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Life Insights from 2009 I’m taking into 2010 – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Dec 312009

Over at The Comfort Queen, Jen wanted to know what Life Insights–what we learned this year–we were going to take into 2010. I twittered them yesterday, but I didn’t have time to get a blog post up (I went and heard John Kwon play Beethoven and Chopin at The Chicago Cultural Center then went to The Art Institute to see the Victorian Photocollages before they leave Jan. 3). Here are the Life Insights that are going with me into 2010:

2009 Life Insight #1: I can trust myself.

(Thanks Jen! She’s @jenlouden on Twitter.)

A few months ago Jen had her Freedom from Self-Improvement Week. I realized during this week that I did not trust myself and my intuition. I have been trying to change that. My theme for this year is self-trust and sovereignty (see Life Insight #4). I will learn to trust myself and inhabit my space.

2009 Life Insight #2: Praying The Daily Office centers me and heals me

(Thanks to the Benedictine nuns at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, KS and the Episcopalian nuns in the Order of St. Helena in Atlanta!).

I fell in love with praying the hours on a retreat I took at Mount St. Scholastica six or seven years ago. I loved chanting the service. I discovered The Book of Common Prayer and started my own practice of praying The Daily Office. I regularly chant the morning office and compline. I’m slowly trying to chant evening prayers regularly. Don’t  know if I’ll ever do the noonday prayers as a lot of days I don’t get up until around 10:00. I love this discipline, and it does more to keep me centered and mentally healthy than anything else. I also love the breviary the Order of St. Helena have created that is based on The Book of Common Prayer but is gender neutral. It has breathed new life into my prayers.

2009 Life Insight #3: Self care is not optional, neither is sacred music.

(Thanks again to Jen for self care and to Fabeku for sacred music! He’s @fabeku on Twitter.)

Taking care of myself is not something I do because I’ve earned it. I don’t have to do 2,001 one things before I’m allowed to take a break, have a cup of tea or a hot bath. I take care of myself because I need to: it’s vital. Self-care, not only has to be a priority, but a top priority.

I totally forgot how much sacred music rocked my socks off until I discovered Fabeku on Twitter and his wonderful website. When I ordered a singing bowl for My Hubby for Christmas, he also gave us his CD, Remembering through Resonance. It literally made every cell in my body sing. Then I remembered how sacred music, especially chanting, used to be a big part of staying healthy (and as sane as I ever get). I also remembered that I used to chant my prayers instead of just reciting them. Now I’m back to chanting the Daily Office and back to listening to all sorts of other chants: Christian (Benedictine and Gregorian mainly) and yogic. And I’m getting back to the music of one of my favorite saints and heroines: Hildegard von Bingen. Whether it’s her writing, letters, or music, Hildegard totally rocks.

2009 Life Insight #4: I will be sovereign over my own realm (& let other people worry about their realms instead of meddling).

(Thanks Hiro and Havi and Selma! @HiroBoga and @havi on Twitter.)

I will learn to be sovereign over myself, my space, my dreams, and my life. I will own my space and do what I know I am supposed to be doing instead of what everyone else thinks I should be doing. According to Hiro, when I claim my own sovereignty, I won’t worry so much about what other people are doing (particularly other family members). Here’s a paraphrase of the wonderful call on sovereignty she did last month:

The more you own your space, inhabit your own space, the less you have to meddle with other people. When you are creating, co-creating your own life, soul, purpose, you no longer have the need to fix other people’s life. When you’re disconnected from your self and not inhabiting your own space, you want to violate others sovereignty. You honor other people’s sovereignty by being sovereign yourself, being really present to yourself.

I will learn to be sovereign, and to let others find and live their own sovereignty. As Paul said, it’s time to put away childish things and grow up. It’s time for me to stop trying to please everyone or fix everyone and do what I know I am called to do.

2009 Life Insight #5: I will finish that damn book (proposal), damnit!

(Thanks to Ronna Detrick and Havi! She’s @ronnadetrick on Twitter.)

