Happy New Year! I’m finally embracing the reality that snow has already fallen and it’s going to be a cold New England winter for a few more months. It is a time for deep introspection. Time for hot tea, a fireplace and a good book — or 6.
For me, it’s a reflective time of year where I’m processing through the shifting tides. There were some high waves and some equally lower sandbars as well. Recognizing that nature always finds the middle way, is comforting for me. In Buddhism or ancient Chinese philosophy, this way is called, The Tao or The Dao. It’s the path of equilibrium that personal experience is said to bring forth. There’s comfort in this for me as I explore more of my inner workings.
Robert A. Johnson, a Jungian analyst and psychotherapist wrote a few books I thought were intriguing. I’m reading, “He” currently (update: finished reading, “He,” “She,” onto “We” then “Transformation” – LINKS BELOW). I started it a day or so ago and will be done today I suspect, as long as I don’t feel compelled to write at any given point when I pick it up again. It’s an exploratory analysis of the masculine developmental psyche. He blends ancient mythological characters with modern day (1900’s) reference points. It’s a book that causes me to pause about every 10 pages or so depending on the section or epiphany that it’s creating as I find myself to search in my past or present day for relational comparisons.
The deep introspection combined with a life/business coach, a 12 step program with meetings and books that are mind expanding have been critical to my development as the path forward unfolds on this journey.
Creating time, space, energy and allowing myself to set those boundaries with family and friends has also been instrumental to this new phase of development. Regardless of where I live, these lessons I’m learning now (today and everyday) will only continue to help me on my path — wherever that leads.
Surrendering the jam packed schedule of old, releasing daily action items to more reasonable goals and keeping a specific development routine has been amazing. Somedays, my energy does tell me to move my butt — in which case, I go… and I go very quickly and I’ll get more done in one day than one week. Other days, self care reigns supreme with reading, writing and finding ways to play. Playfulness is a lost art for me. I’m still working on finding more ways and more frequent ways to do this. It brings about a frame of mind that the intellectual side craves as much as it wants to say, “I don’t need that childish tomfoolery!” Bullcrap, you love it. Get out there and do some weird stuff. This is my self talk fully expressed. Hilarious, right. Sometimes.
The specific development routine I mentioned has been something like this, starting in the morning: Meditation (transcendental meditation, www.TM.org) for 20 minutes after I use the bathroom and splash some water on my face, I’ll then do my stretching routine that a new friend (shout out to, Amy!) made for my specific issues (joint mobility, tight muscle fascia release by foam rolling and lacrosse ball trigger point pressure work) or journal. The order of the stretching or journaling depends on the level of tightness I’m feeling or the weight of any “spiritual dust” that I need to clean from the mind by journaling. Journaling, for me, is basically following the daily pages process that’s show in the, “Artist’s Way.” Great read for anyone that knows deep down they can be better they just don’t know how to start. I journal about anything, sometimes it’s random stuff, like… “I’m sitting here, just had my celery juice or hot lime water and I don’t’ know what to write.” Other times it’s an onslaught of mayhem I’ve been holding onto. One day, recently, I didn’t journal for 4 days. I noted myself becoming more irritable. Then, I forced myself to journal and 4 pages filled quickly. When I’m journaling daily, it’s anywhere from a half page to a full page. Tim Ferriss, author of “Tools for Titans,” (love his podcast, his books are super helpful too), equates journaling to using spiritual windshield wipers. I agree. I’m not sure exactly how it works. It just does.
After journaling (or stretching), I’ll read, depending on the day, a little or a lot. Then spend time writing.
- Meditate: 20 minutes
- Journal: 10-20 minutes
- Stretch: 10-20 minutes
- Write: 10-120 minutes
- Read: 10-120 minutes
This is 7 days a week for me so when I need to be out of the house and have appointments, work stuff, errands, etc… it’ll be on the quick end and somedays I’ll miss stretching or writing and will do it later. Without any hiccups, it can be done in 60 minutes. Looking back to my time when I was working in Virginia, I did check some of these boxes and it wasn’t helping to the level it is now. I think it’s related to experiences I have had since then as well as the additional coaching and program I follow as well.
Winters used to be the worse for me. I used to despise them. I always used to say, “I don’t want to move back up north — those winters are terrible.” While partially true, there’s so much beauty in a full winter season as well. The change in seasons allows me to have this seasonal change within too. It seems natural. That doesn’t say I’m not going to want to use my credit card points and fly to Mexico after the holidays though. That itch is wanting to be scratched for sure.
With introspection comes more awareness.
With more awareness comes greater responsibility to self.
With more responsibility to self comes greater responsibility to the universe.
With more responsibility to the universe we serve ourselves and others.
It’s a boomerang folks. We fly away and sometimes we come back if we’re lucky or need to right some wrongs.
Take care of yourself and the world will change. Not just for you, but for those you love and your experience.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday season and that we are kind to ourselves and others. Not everyone is invited to family parties or dinners this time of year. Let’s reach out when we can and spread the love.
This will be super helpful to me if you care to support me and my cause.
If you’re interested in any of the above mentioned items, in this case books, I referenced and you’d like to help support me, it would be awesome if you would use the links below for purchasing.
If this ends up being a way that I can help contribute to the world more directly and donate $200 to help children go to school in Africa for one year – I will do that when the opportunity arises. There is a school the family operates where I visited in Uganda. I would love to help support them and their community. Sometimes children can’t go to school simply because they can’t afford the school uniform and shoes.
- He: Understanding Masculine Psychology
- She: Understanding Feminine Psychology
- We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
- Transformation: Understanding the Three Levels of Masculine Consciousness
- The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers