Oh what a year 2011 was, it was a very hard year.I started out last year in such hope for amazingness and it really didn’t eventuate though I hoped so hard for it.
Much of my experience of the year can be appreciated through the two other posts on Conscious Faith that I wrote, mainly because so much of the year was internal and that’s where I set in motion and then realised the learning and experiences. Here is my beginning post on the enquiry and my check in about how it was progressing. Today is about creating an end point so that there can be a beginning point. Transition. Entry and exit. Consciously.
I spent (and needed) a lot of time in my head and heart working through things. I’m still surprised at how much of the enquiry and the aims I set out were present and acted on throughout the year. Also, as I write this I am surprised at how comfortable I am putting this enquiry to rest, how complete I feel with it. That realisation came only with the writing of this post. Some of what I’ve done has led to things that will be part of next year’s work with Renewal. But there is a lot to appreciate and acknowledge about what I’ve achieved and received throughout this year’s enquiry.
It’s still true for me that Conscious Faith was about how I move through the world, recognising where balance is for me, looking at boundaries and where I spend my energy, looking at what brings me joy and where I want to spend my time. It was a year that allowed me to regain my sense of Being A Giant and recognising that I have something wonderful and vital to contribute to the world.
I’ve learned more about doubting that and coming back from that space of doubt, even if it’s still a work in progress. So in many ways, last year was about healing, cleaning out dark and dank places in my heart and head. It was about listening to myself and becoming aware of what I hadn’t realised, what I was blind to and what I needed to know and learn.
What am I left with looking back on the goals I outlined, now that I’m ready to put Conscious Faith to rest and begin with Renewal?
- Improving my active listening ability:
This is something that I thought that I’d managed huge inroads into, making it a part of my ordinary, what has also happened that I didn’t really notice at the time was that I’ve become much better at listening actively to myself, inwardly. I’m more aware about what’s going on for me, what I’m seeking, what I need, what I want.
- Evaluating and reconsidering processes and systems:
There are many ways in which this has happened. Reworking or evaluating systems or adding in new processes have filtered all the way through my life from emotional and intellectual to more practical things such as ways I do exercise, manage pain, job hunt, communicate, employ boundaries and utilise my time.
One of the obvious examples is how the extensive reworking of how I process/consume/share/read information online and store it all (Dear Pinboard, I love you!) At the very least I’m paying a lot more attention to my habits, what feels natural and organic in my actions/schedule. I’m aiming ot make things less of a struggle, less of a fight so that I have more time and energy for things that matter more to me. This has been successful so far and honestly is one of those things that is a continual work in progress, and I’m okay with that.
- Non-fiction reading, particularly study related:
So this didn’t really occur outside of blogs. Partly it’s because a bunch of the texts I’d planned to read spent most of the year in Kununurra, but also the emotional toll of the year meant that I really didn’t have the capacity to really go in depth with my reading. I read lots of fluff instead. This is something that I hope to take into 2012 with me.
- Cooking consciousness around eating and ethics
This is one of those that I think was the past lurking in the present, cooking has been a major part of my life over the years, but I don’t think it has the same priority now. At least, I am sure of that for the past two years. I didn’t spend much of last year cooking, what I did cook was of a high quality but it wasn’t regular. It was most often something quick and easy for dinner with occasional bigger efforts.
I’m still no closer ot having any idea how to deal with food and ethics, I waver back and forth. I have spent a lot of time *thinking* about it. And that was the point, resolution while nice wasn’t the aim. I learned a lot about how I prefer to eat out and my eating habits have changed in that regard. My body and hormones are in process of changing (I think) because what I eat and how it affects me seems to be changing. Trying to just go with it at the moment as I have no real conclusions.
- Meaningful conversations were a cornerstone of the year, and they were how I felt that I made a difference in the world and to people around me.
This was one of the central ways in which conscious faith really occurred. This was a year for one on one or small group conversations that meant so much to me. There were conversations I had with people that made an immense difference with them and their lives. There were also many times where I was in need of support and there were conversations then too.
I have come into a space of gentle trust again that what I bring to these conversations, to the world is unique and valuable. I am feeling more and more comfortable with being passionate about my life and the world around me again. My confidence is regrowing itself. All of this feeds into the conversations I’ve had, needed or moderated. Being a conversationalist in this sense is a huge expression of my Gianthood.
I’m very seriously and very gently growing ideas around how I can use my talent and passion in this way to earn a living while making a difference in the world. It’s a tiny fledgeling idea at present, it has lots of growing to do.
- Goals and wishes and desires
Desires is a big one, I’ve desired so much and am still in a space of wanting and hoping. Some important things I’ve wanted shifts in haven’t occurred despite my attempts to do so, but I’ve learned a lot.
I got to spend a huge amount of time practising with ‘asking’ and it’s not that much less uncomfortable than it was a year ago. But, it has also helped me to unhook unhealthy patterns and collect evidence that demonstrates a much better pattern to take on.
I proved to myself that I could fling myself into a challenging situations, adventures that were huge! I also learned that if they don’t work out, I can totally come back from it and take the best I can from it. Given these intentions were the closest I came to making a list of goals I’m feeling pretty satisfied with how I fulfilled them overall.
- More on making a difference
Aside from the conversational element, I also learned more about being myself. Being my best self. Not only that it doesn’t happen all the time, but, what my capacity is for ‘best’ is changeable. I am clear that I have throughout things I have done the very best I could do. What I was capable of in doing my ‘best’ at the time varies greatly. Some days are a win because I got through the day, or stayed in bed. Other days, I felt like I conquered all the bad things in my world.
This is one of the most frequent conversations I had over the past twelve months and also ties into letting go of perfectionism and doing things suffiently well, or trusting that I’ve done things sufficiently well.
- Keeping my vows to myself and being my own best friend
Keeping in mind that I am responsible for being kind to myself and giving myself a break from all the expectation and judgement was a big part of last year. It was a huge reason why I think that I got through so much crap this year. It’s also why I think I was able to notice and address a whole bunch of things that had been in the back of my mind being pleasantly ignored.
I wasn’t always successful, but I was quick to make amends and adjust my actions or speaking as I was called on it. I got better at it as the year progressed too, even as the emotional stuff got harder and I struggled more.
This was another of the conversations that I had multiple times with others to good effect. I think that having the conversation so often is also why I was forced to remember it and act on it perhaps more than I would have without the consistent reinforcement.
- Knowing connectionism like I know how to breathe
When I last checked in with my enquiry, I was so thankful because it seemed like this was the gift I’d given myself to get through the year. I still believe this to be true. I couldn’t have gotten through the year without the connections around me and without being as deeply committed to connection as I am.
Overall… this enquiry has been the kind of inward and quiet success that is difficult to articulate or point to. But I can feel it. What I can take away from this is a knowingness that I have faith in myself, in the people and the world around me. I also have a better understanding about how I move through the world, and what happens when I consciously consider things or take things on, or even remove them from my life. It’s been fascinating and so much hard work. I’m content with what I’ve gained and learned from it. I’m also eager to move on to the happier space that I hope Renewal will be.
Thank you 2011, you were so very rough, so very hard and I hope that what I learned and took away from my experience of you continues to grow and bear fruit in the years to come.