I find myself continually postponing registration for my courses in favor of handling more pressing matters. I’ve felt a lot of guilt over this, but today I’d like to let go of those feelings and give myself praise for recognizing that I wasn’t cultivating my life the way I should be. The purpose of cultivating my services and offerings online are to make my home the central focus of my day. I may not have cultivated my offerings into full-fledged products ready for purchasing, but I have cultivated my services into saplings ready to be watered by clients, students, and myself. And perhaps I need to establish myself as an English consultant further before I begin advertising my offerings. Stay tuned for news about my courses and workshops later in the year after I’ve had time to cultivate that which matters most and finalize my curricula.
As 2012 draws to a close and my Cultivate 2012 December Evaluation nears, I feel compelled to wrap up my year. After all, next month’s going to be busy — Cultivate prompts, working extra hours, preparing for holiday celebrations with my family, etc. This year was about identifying that which wasn’t nurturing me and taking steps to change them. It was about changing the frames I put on every aspect of my life. It was about altering my perspective. It was about taking time to worry about my health and well-being. I halted work on a lot of projects from about March through August. I’m still reluctant to move forward until I’ve gotten my own priorities with regards to my Cultivate project settled. I need clarity and centering before I can move forward on a lot of my ideas.
This year also brought with it some much needed change. Last year was about surviving a difficult period of time. This year has been about thriving after the devastation. It’s painful to reflect on, but it must be remembered — that chapter of my life has encouraged me to build safety nets into my life to prevent such unpleasantness ever again. Hitting the bottom sucks. I know my family isn’t the first (or last) family to suffer through such a rough patch, and that’s why I want to offer hope to anyone who may be dealing with the distress of losing your home, packing up, and moving in with relatives. It won’t last forever, and you will regain your foothold in life. It will test your very being, and it will test your relationships. Don’t worry. You can survive. The culmination of your strife will taste bittersweet, but it will feel like a great relief.
It’s been quite a year, and I think I’m content with how it’s gone. 2012 has cleared my path and given me inspiration to pursue my dreams. I’m looking forward to evaluating my year next month, and I’m looking forward to everything 2013 will bring.
My job has me working a variable schedule from week to week, so we knew that our Thanksgiving would need to be observed on a day other than the traditional third Thursday in November this year. Really, though, why should the date of observation make a difference? Any day is a good day to sit down with family and celebrate our gratitude and appreciation. It’s arbitrary. I’m more than content to celebrate with my family tomorrow, spending the day preparing a big meal to share with my family and in-laws, eating plenty of turkey, and later tossing the carved up turkey carcass into the crock pot with a mirepoix and aromatics for an overnight simmering into rich, comforting turkey broth. I’ll be making my own gluten free biscuits (and maybe even gluten free stuffing, if I’ve managed to find a gluten free bread mix in time). I enjoy seeing how happy my family is, gathered around a table piled high with food. It’s not an everyday occurrence, but we all love having plates full of goodies and munching leftovers in the coming days.
Another tradition we’ll be observing another day is our day-after-Thanksgiving Christmas decorating. Last year we really didn’t get to enjoy that — we lived in someone else’s home. Our personal tree had broken before the move, so we made due with enjoying my in-laws’ tree. This year, we’ve got a new tree (that I’m very grateful we could afford) to decorate, and we always love snacking on meat, cheese, crackers, popcorn, and hot chocolate while we decorate together. I work the day after Thanksgiving this year, but somehow I’m off all weekend. We’ll be taking time both days to uphold our family tradition — because it’s really all about family. The holiday and date aren’t what’s important. It’s the togetherness. Anyone from any religion or tradition can find comfort and appreciation in togetherness. It doesn’t have to be blood family, either. You can enjoy togetherness with your chosen family, too. Our Internet age makes it easier for families living hundreds and thousands of miles apart to spend time together, too.
It’s all arbitrary — so spend time together regardless. The clock won’t turn backwards.
