Happy New Year to you all, a new year, new goals, new opportunities and experiences. 2017 was an amazing year, I began 2017 in Prague, an awe- inspiring place full of history, architecture and art that demonstrates the most beautiful and creative souls that ever existed, can you imagine being inside the heart and mind of the architect Peter Parler who was responsible for the Gothic Design of the Charles Bridge? There were so many beautiful and unexpected moments in Prague I think it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Fast forwarding to May, I was presented with an award for Leading Service Improvement, August I qualified as a Yoga Teacher, October I started to teach my own Yoga classes and in December I completed the Mary Seacole NHS Leadership Programme. In between all those events I have worked with some of the most inspiring and supportive group of people I have ever known and in the moments where I wanted to give up, especially the last 6 weeks of the year, they have kept me going with their care, support and encouragement. There have been plenty of mini-adventures along the way and towards the end of the year I was able to spend some quality time with my family and friends. I really enjoy reflecting on the first day of the new year as it helps me to focus on the year ahead and what is to come next.
I may have mentioned in previous posts that I write in a journal on a daily basis, usually after yoga, after meditation or before bed. I usually find that if I do not write I tend to wake up in the middle of the night anyway and end up writing for an hour or so which isn’t always helpful before a busy day at work. I like to just sit quietly with my journal on my knee, pen at my side and close my eyes for a few moments where I will clear my mind of any thoughts from the day. As I breathe and relax there will be a few moments of nothingness, just an empty space but then out of nowhere the words will begin to flow clearly inter-connecting on paper as if they are meant to be together, a story to be told perhaps. I used this technique for an assignment that I had to do for my yoga course on practicing non-attachment and how it felt, the words just flowed in poetic form:
What it feels like to practice non-attachment
As I clear my mind from my thoughts of the day
I enter a space that feels happy and safe,
A moment of silence before the words start to flow
Not even I will know which way the story will go
As the words appear, concise and clear
There are no obstacles to face or problems to fear
For me as the writer there is no agitation
This certainly is not a place of stagnation
No boundaries are here just the freedom to fly high
Maybe the possibility that I can touch the sky
To be here means there is no lack of focus
My mind opens like a flowering Spring Crocus
I am always surprised to see the words on paper
Connecting with ease and often poetic in nature
Maybe a story I am trying to capture
With my mind and heart like an open door
I have the ability to love you more and more
The beauty of the world is all so transparent
This is how it feels to employ non-attachment
The poem was a complete surprise and just before I wrote it I had no idea that the words were going to present themselves like that, I was engaged completely in creative flow.
I have journals that I have written over the past few years full of poems, short stories and thoughts, ideas, goals, fears and positivity. The journals pictured below are a sample of journals that I have written in between April 2015-September 2017 and there are more.
I love how on the first page of each one I write a little caption so for example the journal pictured in the middle was the first of the three and in the front page I have written, “A journal to write nice things in,” I laugh when I read it because inside the journal are some really deep and dark thoughts, it is a journey of someone working their way through the muddiness of life and back into the light of their own heart. Considering I am usually about hearts, flowers and soft fluffy kittens I really cannot believe some of the things I have written, it is truly dark. The journal on the left is entitled “Changes” and contains pieces about changes in perception, challenging negative thoughts and belief systems and the third one on the right is titled, “It’s where the magic starts and the story ends..” and contains some really beautiful short stories on images visualized through meditation, poetry, of love and happiness.
The reason why I am writing about my journal antics is that yesterday I had some questions about life and direction which I meditated on. I then went to spend some time with my friends for New Years. When I arrived home I felt really unsettled and I couldn’t sleep, I was having all these light bulb moments, ideas and stories, I really should have written before bed but I hadn’t. After finally falling asleep I woke up this morning and made my way downstairs. I made some hot water and lemon and went to spend some time on my yoga mat. Once I had completed my morning routine with a supportive heart opener I had a desire to go downstairs and retrieve the journal I had bought on Saturday. I had made my way in to the city centre to find another hand stitched journal like the ones pictured above but disappointingly I could not find one. I was just about to leave the shop when one caught my eye, it is a little different to the ones I have bought before but I knew it was the right one to write in. It has a laser cut owl and is silver, dark blue and sparkly.
With the journal on my knee and then pen in my hand I opened the first page and wrote the words that first came into my mind.
On reflection it is about knowing you are living a life of purpose but sometimes there is something in the background that you have been ignoring that your heart and soul really wants to do. Thankfully I know what that means for me, it is just a case of deciding a definite course of action.
Happy New Year
Thank you for reading