Thursday, 29 January 2015

Feeling my way

January: the month that wreaks of promise and possibility, of hope and wonder, excitement and delight at what the coming year may bring, is almost over.

And I'm not ready for it to be! I'm not ready for February! 

Because with it comes a creeping in of all that was. The bright new year is well and truly over and what settles in is life as we knew it - nose to the grindstone stuff. Days are marked out by dates and deadlines, routine, structure, to-do lists, in-boxes, productivity, aaaaggghh!! 

Then comes the rut. The spontaneity and life that effortlessly sustained us in January as a result of seeing the world through optimistic eyes is replaced with getting stuff done, as soon as not really humanly possible. Life becomes ho-hum again. Its get down to business time.

But I don't want to!

Actually, let me clarify that. 

I do want to - I do want to get down to business. I do want to get stuff done. I do want some kind of routine to my days. I do want to tick things off my to-do list. I do want to be productive.

But not at the expense of fun, freedom and creativity. Not this year.

No. This year I'm going to do it different. I want to do it different.

This year I'm not just going to focus on what I want to achieve; I'm going to focus on how I want to feel.

This morning when walking Harvey I realised how lacklustre I'd become. The 'new year feelings' I described earlier had worn off and I was left with a sense of apathy. The excitement and interest that was directing my thesis was vanishing and everything was looking grey.

I don't want to feel like this! I thought. Needing a pick-me-up I searched my ipod Audiobook list and stumbled onto exactly what I didn't know I needed to hear.

She talks about chasing goals and how we yearn and hope and wish that we will be fulfilled when we reach them. But, she explains...
"You're not chasing the goal,
you're chasing a feeling you hope reaching the goal
will give you."

She believes this kind of achieving is backwards, and that it's burning us out. I'd like to add that it can lead to feelings of emptiness, confusion and stuck-ness, none of which we want to feel!

So what do we do instead?

Danielle suggests we get clear on how we want to feel in our life - identify what she calls our core desired feelings -  and then we base our intentions on them.

She says, "Not only do we have to put our feelings at the heart of our ambitions, we have to pursue our desires in a way that is life-affirming rather than soul-depleting."

Yes results matter, but what is the driving force behind your goals? Her answer: your core desired feelings. And once we identify them we can use them to make more powerful choices, daily.

Of course, this Desire Map stuff is not new to me - I first heard about her work early last year, and was so impressed I bought the book! But it lived on the shelf ever since. Until today.

I definitely don't want to feel this listless, uninspired, lethargy any more. It's time to get in touch with what I want to feel - what my soul is yearning for, what my heart truly desires and to start living.

Friday, 16 January 2015

A Hell-ish journey

Forgive me friends and fellow travellers for my rather long absence - I've been in holiday-mode. And I've had a hard time getting out of it! 

A lot has happened since I last posted a post - we've had a visit from Santa, said goodbye to 2014, said 'Hello 2015!', eaten too much, drank too much and as far as I'm concerned - driven too much! (Sorry Rolly)

It's just that I'm not so great at 'journeys' - as you know I'm all about the destination. And as we know, that perspective often gets me in trouble.

But I recently had an experience where the journey mattered more than the destination.

We were in Hell, literally, at my in-laws property in Western NSW. (And no I'm not being disrespectful - I use the name which Banjo Paterson quotes in his famous poem, Hay and Hell and Booligal, with affection.)

Anyway, I love being in Hell. Life is simple there. We wander and play and explore and rest at our leisure - so long as it fits in with morning and afternoon tea! There's something about the lack of connectivity with the rest of the world and that big big sky that is freeing.

One of my favourite things to do is ride. 
And when your in Hell no helmet's required.
My preferred mode of transport, my sister-in-laws bike from her youth :
 And with no other cars, bikes, pedestrians, or people! lights, no road rules, just me and that never ending horizon underneath that big ol is freedom. And joy.

And for once I don't want to reach my destination. 
I just want the journey to go on and on and on.