I’ve been a little slack on the heart photos this past fortnight; I tend to just melt and cease to function in hot weather! Cease to remember to take my camera out and about with me (and my phone’s camera really cannot cope with the idea of taking a picture in such very bright daylight) – and sometimes I cease to actually go out!
In my last post I wrote about the role of our “inner child” in making plans. I’m pretty good at making plans and starting projects. Astrology says this is due to my Aries sun sign, Ayurveda puts it down to my vata dominant dosha. Perhaps this is why I feel such a happy buzz at new moon: I feel a close affinity with this energy so am in my comfort zone. Per haps I’m still a little more child than adult!
What I’m not so good at is carrying plans and projects through and completing them, particularly when obstacles occur. My husband is similar so it’s entirely possible that, give it a couple of decades, we’ll live in a home full of half-finished projects with our hearts feeling a lack of fulfillment and personal satisfaction. But hopefully not, particularly as we are both very aware of this tendency.
This year we have made less plans than previous years. I guess that helps in making them SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Several of our goals are for our garden. In the last few years, when our garden plans have not worked out, we’ve not only experienced a sense of failure, frustration and dissatisfaction, but also guilt at plants having died (and money being lost) and a knock to our confidence of trying again.
This week, a newsletter from the craft marketplace Etsy (where I have an online shop) listed ideas for keeping your creative inspiration going all year round. Some of these I can apply to the garden goals and other goals we’ve made. For example: writing down ideas as they come, seeking fresh perspectives from others, and taking breaks -ie. spending time NOT doing what you’re trying to do! I thought of some others too that will hopefully help sustain my motivation:
- regular reflection and review. I use nature’s cues to check in on the progress of my goals. I feel that the half moon points call us to do this; to look at what’s working and what needs a change of directiion (or letting go of completely). I also reflect on goals as part of each sabbat’s celebreations – particularly the equinoxes.
- making resources accessible. I feel that January is a great time for this. In nature in our hemisphere, the earth is resting, preparing for the time when seeds will be sown. My gardening books recommend this as a time for ordering seeds, cleaning up garden tools and planning out your garden. I think this can be applied to other things; if you’d like to be more creative, do you have a good range of creative materials placed in an ordered, accessible place in your home so you can get going easily without always having to hunt around? Do you need to buy some books or find some blogs to follow for inspiration? If you’d like to eat more healthily this year, perhaps now coulld be spent accumualting healthy recipes (and trying them out to see if you like them), of keeping a food diary to record what food makes you feel healthy (do citrus fruits make your skin flare up and make your tummy feel over-acidic, or do they make you feel cleansed and good? We’re all different!) I guess this then links to
- easing yourself in gently. Where I live, late January/early February is when the snowdrops and crocuses come out and the other signs of spring arrive. I’ll let my plans really kick off then!
- going slow: I’m so prone to the too much too soon thing! Then both my energy and enthusiasm burn out.
- keeping it simple. Last year we learnt a lot about where and how we need simplicity in our life and home rhythm. Towards the end of the year, some of my posts focussed on simple(r) celebrations and I’ll be posting more on that kind of thing from now on. This is our year of living more simply!
- reaching out. As I talked about in my last post, knowing guides and mentors – and where I can go for support or advice.
- connecting with nature’s helpful energies: the sun on sunny days, (particularly in late spring and in summer), the moon when she is waxing and full. I like to go outside at these times, stand in the sun/moonlight, give thanks for the beautiful glow, run through my current goals in my head and ask for the sun/moon’s blessing.
- celebration and gratitude At full moon, I try to celebrate wherever I am in my goals. I’ve only chosen the fabric for the peg bag I planned to make my mum? Well yay that I’ve had the mental energy to do that! It’s a step. In the year, I take the summer solstice, lammas and the autumn equinox as cues for doing this too. We found it really helpful incorporating more gratitude into our lives the last two years; this year, we are striving to give thanks daily for our blessings, inspirations, discoveries, achievements and anything positive and lovely that has come our way that day.
- Recognising ego, and dropping pride I find it easy to compare myself to others and try to achieve what I percieve them to be achieving. For a start, my perception may be wrong. Also, their circumstances, skills, resources and luck may be different to mine. And they may be more practised at these things than me, so it comes more naturally and automatically to them. This year, I ask for the grace to let go or change direction when something just isn’t working rather than clinging onto something for the sake of image, ego, saving face or “being right”.
