Welcome all to 2012! I am feeling pretty inspired by my life at the moment. Or, at least, I am ready to make more of it. In the last year, I have done a lot of recovery and cleanup from pain in my past. I’ve spent time under the care of many beautiful friends, an incredible doctor of Chinese medicine, and a new love. I feel so much more myself than I have in years. I also don’t feel like I’m regressing to a previous self, but rather the pain and rejection I’ve endured has given me perspective and a jump off point for growth. I’m feeling pretty focused, grounded, and prepared for a new challenge. I’m still healing and letting things go, but I am pretty focused on the future.
So, what of the future? And how to make it as bright at possible? I like things the way they are, but I feel like I could do more. In the last 6 months, I’ve been way busier than I ever thought I could be. Every non-sleeping or non-working hour has been planned out or filled with content. I don’t have many hours to just sit with myself, read, and breathe. I feel like the busyness is good to a point, but I do start to lose myself in it. And when I lose myself in the busyness, I become irritable, bitchy, and just unpleasant to be around. I see myself going down this path and I feel powerless to stop it. My introverted side starts to whimper and curl up. It’s a slippery slope. I see this as an imbalance that throws off my whole way of living. I overschedule myself, so then I don’t have time to exercise and I’m forced to eat take out instead of cooking for myself. I stop really enjoying what I’m doing and I spend my busy time daydreaming about what I would be doing if I weren’t at dinner with friends, or at the club, or at whatever other activity you could imagine up for me. All this is to say that I’m feeling the need to simplify. Simplify my social schedule. Simplify my exercise routine. Simplify my diet. Simplify my possessions. Simplify my ways of communicating with the ones I love.
I’m hoping and dreaming of more prosperity. Thinking of ways I could possibly disentangle myself from a 9-5 and travel the world. Thinking of ways to make money on the side and create helpful things people have never even considered before. I’m dreaming. It’s my way to dream. In the past, I’ve been pretty effective at making those dreams a reality. But the unnecessary complexity of my life has distracted me from busting it to the next level. Realizing this, I’ve decided to take steps towards simplicity and thus steps towards new prosperity of thought, laughter, and cash.
I’ve never been someone to seek after money in an aggressive way. Being an only child, I got enough allowance growing up to waylay my need to get a job until I got to college. But currently, I’ve been seeing my paycheck disappear in an alarming way each month. I want to have the financial freedom to travel at will (e.g. fly to the west coast for the weekend just for fun), I want to have the financial freedom to keep my body at it’s healthiest (e.g. good shoes, the best organic food, massage, acupuncture, etc.), I want to have the financial freedom to support the causes I believe in (Chicago Food Depository, WCPA, Doctors Without Borders, Lambda Legal, etc.). How will simplicity get me to these goals? Hopefully, I will be able to find a path to prosperity by clearing my mind of clutter, by then thinking clearly, by waylaying laziness, and by updating my personal assessment of my own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, I still forget that I am a autonomous adult.
Another thing I’ve realized I’ve set aside for more “fun” activities is church. Church, I think, takes different forms for me, but I have been out of the practice of church for about a year. I’ve gone on Sunday mornings still, but only rarely, and I’ve jumped around a lot between congregations, denominations, and expressions of spirituality. I have forgotten many of my spiritual strengths and I have forgotten my ability to lead competently (a spiritual gift). I have ignored my intuition and my connection with the natural world. I have been pretty off kilter because of it. I do find choir is like church for me, but the community of choir does not challenge me the way church does. Being gay and being godly are not mutually exclusive, but there is some tension there as well. Luckily, the two churches I’ve been considering being more involved in are accepting of folks of all sexualities. My thought is that I will vacillate between the two. One is a ECLA Lutheran Church (a congregation committed to the reconciliation with the LGBT community). This church is similar in many ways to the church I grew up in. I know most of the hymns, I am familiar with the liturgy and the rites and sacrements practiced there. The pastors seem kind and loving; the practitioners welcoming. I would like to get involved. It’s a 7 minute walk from my house. It’s pretty perfect.
But I am also convinced that Lutherans (and Christians for that matter) miss a lot in the world going on around them. Also, at the height of my spiritual practice in the past, I leaned more towards mysticism than most of my peers. So, I am also engaging with a transdenominational spiritual center in the area. Sounds kinda like a cult, but it’s more associated with the teachings of The Science of Mind. The Science of Mind is a little off putting to me, in its description, but the followthrough of their spiritual practice is not unlike what I sought after and experienced in my most meaningful moments as a fiery young christian. It’s fresh, challenging, and affirmative. Services there keep me alert and learning more than I do in Lutheran church, because I am a little on guard and not complacent. All this is to say, Church makes me a better person, I’m sure of it, even at the very least it reminds me this life is not all about me.
The other thing I’m doing is creating a vision board. http://christinekane.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board/ I think it’ll give me a better focus on what I want out of the next year of my life. Goals are so 2011. Vision boards are the future thinking tools of the future. I’ll let you all know how it goes. (I will do my best to keep the blog updated this year. My posts were so sparse last year that I lost a lot of readership.) I also read The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris, which I found pretty vocationally inspiring. There may be a startup in my future. Who knows, gotta do some market research first.
Please feel free to post a response if the Spirit moves you. I’ll be right here. Living life by wandering.