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It’s winter, cool and quiet. These are the few days of rest to reflect and refresh. I enjoyed the recaps of 2011 and planning for 2012 by Dianne Sylvan and Sonja.. so here’s my update.

What Did I Plan For 2011?

I aimed for Strength, of mind, body and spirit (and later money).

I had a lot of issues picking the word for my previous year, and the ease of Strength turned out to be the best for me, despite my perception of it’s “lack of eloquence”.

Each month I spoke about three areas; my energy levels in terms of meditation/yoga, food/sleep and exercise.

What Did I Manage?

Much like Dianne did, I’m just going to list my new/interesting moments of 2011, partly out of laziness and partly because you’ve probably read about most of them in the monthly catch-up posts.

  • I began a new blog.
  • I wrote another novel and began a second.
  • I met Chucky twice during his 6 month stay in Europe.
  • I saw my sister witch Erin for three days (met her in October 2010)
  • I left the volunteering job I felt uncomfortable in and began a new position.
  • I spoke at two conferences on behalf of a project the Mental Health Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation run.
  • I got a new camera and a new phone.
  • I made apple crumble.
  • I attended my first festival: Buddhafield festival, and worked in the café.
  • I began teaching Shivanata, and then began teaching it via Skype too.
  • I began the OBOD bardic grade home-study course and initiated myself as a bardic druid (or whatever the PC term is), seven and a half years after my self-dedication to my pagan journey in 2004.
  • Began doing campus tours
  • Attended courses on Child Protection, ASIST, Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
  • Got my second job (first paid summer job) cleaning
  • Attended my first group Lughnasadh and Yule rituals (and began to take part in the blessing of the circle and speaking parts)
  • Graduated from my BSc in Psychology with merit
  • Began my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Attended a six-week course in Anger Management
  • Visited a couple of Celtic and Pagan monuments; Maiden’s Castle, Old Sarum,Stonehenge
  • Wrote two small e-books (on Mental Health and Synapses)
  • Applied for a Doctorate course
  • Had two job interviews
  • Attended training for one of them
  • Began helping out at the six-week anger management courses
  • Attended Witchfest International

The Breakdown of 2011

“I wait for this change and dream of being a skilled, strong woman. Yet make little move to increase strength or skill.

To know the herbs and trees, to track the wild and to have basic strength. To have knowledge to help, heal, teach or advise is likely my motivation. 

I strengthen my arms and legs, meditate and dance to train mind-body connection and read to strengthen my mind alone. Yet I fair not well in exams nor written work. I enjoy it, yet without true work.

I understand the power of the mind and of language, yet cease to put in the work to change habits. Nothing comes easy, yet my life’s been one of idleness.”

I wrote that over a year ago – when trying to fathom my need for this attribute.

As my word of the year, Strength, got forgotten, I found myself focusing on the main attributes I wanted to see in myself – mainly illuminated from gaming and the books I’ve read this year.

I want to be the Forestwife and the Moon Dancer; the woman who knows the plants and the properties, the sneak and the skills of battle and of worship (Theresa Tomlinson); who can heal the sick and ail the people’s pain. I want to be strong enough to stand up for myself, to no longer be afraid of the dark (The Hogfather). I want the confidence in my own strength an abilities to practise my skills (Oblivion/Skyrim). I want to be the advisor, the medicine woman, the communities’ first port of call.

This year, I wanted to find strength. Physically, mentally, spiritually. I searched through yoga, shivanata and meditation to find spiritual strength. I began the OBOD course, sought connection and routine. I found prayer and ritual.

I focused on mental awareness and energy; on food and sleep. And I found that I enjoy exercise, I enjoy feeling that if I end up reliving either of the two situations which I wasn’t strong enough to fight, now I could. I probably wouldn’t win a fight with a strong, tall, intent person. However, I would lash out, I would breathe. I would try talking. I wouldn’t freeze up in tears. I could change my decisions, and maintain a small amount of control.

(and that’s all you need, sometimes).

I can put myself into that state of meditation when faced with anxiety and can strengthen my mental shields when I feel that I need that feeling of security; whether there’s any truth to the energy-manipulation or not.

So that was this year. Strength-seeking, mind-manipulating and energy-exciting. As for next year?

I’ve just about decided upon next year’s word and aims; will post about them after Christmas.

Have a wonderful holiday all,

In light,