*Warning: I am fully indulging the less practical, more dreamy side of my personality today. Getting all hippie dippy for the start to the NY. Tomorrow I may publish a post about toddler beds and where to find them, just to balance things out.. Until then, enjoy!
Today I purchased my first ever crystal. I walked into a dimly lit shop with shelves that housed oracle cards, affirmation kits and oodles of different rocks and stones and picked up a piece of amethyst. I added rose quartz and two other polished (or ‘tumbled’ as I’m led to believe they are called) stones to the mix and I promptly handed over my credit card. I chatted to the shop owner as my purchase was processed and she asked me about my experiences with crystals, what had drawn me to the ones I picked. I had to be honest and admit that my experience was less than nil and that I picked the ones that appealed to me most aesthetically. The answer seemed to be one she’d heard before. I’m clearly not the only person who wanders into a new age kind of shop in the first week of a new year and picks up some pretty rocks.
While I can’t say that I’m 100% sold on some of the purported virtues of the stones currently sitting in front of my (and, I’m not going to lie, acting as a paperweight), I decided that steering outside of my comfort zone a little and opening up to the new was something I wanted to really focus on this year. I’m someone who has always had an interest in what I guess you’d term ‘alternative’ kind of stuff. All through high school I wanted to be a Naturopath as I was fascinated by the whole complementary medicine world and the idea of natural healing. My resolve wavered towards the end of school and, like many before me, I ended up enrolled in a Bachelor Of Arts followed by a Masters Of Teaching (with a few years in between). My interest in things like nutrition, naturopathy, TCM and yes, the more woo woo side of things may have been muted, but it was never quite dampened. I don’t know WHAT exactly drew me back into exploring more of this side of life but on January 2nd, I felt a really strong ‘pull’ towards developing some more of that side of myself.
2013 was, in many ways, an amazing year (you can find my wrap up HERE). We moved out of the city, bought a house, watched our son become the most incredible little boy in the world and managed to put another bun in the oven. It was also a year that was filled with more stress than I have ever known. Suddenly having both a mortgage AND living off a single income was something I’d never experienced before. I spent the final few weeks of last year unable to sleep properly, relax fully or enjoy the lead up to Christmas due to the state I’d managed to get myself in about money, work, life in general. It also dawned on my just how much I really missed feeling productive and fulfilled in the career/work quadrant of my life. While mothering my son is one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks I’ve ever, ever undertaken, I felt as if I was missing something. And it really got me down. I don’t even think it was the financial side of things (though that is definitely a factor), it was more this feeling of ‘floating’, of not having a tangible role. I didn’t feel content or secure and while I was, by very definition, ‘self employed’ I didn’t feel as if I was doing anything with that title.
Which brings me back to the crystals, or more specifically, what led me to deciding to pretty up my space with them in the first place. An Ebook called ‘Spirited’ had been on my radar for the past couple of months. I’ve always been a fan of the two bloggers who collaborated to create it (Rachel at ‘In Spaces Between‘ and Tara at ‘Such Different Skies‘) and I’d wanted to download it when it was first released but had hesitated. I felt that I shouldn’t spend the $29 odd dollars it cost on something purely for me when it could be put towards the Christmas expense account. I also felt that it couldn’t really help me out in trying to sort out what I needed/wanted to do, I would be better of finding a book about successful freelance writing or ‘How To Be A Blogger Who Actually Makes Money’ (actually, if you have a copy of the latter, please let me know).
Fast forward to January 2nd and in a clearer, less manically stressed head space I decided to download the book as some ‘light’ summer reading while I spent the remaining time polishing up my CV and casual teaching qualification statements. I poured myself a pot of peppermint tea and got comfortable up on the deck expecting to read a few pages then have a nap. What I didn’t expect was to read feverishly for the 2.5 hours that the toddler slept, making notes on my iPhone as I went as I didn’t want to stop to try and find a pen (does anyone else seem to vaporize pens in their house? I swear we have loads but when I try and find some to do some ‘old fashioned’ writing, they are nowhere to be found.. I usually end up with a sharpie).
I almost can’t explain the impact the book had. The questions it asked seemed to be the exact questions I’d been asking myself for the past few months but instead of causing my stress levels to shoot through the roof, I felt like I was able to actually find some answers. The exercises that were carefully scattered throughout allowed me to unscramble a shed ton of the tangles in my head. Most importantly though, was the core message that I seemed to take from the text; that it’s ok to dream. That doing things that make you feel the way you want to feel is not just something that’s good for your mental health, it’s also the path forward into creating a more meaningful life/career. It asked me how I TRULY wanted to feel and I really had to think about it. ‘Happy’ seemed vague and kind of uninspired. ‘Stable’ was debated but eventually discarded. ‘Wealthy’ while appealing didn’t fit either. After MANY post it notes, I was able to identify that above all else, I want to feel content, secure and productive. Working out what I needed to do to achieve these things was the next step and I was able to identify 4 key things:
- Undertake meaningful work
- Undertake financially rewarding work
- Spend time meditating
- Spend quality, present time with Adam and Ollie
From there, it was all about putting into words the kind of life and future I envisioned for myself, packed full of the stuff that made me feel content, secure and productive. I used a mix of ‘I am’ ‘I have’ and ‘I aspire’ statements to nail down that which was most important:
- I am… perfectly content
- I am… successfully self employed
- I aspire to build a successful blog and freelance writing career
- I have.. a paid monthly column and paid weekly online blog in both print and online publications
And just for the fun of it..
- I have… an awesome holiday beach house down the far south coast of NSW where we go and have all our meals catered for (no cooking!)
I vision boarded the crap out of everything in my head (I LOVE a good vision board.. actually, I think I just love sticking pictures of stuff I love together.. Maybe why I’m such a mad Pinner on Pinterest) and you can see part of that below (I used the ‘O Dream Board‘ website to create this baby)
I’m still working my way through the rest of the book, and have moved onto another ‘The Desire Map’ by Danielle De Porte, which seems to share a similar philosophy to ‘Spirited’ but goes even further into the nature of desire and how it can be harnessed to create your best life. It feels really good to be viewing the year through fresh eyes and I’m excited to see what ends up coming out the other end.