If there is one big elephant in the room on this blog, it is the fact that I have been working on the (insert a lot of cuss words here) book proposal, officially known as The Career Women of the Bible book proposal for three years. It started out as my master’s thesis in seminary and now has morphed into a honking big monster that I have no idea what to do with. I’ve done enough research to write at least five books (may be more). It’s been ignored, neglected. It lies in languor and loneliness as I look at all I have, (say a few more curse words), decide that 11:00 a.m. is too early to start knocking back the wine (or Irish Creme), make another cup of coffee or tea, and that going to see what everyone is up to on Twitter is a much better idea. Due to this proposal, I have taken procrastination to a fine art. A couple of days ago Ronna was telling herself that, yes, she chould finish her damn book! I decided she was right: I could finish mine too. So I have decided that the first thing to go on my Damnit List (a wonderful creation of Havi) is that I’m going to to finish that damn book proposal, damnit! Then I’m going to finish that damn novel I started in November, damnit! I am going to finish the books I have begun. Period. I’m tired of starting and never finishing. It’s time to cross the finish line.

What about you? What has 2009 taught you? What are you carrying into 2010?

Did you know there are only eight verses in the Bible that discourage women from speaking and holding leadership positions in the church? Did you know there are thousands of verses in the Bible that tell the stories of women who were leaders in their homes, towns, and religious circles? Meet the women in the Bible who were religious & civic leaders, business women, & women who challenged both Jesus and Moses in What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School. What else didn’t you learn in Sunday School? Find out when you buy What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut Up & Sit Down from Wipf and Stock Publishers or Amazon.com today.

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  8 Responses to “Life Insights from 2009 I’m taking into 2010”

  1. OK. We totally have to talk. Your book proposal is in amazingly close alignment with my own…m own “write the damn book already” proclamations! I’d love to hear more of your thoughts…and more about what the procrastination has been about. I have a hunch – given my own experience of such. Truly…I’d love to talk! And yes, write the book – whether this one or not!!! Happy New Year!

    Oh, and thanks so much for linking to me! ‘Love this ongoing reciprocity! It’s lovely and powerful and full of amazing community!!

  2. We do need to talk! I’ll shoot you an email.

  3. We could be “book proposal buddies”! I’ve been working on one book proposal or another for about 5 years now. 🙂

  4. I am with you in the “finish the book already” ring. I am four chapters into two at this point and struggling with the push to cross the finish line.

    I love your list!

  5. Love #3 Such a simple concept, but hard to do at times…and I’m such a people pleaser, so that doesn’t help.

    Good luck with everything! Happy new year!

  6. I am not sure why self care is so hard for women, but it is something I definitely struggle with. I feel I have to “earn” it and yet there is no way I will ever consider myself as having earned it. I know it is important, but there never seems to be time! Wonderful insight!

  7. Shawna, I’m so glad you stopped by and left a piece of you behind. It led me back to you, which is a New Year’s gift.

    I really want to work on not doing 2,002 thing before allowing a moment of self nurturing into my orbit. Let’s do that together.

    Now, your book burden is akin to the pain I went through with my graduate thesis. I have a feeling that you won’t submit anything that isn’t perfect? Part of writing as the Clueless Crafter was to allow failure to play on the same stage as success in my life. One is not exclusive of the other; they are on in the same.

    When I realize that I’m never going to be satisfied with something, I go ahead and submit it anyway. If it’s rejected, I have feedback. It’s what you do with the feedback that counts, right?

  8. Wow! Thank you for chiming in with you comments everyone! I really appreciate it.

    It looks like we need to get a book proposal support and accountability group going! I’d be game.

    @Lydia you’re absolutely right on the perfection thing. That is my biggest stumbling block and reason for my procrastination. I need to work on it, and you’re right: feedback is what counts and just getting it written already!

    @heather & @cari, I will shoot emails about working together and encouraging each other on our books/book proposals. (Anyone else want in email me: shawna (at) shawnaatteberry (dot) com.)

    @Joyce & @Star, it really is amazing how hard self-care is. You’d think it would be one of the most natural things in the world, but it’s not.

    Thank you everyone for stopping by. Here’s to getting books/book proposals done this year and learning how to take better care of ourselves!

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