Planning

The last week of January has arrived with a spike in energy. Mercury just went into retrograde, and it has me rearranging and prioritizing things on the home, business and financial front.

Teamwork seems to be the theme of the past few weeks. Spreading out responsibilities and engaging experts to assist me has been a revelation. My worst case scenarios are mere figments of my imagination. There are always options, everything is negotiable, and generally people want to please and be helpful.

Snowdusting

It is quite a lesson after being stoically self-sufficient for several years. Asking for assistance doesn’t mean losing one’s independence, it merely taps into the strengths of others and allows them to shine on your behalf.

As I interact with these helpers, I am also reminded of my past accomplishments, which took so much time and effort to achieve but that I now take for granted. I checked it off and moved on, setting the bar higher for myself.

BigLove

Then there are the un-checked items — particularly on the home improvement front — that I intend to revisit and at the very least get estimates for. Having contractors around the building this past summer alerted me to all the ‘someday improvements’ that have lingered for years.

We have a tendency to ‘put up’ with things when we don’t think we have the funds or the time to deal with it. For years I put up with a bathroom door that banged into my toilet and required squeezing past the door. It only took a day to have it flipped, and didn’t break the bank, but I held off on doing it for years.

doorflipsm

The sense of spaciousness made me giddy with joy, and it became a revelation of how we overcomplicate things in our heads when we don’t have the expertise to do it ourselves. The unknown can create so much inertia.

I’m looking forward to pushing through the scary variables and let others help me improve my home and my life. The only way to honor life is to live it fully, and to fix what is worn out or not functioning. I’m excited about the coming months and what the year has to offer.

Brightness

Fighting the ‘Why’

“You are here
so God can experience the world through your eyes.
See what you see, feel what you feel.
Everyday he can’t wait to see what you’ll do.
He can’t wait!
Every day he falls in love with the world all over again.
Elizabeth, you are his muse.”

~ Jeff Daniels as Arlen Faber in The Answer Man

I’m an introspective being, and sometimes overly so. In spite of a very active schedule and lots of wonderful people in my life, there are times where that one rejection, or a snarky comment by one person can send me into tailspin of existentialism. I question how that event reflects on me and my need for growth, when I feel like I am working so hard to make progress already.

536_Reflecting

With my Polyanna outlook, I have a hard time with the low feelings. I am not as willing to admit to the ‘depths of despair’ as Anne of Green Gables is. But in my effort to move past the hurt, the anger, the frustration, the sadness, I might be fighting my own natural emotions.

We have to cycle through all feelings, and I have to accept that highs are followed by lows in order for us to fully appreciate and live life. While I fully subscribe to the power of positive thinking and strive to see the good in every day, ignoring that bad things happen and that those events come with a slew of emotions isn’t healthy either. Thankfully, other people have written on the same topic, such as Megan Hunt’s poignant post.

“I’ve found it to be good for me to
give up the impulse to over-analyze or
an obsession to understand.
To say “Okay, this is how I am and these are my limitations,”
rather than let the (completely human) urge to fix myself
drive me deeper into the pit of self-doubt and worry.”
~ Megan Hunt

I am also learning that I have a lot of conditioning in my life based on other people’s opinions and perceptions and reinforcements of those assumptions. It is easy to revert back to that thinking and lower one’s expectations. It is tough to not “Upper Limit” oneself as Gay Hendricks writes. Learning to trust life and focusing on the good and the hopeful without always assuming the worst takes much practice and a great deal of positive reinforcement.

536_ChiTown

Asking why all this happens can send me into whether I ‘caused’ this even when I know that it will take perspective and time before I will fully understand the cosmic message. Resting in the unknowing is difficult. Patience and Faith and Trust are tough traits to achieve.

“When we’re doing what it is we’re meant to do,
when we allow our creative spirit a bit of freedom
to roam the mysteries of the “unknown”,
the universe opens up to us.
We don’t worry over the details.
Things seem to serendipitously fall into place.
We are in the moment. And our creative spirit soars.

Once we rest with the knowledge that we don’t have to know,
then we begin to understand that all we have to do is our best,
and the rest isn’t ours to determine.

The answers lie in the simplicity of having faith in the journey.”
~ Kelly Rae Roberts in Taking Flight

I know we have to savor every day we have, and most of the time I do. Trying to predict or control our lives is futile, but we create mechanisms for that anyway. Sometimes it is difficult to resist closing oneself off to avoid heartache and insincerity.

536_hopeful

Still, I know that ultimately our hearts have to remain open in order to let laughter and joy saturate the world and let love unfold as it will. Life isn’t always easy, but I am very grateful to be living this one.

“Love is
that which transforms the small drop of the soul
into the ocean of all-consciousness.”

~ Wes Milliman

The Ice Queen visits

My energy is coming back and some good things have been kicked off, but I still need to ease into a normal routine.

1aWinterSun

The Ice Queen paid a visit this weekend and left some lovely art behind.

1fbranches

There is much beauty in this wintry scenery, though staying out very long is not an option.

1bfrozenwarning

I’m reminded of Alicia Forestall-Boehm’s waxed cubes with these ‘drippy’ scultures.

1cIcicleRocks

Makes me want to slather encaustic medium onto something.

1hWaxedCube

White beaches abound.

1dfrozenbeach

Here’s to finding beauty in everything,

1eiciclecubes

being inspired,

1cIceQueen

and celebrating health!

1gicicles

Pause and reset

It’s been slow-going for me since the holidays.

It feels counter-intuitive to lay/laze in bed when the media are blasting New Years’ Resolutions, everyone is sharing their organizing and goal-setting intentions, and you’re supposed to be off to a fresh start.

wintertree

The thing is I don’t feel fresh yet. My immune system has gone into hibernating mode.

Having your windows frosted over by below-zero weather doesn’t help motivate, even if the sun is shining brightly.

frostywindows

So I am giving myself a few more days to fully recuperate.

I can start my official new year next week.

snowboots

In 2014 I carefully mapped out my year on a calendar in early January and a lot of things transpired that I didn’t anticipate and couldn’t foresee.

snowbeach

My new exercise program started in May of last year, and I am just going to keep up with it. I won’t pressure myself with weight or measurement numbers as long as I feel toned.

choppywave

The home does need some organizing, but the clutter isn’t going to disappear, so I can tackle that next week.

My aim is to be open this year. To not try to control outcomes as much, and to embrace opportunities in spite of the fears and naysayers in my head.

crashingwave

Part of that includes not putting so much pressure on myself. The year-end review shows that I was extremely productive, and a few more days of ‘laziness’ can only help energize me for the momentum that is to come.

splash

This is a time to pause and re-set. The hurrying and scurrying will start up soon enough.