Do you have any ways of sustaining your motivation with your goals? I’d love you to comment! Bright blessings for all you are hoping and planning for. ♥
“I’ve just been so busy my feet have barely touched the ground”, “modern life is so stressful”, “things have been really hectic for us lately”, “it’s just one thing after another” …
I don’t know how often I hear these catchphrases. Pretty often. At the risk of sounding smug, I know that my life is usually slower paced than many feel theirs to be. Not just slower because I’m often walking at toddler-pace and doing things in toddler-time, (like finishing dinner then starting again three times!), but slower because of choices I’ve made and just because of the shape my life happens to be right now.
Not this past 2 weeks. Oh no. The phonecalls and thinking and talking and emails and texting and house viewings and more thinking, more talking has just been constant as we’ve tried to find somewhere to move to by the end of this month. I’ve heard people describe a busy lifestyle as being like a hamster running round and round in its wheel – it’s been just like that! I used to have a hamster and I can see her doing it now; I can almost feel in my head what she must have felt in her tiny legs. Exhausting.
But now it’s stopped; we have somewhere to move to. I’m relieved and happy, grateful and calmer. I can close Rightmove on my net browser and relax all those tensions I just realised I’ve been holding in my body. As I get the feeling that “my feet have finally touched the ground”, I remember how important that feeling is to me. I savor the physical sensation of the ground beneath my feet, being aware of them supporting my legs and the rest of my body. I enjoy the feeling of my body feeling solid and strong. Breathing in, my full lungs feel healthy. Stretching out, I greet the space around me with a smile.
I see the half-moon as a reminder to ground myself and to reconnect with where I’ve been, what my goals for this moon are and how I’m doing with achieving them. To make a few moments to enjoy that grounded feeling in, however hectic life feels in the moments that precede and follow.
Happy half-moon ♥
We’re a day or so past the half moon, that bi-monthly rest point. You know, you’re out for a nice, long country walk and have been plodding up a steep hill for quite a while now. You’re enjoying the exercise, the fresh air and the scenery but your legs are getting a little tired and your breathing’s not quite as easy as normal. You spy a bench, situated at a lovely view point, and you smile in relief as you ease yourself down to glug some water and sit for a few minutes.
Refreshed as this rest makes you, sometimes it can be pretty hard to get up and continue your climb. For me, this is the energy of the half moon; a rest that can turn into a rut. This is why I try to incorporate gentle movement into my diet and activities on half moon days; spices in my food and drink, (This article justifies my aforementioned chai tea habit!), a little wheatgrass shot, fresh air, some gentle yoga and a little self-massage.
It’s this tendency for obstacles that I blame for this post being a day late…technology issues, toddler issues, tiredness. All temporary, all frustrating at the time and none important in the grand scheme of things ♥
Last half moon I shared how, as the moon balances on the knife-edge of equal light and dark, it’s sometimes the shadow side of balance – stagnation – that seems to rule my day.
As someone who has always tended to shy away from conflict, it comes quite naturally to me to try to work with what I’m faced with rather than against it. Last half-moon I talked about how I apply this to myself, for example: trying to schedule an easier, slower-paced day than usual; taking some moments to pause and reflect. I also try to connect to this energy through how I manage my home. I use this roughly-fortnightly point as a prompt to do tasks I like to do every couple of weeks, such as washing the kitchen floor or vacuuming upstairs – this frequency would probably have my houseproud neighbour’s jaw drop (sshhh…sometimes these tasks get delayed a little beyond that!)
I also use it as a prompt to take a look around the house and reflect on our daily life here: does the layout of the furniture still work for how we use the rooms? Are there adjustments I need to make based on my toddler’s growth and development (eg.now he can reach this table, and is very curious about about that glass-framed picture!). Can I simplify day-to-day tasks, perhaps by how/where we store the things needed to do them? Am I not doing the things I’d like to do more of because the things needed to do them are not easily accessible?
For more inspiration about organising and simplifying you home and your life – and prioritising what you and your family really love and value – I’d highly recommend a book I was bought for my birthday; “Organised Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider. She also has a lovely blog that you can check out here. Other similar sources of inspiration for me are MamaUK’s blog, and Amanda Blake Soule’s books and Soule Mama blog.
Happy half-moon ♥
photo courtesy of domaz dk, sxc