I spent the majority of last month sick with a cold — or perhaps more than one cold, or even something more severe than just a simple “cold.” Regardless of what ailed me, I’m only just recently breathing easier and feeling less fatigued, congested, and ill. It took a lot of effort and patience on my part. I drank plenty of tea and herbal infusions, ate soups and chili, dressed comfortably, and attempted to rest as much as possible. I found myself wishing I could simply make the leap to my master plans sooner rather than later, but I know that’s unrealistic and ill-advised at this point. I’ve needed to exercise a lot of patience with regards to my current circumstances. Let’s reiterate once again that patience isn’t one of my virtues. I wait with a great level of anxiety, which serves to weaken my immunity.
Let’s list ways in which I can serve my immune system better and promote healing:
- Practice good posture
- Drink plenty of fluids, even when faced with adversity to my water breaks
- Sleep instead of doing [insert silly activity that can wait until after a decent night’s sleep]
- Make healthy, healing food at home instead of grabbing cheap, overly-salted, overly-processed food on work days
- Write out my thoughts, dreams, daily lists
- Practice meditation
- Practice yoga
- Exercise (walking, belly dancing, etc.)
I know this. I know all of these things. Why is it that I seemingly ignore these basic practices during times when I need to practice them more than normal? I must cultivate my ability to promote self-healing. I must cultivate patience.
Tomorrow I celebrate twenty-nine years on this planet. I celebrate the last year of my twenties. I celebrate my waning youth. I celebrate the approach of full-fledged adulthood. (These days, it seems like you almost HAVE to be thirty to be taken seriously as an adult.) I celebrate the longevity of my youthful appearance — and I sure hope I keep getting the people who think I’m five to ten years younger than I really am.
Over the nearly-three decades of my life, I’ve watched as people either “outgrow” their birthdays or continue to embrace that one special day that marks a whole other trip around the shining sun. I have decided I want to be in the latter group. For every year I make it through a complete orbit, I want to celebrate with cake, good meals, and good company. I want to embrace the day as a day of gratitude for the life I’ve lived, the life I’m living, and the life I will live. Life is a very precious gift that doesn’t last very long in the grand scheme of things. Each passing day is an opportunity to grow and change as an individual.
I’m setting an intention for this 30th year ahead of my: to grow as an individual and come into my own as a respected adult member of the community; to continue cultivating myself, my relationships, my sense of community, and my dreams. I fully intent to continue my Cultivate project that I started in January. As I’ve said in the past, it was really meant to help me start living my life instead of simply muddling through my days. I’d love for some others to share the experience and be blessed by my project, too, but I do understand that this isn’t a project for everyone. And I’m comfortable with that because I need this transformation now more than ever. The old methods are outdated. It’s time for change. It’s time to grow up and grow wiser.
After a night of vivid dreaming, I felt compelled to search for the meanings of the dreams. Now of course, I’m not sure I want to bother searching dream dictionaries — I’m pretty sure my dreams were specifically meant for me to decipher based on my own unique situation. The recurring theme? I’m living with far too much regret and taking on way too much stress. I’m quite certain that my subconscious is trying to tell me to let go of the regret, much like I let go of guilt. I very easily deleted drafts for the past Thankful Thursday and Foodie Friday posts. I need to translate that simplicity to regrets. So what if I didn’t know things would have worked out just fine had we stayed in Gainesville! I’m supposed to be learning lessons right now. I’m supposed to be meeting certain people right now. There’s no reason to regret this move anymore, even if I find that I’m unhappy with the overall big picture. I’ve learned that happiness is a practice more than a state of being during this time frame. I’ve met wonderful people during this time frame. I’ve thought about where I’d like to be and what I’d like to do during this time frame. It wasn’t a regrettable mistake — it was a necessary step for growth and change.
I’d love to hear about what your dreams have been trying to tell you. What messages are you receiving?
