Liminal Luminous

The shining threshold
creativity Living well Spirituality

Happy New Year 2018

Happy new year and all that.I don’t really like celebrations around new year, but I do take it as a chance to take stock.

I have written up my specific things I want to achieve this year – 15 measurable, SMART goals. But I don’t think I am going to put them into my journal for the new year.

More than anything I want to feel connected with the Divine and I still haven’t figured out exactly what this looks like, aside from living a good life. I’m sharing my sermon that I preached on Sunday (New Year’s Eve) tomorrow and I think I need to take my own advice about thinking about habits.

I think this connection comes about from living a good life. Which I think, for me, looks like:

kindness – something which doesn’t come naturally to me, but to try to act with kindness and compassion with everyone who I come into contact with in person and online. I struggle with people and seem to miss a lot of the social cues. In fact I have a sort of mini script for my interactions with people and this helps. During my evening prayer I review the day and look for times when I have or haven’t acted with kindness and ask for forgiveness and help in changing my behaviour.

creativity – music, above all else, playing my flute and the piano. And taking and sharing my photos. I have gotten extremely bad at sharing my photos and seen as though I look for the positive during my walks then this is something I need to get back to doing. I also want to write poetry again, but it is something which takes an awful lot of time – not to write the poetry itself, but to think about it. It seems to need a lot of ‘buffer’ space, much more than anything else I do. It also means consuming creativity – going to live performances, buying albums, reading books etc.

solitude – I need a lot of this. So I get up early for my yoga/prayer session and then long walks later in the day. I try to encourage my husband to go out and plan to be at home if he is out for the evening.

health – I guess this should say, as healthy as possible when living with a long term chronic illness, but there are things I can do to stay well- smoothies (with spirulina), oil pulling, walking, yoga, swimming, eating well (and conversely avoiding junk food) and taking the time to do that. I have to remember that taking care of myself is a large part of my ‘job’.

connection with people – again I find this difficult, but I do need the connection with friends, family and my church. It’s easy for me not to see people (especially as I am self employed), but then my misanthropic tendencies start to go into overdrive. I must go to band each week, and church and make an effort to see friends and family too. It is easy to let friendships slip, everyone is so busy, but it is vital to make the time for.

prayer – my formal practice is foundational to my life and I have two different formal prayer times, which seems to work the best for me and they bookend my day. I reach out for God at various points during the day and often talk out loud to Her when I am on my walks. I also read a lot of spiritual books and listen to podcasts and they feed in to this too.

The idea of not having clear goals that I can tick off as I go through the year is faintly terrifying, but I think it is worth the experiment of firming up my existing habits and building in new ones. I think it is also worth being free of constantly measuring myself against my little tick lists. I might well change my mind before too long though!

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