; reached out to a great writer for a guest post for the last day of Cultivate 2015; planned out Cultivate 2015; there’s still a minute left, and my brain’s tapped.
Step two: Choose one of more of those moments of bravery and write a letter yourself back at the beginning of 2014, letting you know how brave you are going to be that year.
This year you’re going to let out your inner super hero with the amount of bravery you’ll exude. You’re going to fight the beast and win — you’ve been fighting so hard against the injustice served to your family since the start of last year, and you’re going to win this war. You know in your heart that your children need you to protect them from the corruption of the world, and you are going to be so brave and valiant. You will show these people that this momma bear isn’t one to be trifled with. You are going to glue your family back together and finish out 2014 with the most important people around the Christmas tree. And how brave of you to share your struggles and victory with the world! There will be others who find inspiration in your story and channel bravery for their own circumstances.
Step three: Write yourself a short reminder to tuck into your wallet or post above your desk of just how brave you can and will be in 2015.
You fought the machine and won. You are your own super hero. <3