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
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.
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).
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!
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?