anxiety, mindfulness, organisation, planning, productivity, yoga

Planned Calm for 2018

Endings and Beginnings:

Each year at this time it is usual to ponder the experiences of the last few months. The television is overrun by programs of retrospectives and the women’ magazines are full of “Your Stars for the New Year”.

My mind runs along several paths. Have I made any progress? What worked for me? What didn’t work? How did I deal with challenges? How do I want to move forward?

Have I made any Progress?

The biggest step forward for my husband and myself has been the completion of our new home. we signed the contract with the builders at about this time last year and finally moved in on November 8 this year.DSCN3736

There were times when we thought it would never be done. There were so many delays and glitches. It was, at times, a completely delightful process and, at other times, hair-searingly frustrating. But, now, as I sit in my lovely little office in the new house, I feel truly blessed to have such a peaceful and comfortable place to live and work.

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Personally, my progress has been medically assisted. In March I had a long (teary) chat with my doctor. I told her I was not coping. I had no idea why I was so worried and anxious about everything. She, God bless her, listened, helped mop up the tears, and helped me to understand that this was actually not a new thing for me. I had been living with Anxiety Disorder for years without realising that what I dealing with was not normal, everyday stress. Tests, medication and lessons in self care have led to a stronger me.

What Has/Hasn’t Worked for Me?

Writing this blog, researching how to take steps towards a calmer mental and emotional existence, has been really beneficial. My mind has not been in the right space to work on writing my children’s mysteries but I still needed something to work on. My mind needs order and routine to relax.

Basic yoga has helped my body to stretch and make the most of my breathing. I know now that when I feel myself tensing up, when my muscles start to feel tight, that I can ease those sensations by focussing inwards and settling into a series of yoga poses.

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Meditation does help and I am finding it easier to let myself “release” as I count my breaths and listen to whatever piece of music I have chosen to accompany my quiet moments. For me, sitting quietly in nature or silence doesn’t work. Silence sends my mind racing. I actually become more alert. The fight or flight thing kicks in really strongly. Not what I am trying to achieve at all.

Another big clean out also helped me. When we left Queensland for the move South, we had a major cull of our “stuff”. Just before we were able to move from the rental house to our brand new home, we did the sell, donate, toss again. It was wonderful. I felt as though the new beginning was really happening this time. My eyesight did suffer again as it did when we went through the clear out the first time. Exactly the same symptoms popped up, but this time I knew what was happening.

How Did I Handle Challenges?

So this time, I knew I had to stop, reflect, and breathe. What was I feeling? Where was I tensing up? How could I ease the tension? I told myself that as I created space by clearing away things we didn’t use or need, that I making room for new and wonderful things to come into our lives.

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How Do I Want to Move Forward?

It may not surprise you to know that I have my 2018 planners set up and ready for the pen. They look so beautiful it is almost a shame to desecrate them with my scribbles.

I have two planners – one for my personal day to day planning and another one for my author self. I have added a section in each planner for budgeting as this is an area I mean to keep a closer eye on in 2018. I feel organised both in my home and my mind. Phew!

I don’t want to confine myself to a rigid schedule but I like to have a plan to guide my forward steps. That way, when I am lacking in motivation or direction, the plan is my safety valve. It resets my mind and brings me back on track, thus restoring the calm.

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In recent weeks, my books have been selling strongly (yay! Christmas holiday reading!) and other exciting opportunities have also been negotiated – more on that as things progress. I have a lot to look forward to and I am ready to get back into my writing.

I wish you all Joy, Hope, and Peace for the Season and send you my very best wishes for a wonderful 2018.

 

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