Everywhere I look there are signs that I need to be more patient — that I need to cultivate my dreams a little more before they can come to life. I need to learn to enjoy the here and now — to LIVE in the here and now — before I can get to the next steps. I’m rather impatient, though. I want my dreams, and I want them now. Days pass by so fast that I feel like my time’s running out faster than it actually is. Truth be told, that scares me. I’m afraid that I’ll never reach my goals, that I’ll never live my dreams. I don’t know if I’m more scared of failure than I am of stagnation. The thought of being stuck in this rut for the rest of my life terrifies me, but I know that my projects aren’t ready yet. They’re like my babies in a way — they need gestation. They need love, nurturing, and growth before I can release them to the world. And much like a baby, my dream will fail if I throw it out too soon. So, I need to cultivate more patience. I need to be comfortable with here and now. I need to be comfortable waiting. Waiting for everything to fall into place isn’t a sign of failure, weakness, or lack of ambition — it’s a sign that I’m confident enough with myself and with my dreams to give myself and my dreams the time and space needed to fulfill potential.
I’m contemplating assuming the Burmese position to meditate. Today started the 40 Days of Thankfulness challenge, encouraging participants to find (at least) one thing to be grateful for each day. I’m thankful that we enjoyed a delicious pot of chili on a chilly day.
Today happens to be another one of those days of which I brainstorm brilliant, thoughtful material and end up blank in front of my keyboard. I don’t understand how this happens nearly every time I attempt to release the flow of thoughts from my mind, but somehow it always does. By the time I sit down to write, though, I’ve spent my day and my energy. How often does that happen to you?
Signs have been jumping out in front of me, flailing about for my attention. I can’t seem to go through a day without signs telling me to follow my path and pursue my dreams. Even though I question myself regularly, I know that this path is the right path. I’m afraid of failing, but I’m even more afraid of letting fear hinder my success. I know what I need to do, and I know where I need to be. I know that there are many changes around the corner, and I need to prepare myself for those changes. Most of all, however, I need to let the signs encourage me instead of making the same revelation over and over again. I need to reach the epiphany already and make the transformation.
There comes a point in life — usually more than once — when you’re faced with inevitable changes that must occur for the sake of growth and staying in the same old rut. That rut is known and somehow comforting, even if it’s not a comfortable place to be. It’s just comfortable knowing what to expect from day to day. But that tired routine of stagnation isn’t healthy or fulfilling. Change has to happen. But of course, the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure all come into play. Doubting one’s self leads to a lot of second-guessing and procrastination. There are so many opportunities waiting to be grasped firmly and confidently — so why then is it that we (or more specifically I) are squandering these opportunities? What’s holding us back?
I’ve been questioning myself and second-guessing myself a lot, lately. I’ve got so many ideas in my head, but it seems I’m just leaving them as unfinished projects in my spiral notebooks. When it came to school and comes to work, I see my projects through to the end — why can’t I translate that into my own personal pursuits? What prevents any of us from achieving the same sort of greatness that only a handful actually obtain? Why do we allow barriers to block us from our dreams and goals? We should surpass these obstacles. We should channel our strength and live our dreams. Blame it on my recent affinity for the lunar phases, but I’ve been very philosophical and introspective as of late. I’ve practically torn through everything in my life, scattering everything on the floor, searching for the answer, and now I’m trying to put everything back together in the right order — trying to find a new balancing point. The problem: I don’t know where I’d personally like to start. Add some more blame to the increasing number of candles on my birthday cakes — I’m a little over a year away from entering my 30s, and I’d certainly like to see my efforts blossom into something worth bragging about at the next high school reunion. It sounds silly, I know, but somehow I think we all get stuck in the mindset that we need to measure up to standards set forth by someone else at a set period of time. Maybe that’s where the problem lies.
Maybe it’s time to stop using someone else’s measuring stick. Maybe it’s time to evaluate myself — ourselves — based on our own standards. Maybe it’s time to be gentler with those standards, to be kinder to ourselves. Maybe it’s time to wake up from the day-to-day and embrace change as a necessity to growth and progress. Maybe we need to face our fears and step forward, telling those fears that we will not be controlled any longer. Maybe it’s time to face our problems and change them. Maybe instead of second-guessing myself, I should have more confidence in knowing that I’ve made it this far and have a fully capable head on my shoulders. Maybe it’s time to stop rehashing the same old story and start rewriting it.