Change of Seasons

The end of the year brings about its own transition – the ending of a cycle (the year ahead), the ending of a season (and birth of spring), the start of new beginnings in the year ahead.

Running in Circles

A large part of the year end was about eagerly preparing my school books for the new year (yes, an absolute nerd); then it progressed to arranging the party or gathering to be at for the festive celebrations; then it was about rearranging and running around a lot for a whole bunch of “festive” stuff.

No wonder there wasn’t much I looked back on fondly, or *sheepish* even remembered.  There was a lot of chasing, and no center-ing; pacing & no pausing.  As I looked to live more purposefully, the direction it took me across a period of time to this year was that I had been running in circles, when really, it was about honouring the cycles.

Honouring the Cycles

The cycle of life ebbs and flows with the nature of life.  Cycles exist in a new season, new year, births, deaths, birthdays, anniversaries, recovery, change of jobs, change of homes, relationship loss, marriage, engagement, menopause, puberty, new projects or in fact, in every Monday and so on.

I want to honour my year end – not that it is about a grand celebration or extravagant settings.  To honour here, means three steps:

  • First, to pay respects to the cycle (year) past, celebrate the road walked. 
  • Next, to center and ground, to meditate and contemplate, then craft out what is a suitable vision ahead for the new cycle (year).
  • Finally, to count the blessings and express gratitude for what I already have and what is to come ahead.

I would like to have spread it across a week or two, block myself in some yoga spa retreat and hibernate from the world.  The truth is, my help is on her festive leave, I’m away from work but more tired out from chasing my kids, managing the housework and tending to my own errands on a full-time basis.

As this year begins the first time I purposefully engage in a mini-ritual to honour the cycle transition of the year end, it seems there really is no restrictions on: how long it needs to be done, having everything to work around me before I start, how big I set my visions to be, what I set my visions to be, having to do each step sequentially as long as all get done.

There are three more days to the year end – are you running in circles or honouring the cycles?  And big hint if you find yourself running in circles (it’s not rocket science), just stop.  And start any step in ‘honouring the cycle’ instead.

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2013: Merry Christmas everyone

Season holidays are full of magic, fun & celebration – something that I’m slowly learning I need to incorporate in week to week but something I haven’t learnt to appreciate in the holidays.

It is hectic, chaotic & stressful. With that, I often find it hard to find inspiration to post anything (no surprise that such a mindset is no fertile ground for inspiration).

Yet with my experiment the last month to experience fun, celebration & learning first to laugh set myself, it seem fitting to work something into the holiday season this year.

Frankly I had more misses than hits, many stressful outbursts with intermittent moments of just relaxing into what is. I also kept looking at how I wanted to incorporate wonder & magic into Christmas at every step of the way, so each miss felt harder than each moment of fun.

I didn’t want to sound falsely chirpy or excessively gloomy this Christmas, because it is neither.

Truly, I have never had a Christmas looking so intently at my actions and what I wanted to create for myself in the season. The awkwardness and discomfort came from the likes of starting something new, just like learning to ride a bike or learning to swim or any new skill.

Once I understood that, as the clock strikes 12, it has definitely, as always, been a merry merry Christmas. So, Merry Christmas, everyone! 😉

From what-if to just-be

Following the trend of my previous post on “From how-to to why-to“, we move on to the trend of from what-if to just-be.

What if
Some of you may know that I spent years figuring when I’m going to start writing this blog. For years, I thought of the title, opened the wordpress account and waited. In the meantime, the what-ifs in my head grew bigger and more creative. What if I can’t find anything to write? What if no one likes it? What if they laugh at me? What if it’s horrible? And the oh-so-classic: what if I’m not good enough to write?

What-ifs serve a function – to allow you plan ahead so you have contingency plans. But I guess when it comes to achieving certain goals in my life or forging new ground (at least new ground to me), it handicaps. Because what-ifs can be creative, anything under the sun, even if it has very little probability of being true. We love a classic drama but it does nothing for me and my dreams when it exists only in my head.

So where does the shift happen?

Just be
In surrendering to the process that is, the fears that come up and disguise as what-ifs, that is the part of myself that wants to protect. It remains a part of me, and I am grateful to have that. Because it’s a part of me, it’s not something I can just remove or cut away.

This requires me to be present, to stay in the moment and to be strongly aware of myself, my reactions, my beliefs. I find that initially, I move in and out of this state very quickly and it takes a lot of effort. I haven’t found the point where it gets effortless, but with practice it’s getting easier to bring myself back to the present moment. The result, is that I just-be.

Who’d knew that with all the running around in what-ifs, all it took was to learn to settle in the flow and still of just-be?

From how-to to why-to

At this point I make a commitment to write either before and/or on Mondays, because it really is about getting the whole week off to a good start , celebrating the great moments of living a good life at the end of the week and then some.

As I gradually starting searching about loving what I do, and doing what I love or just learning the love the life that I am leading right now, at each moment, I have slowly moved from the how-to’s to the why-to’s.

From the how-to

What steps do I need to do, what are the action plans do I need to take, what are the considerations… The list goes on, and (not surprisingly) the list never gets fillled up or completely ticked off.  I spent so much time on the lists, I basically stayed in the same spot for the entire duration.

Frankly, I do not believe that throwing planning and considerations out the window works.  Everything is about balance – extremes at some points, never always in the boring middle.  Balance, rather than the average of everything, is about not getting stuck at the extremes.

And here is where I was getting stuck in a comfortable zone turning to be an extreme zone, planning, re-planning, drawing steps, learning the mechanics of how to put one step forward, while the world of action zoomed past me.

To why-to

Now here is the paradox (and I do love when some do juxtapose against each other): while staying in the how-to and getting stuck in one spot, the way to move forward was always in the why-to which originated in the same spot. 

Everyone (together with me now) …huh?

Breaking it down – the way forward, to zip into the line of action, to embrace the flow of life, to move, to dream & then to create … lay in embracing the “why”.  What drives the motivation, why do I keep searching?  By bringing everything to this moment, being present, the “why” easily surfaces.

Because I love to dream.

Because I love to create.

Because I love to expand.

Because I love the flow of nature, not struggling against the tide.

Because I seek to understand.

Because…

Journeys evolve because we keep moving forward at each step of the way, and the evolution allows us to grow.  Which is why it is oh-so-important to fully comprehend, ingrain, live the phrase: that it’s about the journey, not only about the destination.

Why I write here

The thing about writing a blog is that you spend a lot of time thinking of the topics, how to craft the blog, how to share it, what’s the best way to present it.

Most importantly, I keep going back to why I write here.

I write for many reasons:
1. I love to write.
2. I believe “Loving Monday Mornings” is a great shift in the perspective of our lives, which can change it from blah to wow.
3. I believe we all can find what we love to do or do what we love, and drawing stories and inspirations from others is an essential part of that journey.
4. I believe I’m not perfect, that I don’t have or have not found the perfectly formula so I hope that in exploring my writing, you will appreciate that someone goes through the same struggles as you do finding your ‘own path in life’.
5. I write so that one day, my children may see my journey through my eyes and understand it in ways that I (feel) I still do not know how to communicate well verbally yet.
6. I write, because I’m learning each day.

And you might read for similar or different reasons. So, welcome to “Loving Monday Mornings” and I’m glad to be writing here.