[[Long, personal post about my current place and aims for 2012. The more practical plans will come next week.]]
Last post I spoke about Strength, my word for 2011 and how I’ve found the journey through it. Let’s get onto the coming year.
What do I plan for 2012?
Sonja posted last week about her plans for 2012: with four main focuses and some discussion about what has brought her to decide on those. I began the three subgroups of food, exercise and spiritual energy for my 2011 word of the year, strength, and that really worked for me, so I’m following this inspiration again this year.
I read Sonja’s words on minimalism, on how she keeps forgetting and losing things; feeling rushed. As I read her post, I felt that little ember in me alight. I still want that freedom.
“While I was at camp I had only taken one suitcase full of stuff, a pillow, blanket, and 2 knitting projects. I was at peace with ‘stuff’. I could pack up and go on days off within 10 minutes.”
I also remember one where she photographed and listed all 75 items she owned and lived on happily at camp.
I still want that.
And really, there’s nothing stopping me.
Minimalism: Connecting to Space
I’m at university in Brighton; the same room I’ve lived in for three years; thus it has a lot more than one years accumulation. I take home clothes, make-up, notes, books and electrical items; then I go home and have more than the same amount again in my room, ignoring the crap in the loft.
I hate waste and am proud of being sustainable; yet I can’t keep all of this stuff. I’ll be moving out within the next 18 months (hopefully) and will need to be able to take everything – from my uni room (back home), my home-bedroom and some of the attic stuff to any new place. (Mum wants to make my room into a library, and I can’t really blame her.)
I did a major clothes purge around 2 years ago, back when I was writing at Pagan Wings. I got rid of over 150 items of clothing. Yet I still/now have probably 300 items of clothes and I except only 150 of them fit me properly/ actually get worn. The idea of trying to juggle selling them on ebay- having to lug them to campus then to the post office and weight them and buy packing tape and boxes/bags? It’s a lot to handle when you don’t have a simple 9-5 job that ends each evening.
I intend to read a few specific books in the hopes of lowering my book numbers… currently holding over 186 books in my bedroom at home not including library and borrowed books… and then a further 46 on my uni shelf and a few more dotted around my uni room. I’m currently part way through.. well. Probably 50 of the,. Dianne Sylvan went through all her part-read books and listed them, which I intend to do also as part of this aspect of the new year.
But, I want to escape this self-made limitation and work toward minimalism… which leads nicely onto Being in Nature…
Spirit, Scholar and Legacy: Connecting to Past, Present and Potential
As I visited Maiden castle, Old Sarum andStonehenge I began to see the history of this ancient land. As I listen to Damh the Bard speaking in our rituals; as I take part in more ritual myself and continue through my bardic grade; I remember those years of my teens where I shunned everything on the principal that I didn’t know who I was, thus couldn’t be anyone; couldn’t be X’s friend or Y’s enemy..
The difference in my acceptance now; is that I create myself every day and that’s okay.
This is an investigation into this part of me who thinks that if I don’t swear, don’t make inappropriate jokes and doesn’t have this null/void/on edge aspect; I will cease to “be me”; to exist, to be loved and to have the friends I have now…
I intend to read a few key texts for this including: Spirits of the Sacred Grove, The Celestine Vision, Women Who Run With The Wolves, Pagan in the City, Wights and Ancestors, and The Bond Between Women.
These cover Compassion, Integration, Strength, Women, Paganism, Ancestors and Loyalty.
An exploration of who I am, where these labels came from; which definitions I want to keep and which I still need to adopt… The most important right now being…
Compassion: Connecting to the Inherent Kindness, Inner Peace
Again, inspired by the last six months where I ‘saw red’ for the first time in my life, began anger management, self-initiated on the druid path (the peacemakers…) and began to understand this feeling of nonviolence towards every human, who is suffering in their own way.
Much connected to the aspect of “no me without my anger” I’m exploring; I’ve begun to see this world which doesn’t require you to be an idiot – I see people running businesses based on love, who are learning to respect their capacity and to own their own experience; who are successful in this world I was always taught was cruel, dangerous and angry.
My family = angry/passive aggressive and doormat – my own experiences until I left home were danger/fear/dominated. I’m now 21, choose meditation and dance over karate and am no longer terrified that every man with blue eyes is him.
I intend to read a few key texts including: Nonviolent Communication, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defence, A Complaint Free World, Start Where You Are and How to Practise.
These cover Buddhism, Complaining, Violence, Patience, Words and The Dalai Lama’s words.
Practise and Knowledge: Connecting to the Land and my Inner Core
This is for reaching the potential attributes I’ve wanted since I was a young child; the inspiration I found in Power Rangers, in Lara Croft and in the fascination with native American Medicine Women.
This connects knowledge with practise; all that scholarary seeking, the sensing of trees and the energy of my own aura; in connecting with me as Forestwife, Susan from the Hogfather, Lara Croft, Myrina in The Moon Riders, and Lyra in the Dark Materials Trilogy.
This will include watching a lot of knowledge-based shows like Horizon and QI and some exercise-based stuff like flexibility and arm strength focuses.
This strong, skilled, scholar of a woman who is knowledgeable; who has worth without needing to prove it.
A woman who can ‘practise herself’ – who casts magic and offers healing; who is kind, stable and understands the land and its plants and creatures. I can see my potential as advisor, healer and practitioner; but though I find myself less afraid and upset of being lost; I am lost nonetheless.
Connection with practise, with the land, with people and with other animals and plants is my final step.
In terms of being knowledgeable and integrating my knowledge in practise, I intend to read a few key texts including:
Rewire Your Brain, The Quantum and the Lotus, The Tenth Insight, In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat, Irish Spirit, The Field, Oscar’s Books, The Quiet, and City Dharma.
These cover Irish poetry, Quantum Physics, Buddhism, Neuroscience, Meditation and Literary Scholars
One thing I’m learning about being a scholar is that it never ends. I come home and research, read or watch a programme where I’m learning. I love that aspect, but it does mean I can’t foresee being able to do other things ‘after hours’ as there’s almost no such thing.
I want to sing, to dance, to read, write, express. I want to write poems and songs, to dance and exercise; to be flexible and to be caring. I want to be kind. Inherently.
I want to CONNECT – to the people around me, to the land I live with, to the spirit I believe in. To Compassion.
These cover the three aspects mentioned in Druidry: land, sea and sky (in my anger, I have enough fire in my life, though it isn’t being left out completely; passion and energy are much a part of this journey:
Earth and land (nature/practise), water (emotion/compassion), and air (knowledge/scholar).
The Word For 2012
Thus, despite not planning to necessarily choose a word for the year, I have once more an overall theme with subsections:
This year I want to connect. With my space (minimalism and spirit), with myself (legacy and land), with compassion (people and peace) and with practise (knowledge and worth).
Really, they’re all about me: my space and values, my heritage and spirituality, my emotions and labels and my potential.
And an important distinction in this is that connecting requires disconnecting. I can get back on my minimalist journey in order to connect more; losing items and objects. Despite counting online friends in my connecting – blogging, tweeting, facebook messages and online messenger conversations; sometimes the laptop will switch off and I will go for walks in nature.
And in spite of that, I’ll also sometimes turn to reading my Gwersi in my bedroom, alone; meditating and practising ritual.
On Saturday morning my partner’s mother commented on how “meek” I was five years ago when she first met me, and on how much of the world I’ve seen; how I’ve embraced it; how I’ve come out of my shell.
I intend to continue that in the coming year.
Merry Christmas, Blessed Yuletide and have a Wonderful New Year.